SOC/SW/WS 308—Social Gerontology
Final Paper Guidelines
Objectives of the assignment:
The final paper for this class is based on your service learning experience. Its purpose is to give you an opportunity to exercise your sociological imagination by connecting your individual experience in a long-term care community to an issue or theme that seems to dominate your experience. Using your sociological imagination entails looking at this individual issue in the daily life of an elder as a social issue, and as such, analytically linking your individual experience with others who share this experience.
"The sociological imagination enables its possessor to understand the larger historical scene in terms of its meaning for the inner life and the external career of a variety of individuals. It enables him to take into account how individuals, in the welter of their daily experience, often become falsely conscious of their social positions. Within that welter, the framework of modern society is sought, and within that framework the psychologies of a variety of men and women are formulated. By such means the personal uneasiness of individuals is focused upon explicit troubles and the indifference of publics is transformed into involvement with public issues. . . . . The first fruit of this imagination - and the first lesson of the social science that embodies it - is the idea that the individual can understand her own experience and gauge her own fate only by locating herself within her period, that she can know her own chances in life only by becoming aware of those of all individuals in her circumstances. . . . . The sociological imagination enables us to grasp history and biography and the relations between the two within society. That is its task and its promise. Mills, C. W. (1959). The sociological imagination. London: Oxford University Press.
Description of the assignment:
You will prepare a brief (7-10 page, including title page and reference page) typed, and thoroughly documented, including references to at least five scholarly/academic sources) paper based on the theme identified in your service learning project. Papers are to be presented in APA (American Psychological Association) format (see http://www.mnstate.edu/write/resources.htm).
The paper should include the following components, at minimum:
- Title page: Includes a descriptive title of your paper, your name, date, course number, and course name.
- What is your topic? Provide a brief background of your topic. How is the topic related to gerontology? What is the significance/importance of this topic to gerontology?
- Introduce your service learning setting. Which facility did you visit? Introduce the reader to this site. What services are provided? Who is served by the site? How many clients are accommodated?
- Provide an overview of your selected topic and what you intend to discuss in the paper.
- Presentation and analysis of data: Your data are derived from your service learning experience and should be evident in your journal.
- Describe and discuss your major topic USING EXAMPLES from your journal to illustrate the general findings or themes.
- Focus on your selected theme and thread this throughout your paper. Integrate your thoughts on material from lecture, course readings, and scholarly references to enhance discussion of the theme.
- DO NOT simply describe your field experience from start to finish. DO NOT try to include all the data you have collected. Rather, be selective and pull in only relevant quotes to support your claims.
- INTEGRATE a minimum of five "academic" sources (i.e., peer-reviewed journals and books, but NOT .com web sites) that are relevant to your topic. What have other authors found related to your topic? How do the authors define the phenomenon of interest? How do they explain it? What are their major results? Weave findings from your library research with your service learning experiences. DO NOT simply review outside research without integrating it into your service learning experience.
- Conclusion: Briefly, summarize your experience and research findings. Why is this topic important for the discipline of gerontology?
- What does it mean to age successfully? Is your adopted grandparent aging successfully? Why or why not?
- Was the service learning experience worthwhile? Why or why not?
- How will this experience be beneficial to you in your future?
- References: Your list of references is to be presented in APA (American Psychological Association) format (see http://www.mnstate.edu/write/resources.htm). [NOTE: EVERYTHING in APA format is double-spaced, including the title page and reference list].
- Example of a reference to a single-authored book in APA format:
Quadagno, J. (2014). Aging and the life course: An introduction to social gerontology (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
- Example of a reference to a multiple-authored book in APA format:
Cockerham, W. C., & Glasser, M. (2001). Readings in medical sociology (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
- Example of a reference to a journal article in APA format:
Trager, B. (1994). Editorial . . . Health care reform: If it is to be effective, will require emphasis on home care.Home Health Care Services Quarterly, 14(4):1-2.
- Example of a reference to an online periodical in APA format:
Wurtele, S. K. (2009, Nov.). Activities of older adults survey: Tapping into student views of the elderly. Retrieved from http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?vid=3&hid=105&sid=891502c7-e1a4-468d-ba57-1133554a34a2%40sessionmgr110&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=aph&AN=44651487
- Papers should be appropriately documented and carefully written, with full attention to spelling, grammar, and organization. You are strongly urged to take your paper to the University Writing Support Center (Lommen 93) for a thorough check of organization and grammar!
I will attach references I will be using to make it easier and It will be great if you could add more academic references as well