Making Sense of Race, Class, and Gender
Response Paper Guidelines
ReYou may turn in your reaction papers any time before the due dates.
To satisfy this course’s writing component and to further develop your critical thinking skills, you are required to write a response paper to two different selections found in the reader, Critical Thinking and Social Problems. In your response paper, you are asked to summarize the author’s points and their research and then formulate an evidence-based response to those points. While this is not a formal research paper, you must support your response with evidence from at least two reputable sources.
It is your choice as to which two selections you would like to write a reaction paper. The only requirement is that Reaction Paper #1 should cover a selection from Weeks 2-6 and Reaction Paper #2 should cover a selection from Weeks 7-11. Choose two selections that you find interesting and would like to spend more time learning about the relevant subject. You can even refute the author’s argument if you desire. Just remember you need to support your argument with evidence gathered from at least two reputable sources.
What are reputable sources? For our purposes here, a reputable source is a source that relies on primary or secondary research that conforms to the professional standards of journalism and/or social research. These standards include a reasonable attempt to present all sides of the subject; relies on data analysis, interviews, field research and other acceptable research methods (conducted by the author(s) or other reliable authors or sources) to make their case; and is not taking an obviously biased position on the subject. “Obviously biased” could mean the author is a lobbyist for a particular business or industry; could benefit personally from the outcome of the policy debate under discussion; or they are purposely and willfully ignoring evidence that does not conform to professional standards of conducting research in order to further their own agenda.
In each reaction paper, you are required to:
1. Summarize the author’s argument. Please include a brief description of their supporting evidence.
2. Please identify and briefly discuss the sociological point(s) raised by the author and what the author’s work can teach us about the subject.
3. Identify the point(s) to which you are responding. Why did it catch your attention?
4. Formulate an argumentative statement that coherently outlines your response to the author.
5. Then, elaborate by providing a short summary of the evidence provided by your sources and identify the relevant points for your argument.
6. Explain how your argument and evidence helps your reader better understand the subject covered by the selection.
Each reaction paper should be 2-3 typewritten, double-spaced pages in length. They must conform to the normal standards of writing, including appropriate in-text citations and a bibliography at the end. Any papers with spelling and simple grammar errors where it is obvious that the student did not proofread will not be graded and returned to the student for proofreading. Take the time to proofread and make sure it represents your best work.