INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY FINAL PAPER:
BOOK REVIEW & “FACT-CHECK” RESEARCH ASSIGNMENT (25%)
At the end of the semester, you will submit a 7-8-page (typed, double-spaced) paper. Each of the 9 books listed below integrates various concepts covered throughout the semester. The final
course project is to write about one of these books, demonstrating fact-checking and critical-
thinking skills using a scientific & sociological database. In other words, this is not just a “book
The paper has four main sections:
1. Introduction (2-3 pages, 20%)
a. A brief summary of the book you chose to read. (1.5-2 pg) b. Make sure to identify the thesis statement and explain whether you think the author
successfully defended this thesis with the evidence they presented in the book.
c. Reflect on what you learned from the book and how it helps you to integrate the material from the course.
2. Body: Fact-checking your book (3-4 pg, 40%)
a. Choose 2 ‘fact claims’ from the book that you want to investigate further and learn
more about. Each fact claim should be from a separate chapter.
b. For each fact-claim, find one “peer reviewed” article. Use the SocIndex database from
the UT library databases. (1.5-2 pages for each fact-claim)
c. Briefly summarize the article and describe how this article supports, contradicts,
expands or complexifies your book’s claim in the chapter.
d. Briefly talk about your thoughts on the comparison between the research article and
3. Conclusion (1-2 pg; 10%)
a. Write a brief summary of what you learned from your reading and from this exercise.
b. Discuss differences between scientific peer-reviewed literature and other types of
writing (opinion essays, newspaper/magazine articles, etc), and what makes this
literature important for society.
4. References (15%)
a. A separate, alphabetized page of all the sources you used. Must be ASA or APA style.
* ASA or APA style (5%)
b. Your bibliography and in-line citations MUST be in ASA or APA format, no
c. You do not need a cover page, abstract, running head or footnotes (if you include
them, do them right).
d. If you do not include a bibliography, you will lose points from References AND
Style, meaning you will automatically lose 20% of your grade, which would drop an
A paper to a BC, or a C paper to an F.
• College-level spelling, grammar, syntax (10%) • If you have not yet had a college-level writing class, or writing is not your strength,
you should finish your paper early and take it to the writing center or a trusted person
• Peer-Reviewed Sources: You must use the UT library sociology database (SOCINDEX) to find peer-reviewed sources (check the box “Scholarly (Peer
Reviewed) Journals”). You may use other sources (magazines, newspapers, internet)
as supplemental sources if you would like to, but these do not count toward your
required sources. If you only use these other types of sources, you will receive a zero
for References and ¼ credit for the Body—i.e., you will not do well on the paper, no
matter how well-written.
• Formatting Requirements: o Paper should be typed, double-spaced o Use standard fonts and font size (no larger than size 12) o 1” margins on all sides o Avoid excessive spacing and gaps between sections
Choose from one of the following books:
• Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (by Matthew Desmond)
• Crook County: Racism and Injustice in America’s Largest Criminal Court (by Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve)
• Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America (by Barbara Ehrenreich)
• White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism (by Robin DiAngelo)
• The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (by Michelle Alexander)
• American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus (by Lisa Wade)
• The Gender Trap: Parents and the Pitfalls of Raising Boys and Girls (by Emily Kane)
• The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America (by Jonathan Kozol)
• Toxic Communities: Environmental Racism, Industrial Pollution, and Residential Mobility (by Dorceta E. Taylor)
- Introduction to Sociology Final Paper:
- Book Review & “Fact-Check” Research Assignment (25%)