The Social Organization of Technology: A Comparative Perspective
Sociology 327
Research Paper Assignment
Over the course of the semester you will be engaged in a writing project. During this process, you will be
expected to develop a research topic that you are interested in, collect and outline 6 approved references, and
complete a final paper (approximate length of 8-12pgs). I will provide feedback by way of comments on each
step in the process, and I expect you to use them as a guide to further focus and improve your work. a grading
rubric I will use as a guide has been included with this assignment sheet. I suggest using it during editing your
Final Essay to ensure all areas have been adequately covered. All components MUST be typed, using a 12-pt
font and 1” margins, and all references and citations must follow ASA style (see guide on D2L). All
components must be submitted via appropriate folder on D2L dropbox by 11:59pm on their due dates.
No emailed copies of any components will be accepted unless in the case of emergency.
Assignment Components
1) Topic List (15pts), due 2/5: Submit a list of 5 potential paper topics. The topics you select could be
influenced by a course discussion, news story, ongoing debate within a technological field, or
technological artifact you find interesting. However, be sure to include topics you think you’ll enjoy, as
you’ll be spending a lot of time with them!
2) Annotated Bibliography (35pts), due 3/12: In this step, you will provide the citations and brief
summaries of 6 sources you’ll use to construct your essay. Up to 2 sources can be drawn from the
course reading list, but the remainder will be the product of your library database search. As such, you
should rely primarily on peer-reviewed sources. Summaries for each citation should be no more than 4-6
sentences where you outline what the author(s) were studying, how they performed their study (if
applicable), their findings, and how it fits into your essay. (See sample entry on D2L)
3) Final Copy of Essay (100pts), due 4/2: By April 2nd you will turn in the final copy of your essay. This
copy will include a cover page (title, your name, and course number), complete in-text citations, and
bibliography/references page. As part of your writing process, I suggest using the attached rubric as a
basis for editing your paper since it will be assessed according to the listed characteristics.
4) Optional Rewrite, due 4/30: If you are unsatisfied with the grade you earned on the Final Copy of the
Essay, you can choose to submit a corrected version of your paper by April 30 with the chance of
improving your score. During this process you should use my comments on the Final Copy to address
any issues I noted (e.g. typos, citation issues, or missing paper elements). I will then re-grade your work
according to your changes. As such, along with the updated/corrected version of your Essay, you will
also need to submit the original, previously graded & commented copy of your work, since this will be
the basis for my comparisons. I will ONLY accept the Rewrite if the graded Final is submitted with it!
You will then earn the higher of the two grades between your Final Copy and the Rewrite. Therefore,
your paper grade cannot go down if you elect to take advantage of this option.
**NOTE: This project is subject to the plagiarism statement on the syllabus, so make sure that you’re using intext
citations as needed and provide an accurate references list.**
• Is clearly stated, singular (is one
item, not a list), creative/shows
thought, succinct, and plausibly
relevant to the range of concepts
• Is missing one or two of the
characteristics of an A paper
• Is missing multiple
characteristics of an A paper
• Is hard to understand, make
sense of, is implausible as a
basis for the essay concepts,
wanders across multiple (rather
than a singular item)
2) REFERENCES (correct
numbers, interpretation,
applicability to topic, creativity of
• Used 6 identifiable references
• Demonstrates clear knowledge
and understanding of all
• Shows creative ability to apply
those references in a clear way to
1) (above)
• Application doesn’t just assert
but shows (with evidence) a
connection of concept to 1)
• Knowledge/understanding of
references solid but not deep or
perhaps a bit fuzzy in spots
• Applies concepts but with less
• Uses evidence in applying but
could be more convincing
• Used 4-5 references
• Knowledge is fuzzy across
• Application is flawed in some
• Evidence is there but not fully
marshaled clearly, coherently
• Used 3 or fewer references
• Knowledge/understanding of
references is wrong in some
• Applications are problematic
• Little use of evidence on how
1) is connected to the concept
3) STRUCTURE (connections
between concepts to show overall
understanding of how pieces fit
together, organization, coherence,
transitions) (obvious introduction,
literature review, applicability to
topic and conclusion are present)
• Writer clearly connects each
applied concept to the other in a
clear and coherent way to
demonstrate overarching
understanding of
• Essay is clearly organized with
introduction, body and
• Good transitions between
sentences, paragraphs, ideas, etc.
• Good sequencing of ideas and
• Some weaknesses in connecting
concepts to one another
• Essay is organized in traditional
way but pieces could be clearer
• Makes solid use of transitions
but not always
• Generally good order/sequence
to ideas but could be better
• Effort to make connections
between concepts but some
flaws or absences in those
• Organization is there but falls
apart in a few spots
• Transitions are there in spots
but not consistent
• Needs some re-organization of
points to make a stronger
• Concepts poorly or not at all
• Endemic organizational
• Absence of transitions
• Needs a thorough
4) CITATIONS • Provides complete and
stylistically correct in-text
citations and bibliography page
• Provides citations and
bibliography, but a few errors
are present
• Citations or bibliography fail to
adhere to ASA style
• In-text citations are lacking or
absent. As is bibliography.
5) WRITING (use of appropriate
language, grammar, punctuation,
style, spelling)
• Good command of language and
appropriate word use
• No significant sentence structure
• Few or no grammar, punctuation,
spelling errors, typos
• • • Writing problems throughout
that get in the way
understanding the student’s
Grade Distribution
(Out of 100 Total Points)
A 93 or above B+ 87-89 C+ 77-79 D+ 67-69
A- 90-92 B 83-86 C 73-76 D 63-66
B- 80-82 C- 70-72 D- 60-62
F 59 or below