Instructions SOC304 Annotated Bibliography Assignment

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Length: 1,200-1,800 words (please note 1,800 words is the maximum length)

Format: single spaced, 12-point letter size, Times type face, one inch margins. Number your pages and include your first and last name and student number at the top of the document.


Choose an environmental issue that you find interesting. It could be a large-scale problem like climate change or First Nations campaigns to protect land and ecosystems in Canada. Or you might choose a specific event, like Hurricane Katrina in the U.S. or the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan. The goal is for you to pick a topic you are interested in, and for you to apply analytical approaches learned in class to your case – so you can better understand it.

For this assignment, you will summarize three academic articles and one additional source (can be in-depth investigative journalism article from sources like Harper’s, The Atlantic, The New York Time Magazine, or the New York Review of Books). The academic articles should mostly come from sociology journals (Environmental Sociology, Social Problems, American Sociological Review, Social Forces, Critical Sociology, The Journal of World Systems, or others). In addition to at least 2 sociology journals, you can check out related social science journals like (Antipode, Environmental Justice, Catalyst, Social Studies of Science). These should be articles you find on your own, and not ones assigned in class. But you might look at the bibliographies of chapters and articles we have read for potential sources for your paper.

You should use your critical reading for critical writing skills to create these summaries.

The goal of this assignment is threefold:

  1. To create summaries that you will use in your literature review for the midterm and final research paper.
  2. To begin drafting the research question.
  3. To help you explore your potential paper topic. You can adjust this as you complete each assignment leading up to the final paper.

You will follow the detailed instructions below regarding format and the questions that you should answer in crafting these summaries.


Format: The five sections of this assignment

  1. Article 1. Full ASA reference as heading. Then, answer in paragraph form questions 1-4 (sociology journal)
  2. Article 2. Full ASA reference as heading. Then, answer in paragraph form questions 1-4 (sociology journal)
  3. Article 3. Full ASA reference as heading. Then, answer in paragraph form questions 1-4 (can be from a sociology journal or another social science journal)
  4. Alternative Source 4. Full ASA reference as heading. Then, answer in paragraph form these questions: 1. (below), 2. Social forces contributing to the problem, 3. Solutions proposed or implicit, and 4. (below)
  5. Final section: A paragraph developing your research question (see detailed instructions below).

Article summaries – questions to answer:

Sections I-IV:

In your summaries you will include the following four sections for each article:

  1. Research question: What sociological question did the researcher ask? What is the environmental/ environmental justice problem this article seeks to examine?
  2. Theoretical framework: How did they approach their research question? Possible sub-questions: What are the theoretical concepts or frameworks the authors use in their paper? What was the method (data collection technique) that they used or what was the data source (interviews, survey, documents, other)?
  3. Findings: What were their findings? Please provide a summary of their findings for this section. Does the author propose some solutions?
  4. Possible research question(s): After reading each article and answering questions 1-3, what research question would you want to ask for this article? This can be a single question or multiple questions.

Section V – Reflection on possible orientation re research question.

We are asking you to think out loud as it were for this section. In your reflection, consider the following: How would you build on what has been addressed by these four articles? What new avenues for research could you pursue? Think back to how Eduardo Bonilla-Silva argued, based on his reading of the literature on race that not many people have theorized the role of emotions in how structural racism operates.

NOTE: This part will get you ready for your midterm literature review!

Grading Rubric (70 points):

In grading your assignment, we use the following criteria:

A. Articles summary content. The overall goal is to respond precisely and perceptively to the task of writing your answers to questions 1-4. We will look at whether you:

i. Appropriately identify the research question(s) of each article

ii. Correctly identify and discuss the theoretical approach of each article

iii. Accurately summarize the findings of each article

iv. Create a research question that is related to each article

B. Final Section: Provide a one-paragraph reflection on why and what you would want to research regarding the topic and articles you chose as a focus thus far.

C. Writing skills, will look at whether you:

i. Write well constructed paragraphs. Write in your own words, use paraphrases and limit your use of direct quotes (no use of long block quotes, 1 sentence max).

ii. Use proper ASA style citation

iii. Use proper language mechanics: grammar, spelling, punctuation

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Instructions SOC304 Annotated Bibliography Assignment

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