Social Theory Term Paper Rubric


In this assignment, students will need to display their understanding of theorist and theories in a variety of manners.  The paper will be double spaced, 8-10 typed pages (This does not include the title and reference pages).



The term paper will consist of the following:



Students will provide a brief auto-biography of the theorist chosen. The first component expected will be descriptions of the theoristís background information (Date and place of birth, family history, education, professional history).  Second, students will describe the social, political, and economic environment in which he/she lived.



Students will apply the previous information to an analysis of their impact upon the development of the scholarís theories.  For example: In what ways did changing economic structures influence the development of specific theories? Or, how did success/failure in academia influence the development of specific theories?



Students will examine two social issues: One from the theoristís era and one from the current era.  How did the theorist analyze their own social issues?  How do you think that theorist would view a modern social issue?  Students will need to display a strong understanding of the theories utilized, along with the ability to apply them to specific social issues.



Students will need to provide a counter argument.  Find a social theory that provides a counter argument to the theory you utilized to examine the modern social issue (For example Marx and Parsons would not have agreed on much).  Explain how application of a different theory/theoretical perspective to the modern social issue would yield different understandings.



Describe the role of theory in building sociological knowledge.  How have the theories developed by your theorist been utilized as a part of the ever increasing body of social knowledge?  What are some major current or past works that have used your theorist?  Have current theories used your theorist as their intellectual basis?  How have these theories been used to develop a deeper understanding of your social issue?


Students will be required to turn in an initial draft on 11/7, before noon. This accounts for 50 points.  The final draft is due on 12/8.



In addition to the general rubric listed above, students will also be responsible for the following:


1) An ability to describe the role of theory in building sociological knowledge.

-Who or what influenced his/her thinking/theorizing.

-Describe how the theorist influenced the development of sociology             


2)  An ability to apply sociological theories to areas of social reality.                             

-Discuss 2 of the theoristís main ideas, concepts or theories        

-Discuss 1 contemporary social issues or problems that would interest your theorist.

ĖDiscuss 1 social issue or problem from your theoristís era


3)  Compare and contrast basic theoretical orientations.                      

-Compare your theoristís assumptions with those of another social theorist   

-Explain how these two theorists would view your contemporary social issue differently


4)   Communicate theoretical ideas in a clear and coherent manner in writing

-Use of appropriate labels                                                       

-Jargon used where appropriate

-Putting together diverse concepts to shed light on a problem or analyzing facts to reach a unique solution. 

-Clarity: Arguments or descriptions presented concisely, precisely.                                                    

-Order of ideas and information, points enumerated, conclusions made.  


5)   Referencing                        

- You must consistently utilize one of the accepted format styles (APA, MLA, etc.)                                               

-You must appropriately cite your information

-You must cite references in the text in an accepted style format

-You must have a bibliography in an accepted style format