“My Sociological Life” Application and Analysis Paper
(Assignment originally developed by Professor Nicole Major, Saddleback College)
For this paper assignment, you will be demonstrating your understanding of terms, concepts, and theories presented throughout the semester from the class lectures, materials, and the textbook. You will accomplish this by applying, analyzing, and evaluating/synthesizing the information covered throughout the course to YOUR life from a sociological perspective. (These expectations are in line with Bloom’s Taxonomy, as shown on the final page of these instructions.). Your grade will be based on your use of Bloom’s Taxonomy, ability to thoroughly apply and explain the concepts and personal examples that you present; incorporation of the three main social theories (functionalism, conflict, and symbolic interactionism); and adherence to all paper instructions. Please remember to underline or bold all applications (terms, concepts, and theories).
The specific requirements and paper content objectives for the assignment are listed below. Please note that this is NOT a life story about you, but rather a chance to apply, analyze, and evaluate/synthesize various topics we have discussed throughout the course to your life—a socioautobiography.
1) Introduction Paragraph: This will include basic demographic information about you; a “lead-in” for the reader about the paper assignment and what you will be discussing. The last sentence in your introduction paragraph should specifically state the FIVE topic-focused paragraphs that will be discussed in the next five sections of the paper, for example: socialization, culture, stratification by income/wealth/poverty, stratification by race/ethnicity, and marriage/family. The five themes should be bold or underlined.
2) FIVE Topic-Focused Paragraphs: These are the main topics/themes you can choose from as most relevant to you, for the five topic-focused paragraphs: culture, social interaction, socialization, deviance/crime, stratification by income/wealth/poverty, race/ethnicity, sex/gender, marriage/family, and education.
An example for one body paragraph could be socialization. Within this topic paragraph, you must include 5 relevant terms and concepts (i.e. significant others, gender socialization, peer groups, agents of socialization, social learning theory) to connect to your life. The 5 terms/concepts you use in one paragraph cannot be reused to count for credit in another paragraph in your paper.
You must also incorporate each of the 3 main sociological theories at least once somewhere within your 5 topic paragraphs (these 3 applications of sociological theory do not count toward the 5 required terms/concepts within each of your topic paragraphs; these count as separate points in the grading rubric). Underline or bold all terms or theories. Describe, explain, and predict the cause and effect relationships of the situations/ideas you include. How do these past events affect your future? Make sure that you are demonstrating your skills of analysis, application, and synthesis for each topic. Some theories and concepts may be interwoven in other sections, but make sure you are utilizing specific terms that were discussed from that section.
3) Conclusion Paragraph: Sum up your paper with the topics/themes you chose to analyze; show your knowledge of the materials through synthesis/connection and the cause and effect relationships of a few major events and themes you described throughout the paper; how does all of this affect you now and your future; what are your future plans?
PAPER STRUCTURE AND OTHER INSTRUCTIONS:
Typed, double spaced, 12 point, Times New Roman font.
Do not repeat definitions or explanations of concepts or theories to take up room in your paper. Use all terms, concepts, and theories with the understanding that I already know what you are referring to. Points will be deducted for taking room in your paper to define or explain a term, concept, or theory.
Underline or bold all important terms, concepts, and theories. DO NOT underline entire sentences.
Please proofread your paper for spelling and grammar mistakes (you will be deducted points for errors).
You must save your paper as a Microsoft Word document when uploading it through the Canvas assignment submission link.
There is no required minimum or maximum page length for this assignment, as I want you to focus on the content and on completely addressing the application/analysis (generally, papers are 5-8 pages in length). No title page is required.
Please review the grading rubric for this assignment BEFORE you begin the paper; once you complete the assignment, use the rubric to grade yourself!
GRADING RUBRIC: Paper total = 100 points
Each main topic paragraph: 15 points (total of 75 points for five topic-focused paragraphs)
• Clear and correct application, analysis, and synthesis of 25 terms/concepts (five in each topic paragraph), using examples of life experiences and personal background to support these terms’/concepts’ connection to your socioautobiography (15 points each paragraph, 3 points per term; 75 points total)
Application of Theories: 15 points
• Complete and clear application of the three main social theories throughout the paper (functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interactionism); these count as separate terms from the five required in each paragraph (5 points each; 15 points total)
Paper format, grammar, spelling, and writing errors: 10 points
• Double-spaced; 12-point Times New Roman font
• Underline or bold each term, concept, and theory used
• Points deducted for grammatical and spelling errors
Due Date: This paper assignment counts as your final exam grade and must be submitted by Friday, May 15, 2021 at 11:59pm through the Canvas assignment submission link. No late submission for this assignment will be accepted, since you have had notice this entire semester of this important assignment deadline. I will open the submission link for this assignment on Monday, April 26th. You are welcome to submit this assignment any time between then and Friday, May 15th at 11:59pm.
by Patricia Armstrong, former Assistant Director, Center for Teaching
The above graphic is released under a Creative Commons Attribution license. You’re free to share, reproduce, or otherwise use it, as long as you attribute it to the Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching. For a higher resolution version, visit our Flickr account and look for the “Download this photo” icon.
In 1956, Benjamin Bloom with collaborators Max Englehart, Edward Furst, Walter Hill, and David Krathwohl published a framework for categorizing educational goals: Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. Familiarly known as Bloom’s Taxonomy, this framework has been applied by generations of K-12 teachers and college instructors in their teaching.
The framework elaborated by Bloom and his collaborators consisted of six major categories: Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation. The categories after Knowledge were presented as “skills and abilities,” with the understanding that knowledge was the necessary precondition for putting these skills and abilities into practice.
While each category contained subcategories, all lying along a continuum from simple to complex and concrete to abstract, the taxonomy is popularly remembered according to the six main categories.
The Original Taxonomy (1956)
Here are the authors’ brief explanations of these main categories in from the appendix of Taxonomy of Educational Objectives (Handbook One, pp. 201-207):
• Knowledge “involves the recall of specifics and universals, the recall of methods and processes, or the recall of a pattern, structure, or setting.”
• Comprehension “refers to a type of understanding or apprehension such that the individual knows what is being communicated and can make use of the material or idea being communicated without necessarily relating it to other material or seeing its fullest implications.”
• Application refers to the “use of abstractions in particular and concrete situations.”
• Analysis represents the “breakdown of a communication into its constituent elements or parts such that the relative hierarchy of ideas is made clear and/or the relations between ideas expressed are made explicit.”
• Synthesis involves the “putting together of elements and parts so as to form a whole.”
• Evaluation engenders “judgments about the value of material and methods for given purposes.”
While many explanations of Bloom’s Taxonomy and examples of its applications are readily available on the Internet, this guide to Bloom’s Taxonomy is particularly useful because it contains links to dozens of other web sites.
The Revised Taxonomy (2001)
A group of cognitive psychologists, curriculum theorists and instructional researchers, and testing and assessment specialists published in 2001 a revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy with the title A Taxonomy for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment. This title draws attention away from the somewhat static notion of “educational objectives” (in Bloom’s original title) and points to a more dynamic conception of classification.
The authors of the revised taxonomy underscore this dynamism, using verbs and gerunds to label their categories and subcategories (rather than the nouns of the original taxonomy). These “action words” describe the cognitive processes by which thinkers encounter and work with knowledge:
In the revised taxonomy, knowledge is at the basis of these six cognitive processes, but its authors created a separate taxonomy of the types of knowledge used in cognition:
• Factual Knowledge
o Knowledge of terminology
o Knowledge of specific details and elements
• Conceptual Knowledge
o Knowledge of classifications and categories
o Knowledge of principles and generalizations
o Knowledge of theories, models, and structures
• Procedural Knowledge
o Knowledge of subject-specific skills and algorithms
o Knowledge of subject-specific techniques and methods
o Knowledge of criteria for determining when to use appropriate procedures
• Metacognitive Knowledge
o Strategic Knowledge
o Knowledge about cognitive tasks, including appropriate contextual and conditional knowledge
Mary Forehand from the University of Georgia provides a guide to the revised version giving a brief summary of the revised taxonomy and a helpful table of the six cognitive processes and four types of knowledge.
Why Use Bloom’s Taxonomy?
The authors of the revised taxonomy suggest a multi-layered answer to this question, to which the author of this teaching guide has added some clarifying points:
1. Objectives (learning goals) are important to establish in a pedagogical interchange so that teachers and students alike understand the purpose of that interchange.
2. Teachers can benefit from using frameworks to organize objectives because
3. Organizing objectives helps to clarify objectives for themselves and for students.
4. Having an organized set of objectives helps teachers to:
o “plan and deliver appropriate instruction”;
o “design valid assessment tasks and strategies”; and
o “ensure that instruction and assessment are aligned with the objectives.”
Citations are from A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives.
Section III of A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, entitled “The Taxonomy in Use,” provides over 150 pages of examples of applications of the taxonomy. Although these examples are from the K-12 setting, they are easily adaptable to the university setting.
Section IV, “The Taxonomy in Perspective,” provides information about 19 alternative frameworks to Bloom’s Taxonomy, and discusses the relationship of these alternative frameworks to the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy.