Analysis of a Social Construct

Writing Project Three:
Analysis of a Social Construct
Project Description
In this project, you will choose a topic to research through the perspective of social construction.
You will conduct primary and secondary research. Primary research may be a survey or interview.
Secondary research will come from articles, documentaries, essays, etc found through the library
database or elsewhere. You will compile your research in an Annotated Bibliography.
You may choose to research a social construct that we have discussed or a different one. You will
research the social construct as seen in an American culture/community as well as one other
culture/country/community. You will analyze its origins, meaning, and effects. You must also
provide insight into how the social construct may change in American culture if the values of
culture/country/community #2 were applied to it. You must address all of the following in the
order they appear here:
● Origins: How did the social construct originate in America? Has this always been a part of
American culture? How did the social construct originate in culture/country/community
#2? Has it always been a part of the culture?
● Meaning: How is this social construct defined in American culture? In
culture/country/community #2? Have these meanings changed over time? Why is it
perceived as useful in American culture? In culture/country/community #2?
● Effects: How does this social construct effect individuals or groups in American culture? In
culture/country/community #2? Have the effects changed along with the meaning over
● Insight: How would this social construct look if we applied the values of
culture/country/community #2 to American culture? What does this say about the values of
American culture? Are there other values (not present in culture/country/community #2)
that would be useful to apply to this social construct?
Topic Starters
Some possibilities include gender, sexuality, race, economic class, beauty standards, nutrition/diet,
farming/food production, individualism, time, materialism, morals & ethics, family, disability,
mental health, virginity, childhood/adulthood, education, period/menstruation, materialism,
poverty, animal rights/zoos, religion, political systems, violence, war, gun culture, rape culture,
nationalism, borders, immigration, criminal justice, prisons, police brutality, protest…
Project Goals
The goal is to examine a topic’s social origins, meaning, and effects while providing your own
insight. You will investigate a social construct in order to uncover the ways in which individuals and
groups participate in the construction of their perceived social reality. This assignment places
emphasis on finding, evaluating, and synthesizing primary and secondary sources in order to provide
perspective on the meaning and usefulness of a particular social construct.
● Norton Chapter 15 (Annotated Bibliographies)
● Norton Chapters 48-54 (Finding and Using Sources)
● Social Constructionism Definition and Examples
● Sample Student Annotated Bibliography (WP3 Folder → Sample Student Annotated
● Norton (p. 999) Sample Essay, “Finland’s School Success: What Americans Keep Ignoring”
by Anu Partanen
Grading Criteria
Each item below is submitted as a separate assignment.
Annotated Bibliography: 25 points
● Appropriate topic based on project description and in-class discussions (5 points)
● MLA format (5 points)
● Includes citations and annotations for 5 sources, including 1 primary source and 4 secondary
sources (15 points)
Rough Draft: 25 points
● Minimum 3 pages (10 points)
● Includes answers to at least the first two sections of research questions: origins and meaning
(5 points)
● Includes quotes and paraphrases in the essay that are documented with signal phrases
and/or in-text citations (5 points)
● Includes an updated MLA formatted Works Cited page (5 points)
Final Draft: 50 points
● Minimum 5 pages (10 points)
● Includes answers to all sections of research questions: origins, meaning, effects, and insight
(10 points)
● MLA Format (see sample on p.588 of Norton ) including an updated Works Cited page with
all sources used. (5 points)
● Synthesizes sources by including quotes and/or paraphrases from primary and secondary
sources. Quotes and paraphrases are used purposefully to support your analysis or provide
examples. In-text citations are used for all quotes, paraphrases, and summaries of primary or
secondary sources (Ch.54 in Norton ). (10 points)
● Final draft shows evidence of revision and editing/proofreading (5 points)
● Revision Reflection: on a separate page at the end of your essay, you will include a brief, but
critical reflection. Put the title “Revision Reflection” at the top of the page, and write a
minimum of one paragraph addressing the following: what kind of feedback did you seek for
this project? (Instructor, peer, writing center, etc.) If you didn’t seek feedback on this
project, explain why. If you did seek feedback, briefly summarize the feedback you received
and how it affected your writing. (10 points)