Introduction to Sociology
SOCI 101 - SUNY Morrisville
Professor Kurt Reymer

2PRs (Two-Page Reports)

Writing exercises on sociological topics will be assigned during the course. The assignment guidelines are designed to enhance research and writing skills and show your understanding of the themes of sociology that we are covering in the course. They will be graded on a 20-point basis. See the “Late Paper” policy section below regarding late submissions.

OPTIONAL 2PR3 (Two-Page Report #3)

NEW: I will grade TWO of your 2PRs this semester; if you do all three, I will take the best two scores. If you do only two, I will take those two scores. If you do one, you get half credit. If you do none, you get no credit.

Two-Page Report #3: On Race and Ethnicity

2PR3 due end of day Friday May 5

Go to this webpage and watch the video featuring Chimananda Adiche’s talk titled "The Danger of a Single Story."
Then follow Steps 2 and 3 on the webpage and submit your report. Note the grading rubric located at the bottom of the webpage.

Your paper should be up to two-pages in length (approximately 500-600 words), double-spaced, 1-inch margins, standard font, and in paragraph form (not just a bullet list response, e.g.).

You should:
(1) save your work as a PDF file (for MS Word use the "Save as..." feature; for Google Docs, "Download as..."), with the
(2) filename starting with your LAST NAME-2PR3, then
(3) attach the PDF file to me in an email ( with the subject line reading 2PR3.

2PR 3 due end of day Friday May 5 (last day of classes)

Grading Rubric:

Criteria High Quality Proficient Approaching Proficiency Not Proficient Points
Video summary Describes Adiche’s experience using multiple examples and a thorough examination of socialization. Describes Adiche’s experience including several general examples and a general link to socialization. Describe’s Adiche’s experience to includevague examples and weak link to socialization. Summary of Adiche’s talk does not include examples and/or does not include a link to socialization. ___/4
Narrative Narrative includes a clear, detailed account of the person’s experience (using a pseudonym) with direct quotes from interviewee OR auto-ethnographical account of single stories. Narrative generally summarizes a person’s experience with stereotypes and single stories without direct quotes and/or specific examples. Narrative provides vague or unclear examples of single stories. Narrative does not provide examples of single stories. ___/6
Reflection Reflective paragraph that interrogates how single stories/ stereotypes are learned using the interactionist perspective. Reflective paragraph that makes some connections between learning and stereotypes but without a clear theoretical explanation. Reflective paragraph does not demonstrate proficiency in examining the connection between learning and stereotypes. Reflective paragraph does not include any examples of learning nor any theoretical examination. ___/6
Writing College-level writing grammar (spelling, punctuation, syntax, etc.) with 0-1 errors. College-level writing with 2-3 grammatical errors. College-level writing with 3-4 grammatical errors. College-level writing with 5+ grammatical errors. ___/4
Total: ___/20

2PR2 (Two-Page Report #2)

In part two of the course, we have delved into the process by which we, ourselves, are a product of our society (through processes such as status attainment, socialization, and group conformity). But we are also possessed of free-will to go against the social norms and mores that shape our social existence, thereby becoming deviant. This assignment asks you to discover acts of deviance in the news (or, as I like to call it, the "daily deviance report").

STEP 1: Find a current article about a recent crime that has been reported on within the past three weeks. Look for language within the article that lends itself to a sociological explanation of the deviant behavior using one or more of the theories of deviance. Be sure to find a current event relevant to crime and deviance. Check reputable online news sources for an actual article about a crime or deviant behavior. There are always major deviant acts each week that make the national, regional, and/or local news.

Review articles should be a minimum of 500 words, recent (no older than three weeks), relevant (related to crime, deviance, and social control), and from a reputable news source (check the library website for free access to national news sources, if needed).

STEP 2: Write a thorough summary of the article. Be sure to convey your best understanding of the alleged crime and how it has been reported.

STEP 3: Using your sociological imagination, write an analysis of the article that connects the main idea(s) of the article to specific key terms and theories from the past three chapters on Social Structure (Chp 4), Socialization (Chp 5), Groups (Chp 6), and Deviance (Chp 7), Crime and Social Control. Highlight (in bold, color, or otherwise) a majority of the following sociological vocabulary words used in your analysis: ascribed status, achieved status, social role, social identity, nature/nurture, in-group/out-group, reference group, conformity, deviance, crime, law, label, sanctions.

STEP 4: Be sure you have Included a link to your article, check for any writing errors, and submit your response paper.

Your paper should be two pages in length (approximately 500-600 words), double-spaced, have 1-inch margins, use a standard font, and written in paragraph form (not just a bullet list response). It should also include a citation to the news article that you are using and link to that article. Here is an example of citation style for news website sources:
Feuer, A. (2017, September 15). Judge says DACA cutoff is too early. The New York Times.
AUTHOR...........DATE....................ARTICLE TITLE......................NEWSPAPER NAME....................URL OF NEWSPAPER WEB SITE/DATABASE

You should:
(1) save your work as a PDF file (for MS Word use the "Save as..." feature; for Google Docs, "Download as..."), with the
(2) filename starting with your LAST NAME-2PR2, then
(3) attach the PDF file to me in an email ( with the subject line reading 2PR2.

2PR2 DUE end of day Tuesday, April 4



2PR1 (Two-Page Report 1)

Two-Page Report #1: Social Institutions from an Alien Perspective

Due Tuesday February 21st (end of day)

In part one of the course, we are learning what social institutions are -- "the purposeful organization of people into groups and organizations." Universal types of social institutions (that exist in every society, whether small, remote and simple or large, global, and advanced) include Family, Religion, the Economy, Education, and Politics (remember "FREEP" from the notes).

Other social institutions particularly relevant in American society today might be Sports, Media, Science, or Justice. Remember that "institutions", from a sociological perspective, are abstract concepts -- the term describes the totality of the concrete physical manifestations of them.

So, when talking about social institution of Sports, for example, we are talking about the totality of all the teams, types, and locations that integrate this meaningful construct into our lives -- from high school football, to professional tennis, from Yankee Stadium (baseball) to Mount Everest (mountain climbing).

An example is the institution of American Justice, which includes the physical places (like courts, jails and prisons, as well as "the street"), the social statuses (like police, judges, or criminals), and the behaviors, some of which are being debated today about law breaking (like when lawful protests go violent) and law enforcement (like policies of stop-and-frisk, chokeholds, or jail-cell "suicides"). The social institution of "Justice" correlates ALL of these places, ideas, and behaviors.

So, as you write your paper, I want you to talk about institutions from the abstract Sociological Perspective, not just the concrete personal perspective.

Here's your task for your first two-page report:

Imagine you are an alien, an extraterrestrial being who is observing humanity from you spaceship hovering off the coast of Virginia. You are one of many such alien observers and your task is to observe and describe what these humans call "society." You have determined that they work together in groups and organizations, some very remote and some physically close, but they create phenomena called "social institutions" that somehow organize their behavior collectively. The behaviors of individual humans within the institutions appear to correlate one human with another into collective behavioral patterns they call "culture": do they have some sort of telepathic power? Or is it this thing they calls "norms" that guides them in their social roles? If so, why do they conform to these norms and how does this affect the larger institutions? What is the point of institutions?

Discuss in a carefully crafted and edited two-page report to your alien overlord what you have come to understand of human behavior in one specific social institution (see examples above or use your own, provided it meets the definition). In your report, use and highlight these specific terms: social institution, norm, role, identity, and culture. Feel free to use more sociological language and ideas you have recently learned in your first few weeks of the course.

Note: The alien overlords that have sent you on this mission to Earth are cruel! Under penalty of great pain they insist that this cannot be an opinion paper! Using concrete examples from personal experience, from the news, from other's anecdotes (stories you have heard), or elsewhere, you should provide evidence for your claims and write objectively in the "third person" (for example, "It's clear from the evidence that humans behave in ways that lead them to follow norms" rather than "I just went along with society's norms.")

Submission Guidelines: Your paper should be two pages in length (approximately 400-500 words), typed, double-spaced, 1-inch margins, standard font, and in descriptive paragraph form (not just a bullet point response or list of ideas). It should be written independently by your brain, not using an AI, such as ChatGPT, for example--these aliens have no sense of fun :-)

IMPORTANT: You should:
(1) save your work as a PDF file (for MS Word use the "Save as..." feature; for Google Docs, "Download as..."), with the
(2) filename starting with your LAST NAME-2PR1, then
(3) attach the PDF file to me in an email ( with the subject line reading 2PR1.

Due Tuesday February 21st (end of day)


I will be using the following rubric to grade your paper:
(A) Has the student provided a clear, defined understanding of the abstract nature of social institutions?
(B) Has the student provided a clear example of insitutional influence on the individual through norms and roles?
(C) Has the student provided a clear example of one specific social institution and its operation on the individual?
(D) Has the student discussed the essy from the point of view of an alien observer?
(E) Has the student followed the submission guidelines, including paper format and deadline?