Think about the topics in our textbook and how they may connect to situations or circumstances you’ve personally observed or experienced, whether in your own family, your extended family, or a friend’s family. If you like, use aliases instead of people’s names.
Please be aware that if you write about something that is illegal (a situation where a child has been or is being endangered, for example) I may be required to file a report with authorities.
Use academic language to describe the situation.
Look for an associated theory, like stress theory or mate selection or child socialization, to explain the situation.
You’ve identified a personal issue, you’ve described and explained it with the text, next comes extension. Can you apply a theory and describe its relevance? Can you make recommendations for changes in public policy or laws, or the practices of institutions like child or elder services or immigration services or religious organizations or schools, that could make people’s lives better?
Introduction, where you identify the issue briefly and tell me what you will be doing in the paper (roadmap).
Body, where you describe the issue more carefully and explain it, using the text. The last part of the body is the extrapolation into the realm of public policy, law, institutional practice, etc.
Conclusion, where you summarize what you did in the paper and your recommendations.
Reference page, where you list in APA style your reference.
Reminder: analyzing from a social science perspective is different than making judgements or expressing feelings, like “our family has good morals,” or “he was a bad father.” Analyzing means trying to interpret and explain information. Your text is your analysis guide. We’ll practice this in class too.
The textbook obviously gets cited, like any other book would.
Find an episode of a reality show that deals with families (Honey Boo Boo, Duck Dynasty, 19 Kids, Kardashians, Real Housewives of Orange County, etc. etc. etc.). Here are some questions that might be useful (but all of them won’t apply to each and every type of episode, and may be more logical in a different order, depending on your episode):
Who is in the family? Is it easy to tell?
What type of family structure is there?
What types of roles do the individuals have? (not just mother and sister, but wage-earner, caretaker, etc.?). Exploring gender roles here might be useful.
At what stage of the life course is the family?
What are the family’s strengths?
What are the family’s challenges?
family roles, including gender roles, and
life course stages
family strengths and challenges
have impacted what you saw in the episode?
What theories that we’ve learned about help explain what is going on in the family?
You can flip through the textbook and find a topic/theory that matches the episode’s content closely and use that to create your own discussion and analysis (like the family stress and violence chapter, the mate selection chapter, etc.).
So what you’ll be doing in this paper is discussing the family in the episode, and also analyzing what you’ve seen.
Analyzing from a social science perspective is different than making judgements or expressing feelings, like “this family has good morals,” or “he is a bad father.” Analyzing means trying to interpret and explain information. Your text is your analysis guide. We’ll practice this in class too.
The textbook obviously gets cited, like any other book would.
Introduction, where you lay out what you will do in the paper.
Body of the paper, logically organized with good flow between paragraphs (don’t forget transitions).
Conclusion, where you tell me what you did in the paper and what any future directions or recommendations might be that logically arise from what your discussion and analysis in the paper.
Please do not worry about the 3 paragraph body style paper, thesis statement, etc.
I do not want fancy, word-heavy, adjective-laden writing. I want a clear, easy-to-read paper with paragraphs and sections put in an order that makes sense. You can use subheadings.
First person writing is not appropriate for non-personal parts of a paper.
Papers are to be written individually, and any work that is not your own thought (textbook, Google search, Wikipedia, other website, etc.) must be cited.
Please cite all of your work. Do not copy papers or sections of papers from other classes, other students, books, websites, etc. Turnitin will flag content that matches other students’ papers and other authors’ work and the mark could be a ‘0’ as a result. Cite all information that is not your own, including: the textbook, websites, research articles, television shows, documentaries, newspaper articles, etc.
My expectation is that any idea that is not your own will be cited. Additionally, an A paper typically has 4-5 academic citations attached.
And then you include a reference page like this at the end of the paper (APA style is best)
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