Notes on papers, presentations and notes for commenters for Soc 323

 

Updated 4/1/2018

 

 

Notes for preparing your discussion of assigned and supplementary readings:

 

* Prepare a literature web, and post the lit web to Canvas>discussions (in the appropriate discussion folder) 2 days before your discussion.

* Make sure in your verbal presentation to cite or make reference to a broader literature than the one assigned or supplementary reading. Post your literature web to Canvas, in a folder identifying the week of presentation. Use your lit web in your presentation! It is important in your presentation to give students as broad a sense as possible about the context of the assigned or supplemental reading.

* Also, keep in mind that you do not have to cover every aspect of an assigned reading- this is especially important if the assigned reading is a long book, and there is no way you could cover all the material in the book during an hour of discussion. So focus on a narrow set of key issues, and explore the key issues in as much depth as you can (including by invoking other literature from before or after the assigned reading).

* Asking questions to the class is a good way to lead discussion, but it is crucial that you ask questions that you know the answer to (or at least one answer to , or the authorís answer), so that you can steer the discussion to key points. Open-ended questions without an answer in mind are not generally helpful to furthering discussion, and will usually lead to diminished presentation grades.

 

 

Notes for presenting your own original research, and for commenting on the original research presentations of other students:

 

1) Presentations. Presenters must create a folder in Canvas, at least 3 days before their presentations, and must upload a set of slides, or a PDF, or a short draft paper so that the in-class commentator can read the materials before the class and be prepared with comments. The presentation slides or PDF should include a slide of references (just like the reference list at the end of a paper) including all the references cited in the slides, and other references that may be relevant. The commentator needs to see your reference list in order to understand what literature the presenter is relying on. Put specific references in your slides; just listing all the references in final slides at the end of your presentation is not sufficient.

       In your presentation slides, avoid sentence fragments. Avoid phrases whose reference or whose antecedent is unclear. Use full sentences (subject, verb, and object all should be present). Imagine people reading your slides, because that is what the audience will be doing.

       Presentations will last 10-12 minutes. The format is open. If you have an empirical study, start with questions, then theory and literature, and then show your findings briefly. Your presentation may also be purely theoretic or bibliographic, in the sense that you present an argument or a question framed by the literature. You may elect to explain a particular kind of data that you will use or analysis that you hope to accomplish. You may discuss a research design that would (in theory) answer some key question that you think the literature has posed or left unanswered. You may critique some key piece of literature, but if you do please try to cite the empirical literature or the background theory literature that justifies your critique.

 

2) Student commentators will follow each student presentation, and student comments should be short, 2-3 minutes. The day after the presentation, the commentator should upload a 1-2 page set of comments to the student presenterís folder in Canvas. The due date for comments of one day after the presentation is especially important for presentations on November 30, because those presenting students will have only a few days to finalize their papers, so get your comments in on time. The most useful kind of comments will feature suggestions about additional literature; be specific about why the suggested literature is relevant to the presenterís project. Commentators may also provide criticism or feedback on the argument, logic, data analysis, or use of literature in the student presentation.

 

3) Based on the student presentation and the commenterís comments, I will grade both the presentation and the commenter, and I will post some comments of my own to the studentís folder.

 

4) Final papers are due to be posted by each student to their Soc 323 Canvas (in the group files section, I think) folder by the due date in the syllabus. The paper will be an expanded version of the presentation. The format is open. If you have an empirical study, start with questions, then theory and literature, and then show your findings briefly. Your paper may also be purely theoretic or bibliographic, in the sense that you present an argument or a question framed by the literature. You may elect to explain a particular kind of data or analysis that you hope to accomplish. You may discuss a research design that would (in theory) answer some key question that you think the literature has posed or left unanswered.  In the paper, you should be able to develop your proposed research design into an outline of a practical research plan to contribute to the literature. As this class is a class about the scholarly literature on family and marriage, I expect that the literature review and theoretical parts of your paper will be thoughtfully developed. If you have a critique of some key piece of literature, you must cite the empirical literature or the background theory literature that justifies your critique.

                All papers must have a complete and thorough reference section, listing every work cited in the text.

                If you are presenting in Week 10, the paper due date does not give you much time to react to comments on your presentation, but you do need to take the presentation comments into account as best you can.

 

 

5) Student paper commentators will upload 1-2 pages of comments to the same folder the student posted their paper to, by 4 days after the paper due date. The most useful kind of comments will feature suggestions about additional literature; be specific about why the suggested literature is relevant to the presenterís project. Commentators may also provide criticism or feedback on the argument, logic, data analysis, or use of literature in the student paper. I will upload my own comments and grades thereafter.