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Historical or Sociological-Interpersonal Perspective/Research Essay (minimum 2500 words)—students will choose one volume from approved SOCIOLOGICAL/INTERPERSONAL or HISTORICAL list; after reading, they will create a two-part essay with the first half (about 1250 words) acting as a brief book report of that volume; the second half of the essay (about 1250 words) will be a concise research-based essayabout cyber technology (either in a historical, sociological or interpersonal context, the research section flowing out of the book topic). No break is needed between the two parts of the essay. The Historical or Sociological/Research will count 40% of the course grade.
The professor will provide feedback/grading on each assignment to aid students in improving their essays over the duration of the semester. NOTE: assignments must be submitted on time with total number of words recorded at the end of the essay in order to receive full points. If for any reason students submit work late, any extenuating circumstances should be noted (illness, work, athletics, accidents) in Canvas Commentsfor consideration of mitigation of late points. All essays will adhere to the following criteria:
Each essay has two parts (with no break in-between): first, a book report (a factual overview of the volume chosen by the student) written in academic voice (avoiding first person, informal statements, contractions, sweeping generalizations, direct quotes [paraphrase instead], choppy paragraphing, poor sentence structure or plagiarizing); and second, a creative essay on the assigned topic;
10-point, academic font—double spaced throughout, with total word count at conclusion of essay;
Grammar/English/composition skills befitting a 3000-level university course;
Research essay will be completed using APA Style, including a Works Cited/References page with a minimum of 3 academic journal citations (no Abstract required);
All essays must meet minimum words assigned in order to avoid proportional markdowns (in other words, if students are assigned 2000 words and 1500 are submitted, 25 points would be deducted before grading commences);
Essays will be graded on quality of reporting about contents of books read, adherence to proper English and composition skills befitting a 3000-level university course, excellence in creativity and ability to integrate subject matter of the course (please see Overview of Grading Philosophy for additional insights).
SOCIOLOGICAL/INTERPERSONAL—to join with Research Essay (OR HISTORICAL, not both)
Programmed Inequality: How Britain Discarded Women Technologists and Lost Its Edge in Computing (2018)by Marie Hicks; 350 pages; MIT Press;ISBN: 978-0262535182.
Whose Global Village: Rethinking How Technology Shapes Our World (2017) by Ramesh Srinivasan; 272 words; NYU Press; ISBN: 978-1479862962.
Decoding the Social World: Data Science & the Unintentional Consequences of Communication (2017) by Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon; 256 pages; MIT Press; ISBN: 978-0262037075.
Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police & Punish the Poor (2018)by Virginia Eubanks; 272 pages; Basic Books;ISBN: 978-0465046935.
The Rise of Big Data: Policing, Surveillance, Race & the Future of Law Enforcement (2017)by Andrew J Ferguson; 272 pages; NYU Press;ISBN: 978-1479892822.
Technically Wrong: Sexist Apps, Biased Algorithms & Other Threats of Toxic Tech (2017)by Sara Wachter-Boettcher; 240 pages; WW Norton;ISBN: 978-0393634631.
Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism (2018)by Safiya Umoja Noble; 256 pages; NYU Press;ISBN: 978-1479837243.
Recoding Gender: Women’s Changing Participation in Computing (2017)by Janet Abbate; 258 pages; MIT Press;ISBN: 978-0262534536.
Machine in the Ghost: Digitality & Its Consequences (2017)by Robin Boast 224 pages; Reaktion Books;ISBN: 978-1780237398.
Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology & the Business of Keeping Us Hooked (2018)by Adam Alter; 368 pages; Penguin Books;ISBN: 978-0465093656.
Alone Together: Why We Expect More of Technology and Less from Each Other (2017)by Sherry Turkle; 397 pages; Basic Books;ISBN: 978-0465046935.
Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence (2017)by Max Tegmark; 384 pages; Knopf;ISBN: 978-1101946596.
The Internet of Us: Knowing More & Understanding Less in the Age of Big Data (2017)by Michael P Lynch; 256 pages; Liveright Press;ISBN: 978-1631492778.
The Happiness Effect: How Social Media is Driving a Generation to Appear Perfect at Any Cost (2017)by Donna Freitas; 368 pages; Basic Books;ISBN: 978-0190239855.
American Girls: Social Media & the Secret Lives of Teenagers (2017)by Nancy Jo Sales; 416 pages; Vintage;ISBN: 978-0804173186.
HISTORICAL—to join with Research Essay (OR SOCIOLOGICAL/INTERPERSONAL, not both)
Rise of the Machines: A Cybernetic History (2017)by Thomas Rid; 464 pages; WW Norton;ISBN: 978-0393354959.
The Electric Century (2018)by J B Williams; 216 pages; Springer Books;ISBN: 978-3319511542.
Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyberwar (2017)by Fred Kaplan; 352 pages; Simon & Schuster;ISBN: 978-1476763267.
The Cybernetics Moment: Or Why We Call Our Age the Information Age (2017)by Ronald R Kline; 352 pages; Johns Hopkins University Press;ISBN: 978-1421424248.
The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress & Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (2016)by Andrew McAfee; 336 pages; WW Norton;ISBN: 978-0393350647.
A An excellentwork in all or nearly all aspects of the assignment. The student exemplifies originality of ideas, superior depth of thought, and extensive grasp of topics as well as technical superiority.
B A competent work with a lapse here or there. Ideas are clear and properly expressed; the writing is technically solid. The assignment is effective in meeting all criteria but does not rise to sustained distinction.
C An adequate work, but not good. Student ideas tend to be oversimplified, reductionistic, and lack sufficient explanation or exploration. Problems may also exist with grammar, logic, or ability to express thoughts in a manner reflective of a junior level class.
D A minimal effort by the student—the work is marred by problems with almost all aspects of the assignment. This is not considered a competent performance.
E A failing mark, generally reserved for assignments which are not submitted or miss the target on virtually every criteria of the project.
+/- Plus or minus may be given in addition to each of the grade levels when deemed appropriate.
NOTE: please see Essay Rubric at end of Syllabus for more detailed explanation.
A 96% and above; A- 90—95.99%; B+ 85—89.99%; B 80—84.99%; B- 75—79.99%; C+ 70—74.99%;
C 65—69.99%; C- 60—64.99%; D+ 55—59.99%; D 50—54.99%; D- 45—49.99%; E Below 45%.
NOTE: Grading is exact and rounding does not apply for final grades.
Grading Criteria Checklist:
_________ Lack of/improper Title/Abstract
_________ Weak introduction
_________ Weak conclusion
_________ Poor organization
_________ Failure to communicate ideas clearly
_________ Superficial/Little creativity
_________ Weak English skills
_________ Poor sentence structure
_________ Poor paragraph structure/weak Links
_________ Anticipatory IT; Contractions; Rhetorical questions
_________ Non-Academic Voice/Language
_________ Opinion/Bias rather than facts
_________ Errors in logic
_________ Sweeping generalizations (No/few Qualifiers)
_________ Poor use of italics
_________ Direct quotes instead of paraphrasing—NO direct quotes in any essay!
_________ Unnecessary Subheadings
_________ inadequate length (meeting word minimum)
_________ Weak proofing/inattention to detail
_________APAproblems (citations/references page/primary sources)
_________ Incorrect format (10 point font/double spaced lines)
_________ Late paper submittal or failure to note total number of words
Content and Focus
Exceptionally clear, focused, interesting thesis.
Strong, rich supporting details and examples that prove thesis.
A meaningful conclusion explaining the importance of the research and how it can be used.
Clear thesis which maintains a consistent focus from beginning to end.
Specific supporting details are present.
A clear conclusion as to why the research is important.
Contains thesis but with inconsistent focus.
Generalized supporting details that prove thesis.
Conclusion tends to summarize research.
Thesis statement lacks clarity and focus.
Inadequate or missing supporting details.
Strong introduction and conclusion.
Consistent and coherent logical progression.
Uses clear and skillful transitions.
Clear introduction and conclusion.
Illustrates some consistency and shows some logical progression.
Uses clear transitions.
Introduction and conclusion is present but not clear
Shows some attempt of consistency and order.
Essay shows attempt to create transitions between paragraphs.
Unable to clearly identify introduction and conclusion.
Lack of consistency and order. Shows little or no attempt of transitions between paragraphs.
Voice and paraphrasing
Written in academic voice (no slang/contractions).
Elaborate and colorful language.
Consistently strong and varied sentence structure.
No direct quotes (paraphrasing sound).
Majority written in formal language.
Language appropriate to topic.
Words convey intended message.
Direct quotes support ideas.
Majoritywritten in own words.
Informal language is dominant.
Most language is appropriate to topic.
Able to get vague idea
Some parts of written in student’s own words.
Paper frequently uses informal language.
Language is not appropriate to topic.
Message is unclear.
Majority of essay is plagiarized.
(For Research Essays Only)
Follows APA guidelines well.
Uses 5 or more cited academic sources.
All documentation is APA correct.
Works Cited page is APA correct.
All research is documented.
Follows APA most of essay.
3-4 cited sources used. Sources meet the guidelines for types of sources.
Few errors noted in documentation
Majority of Works Cited is APA correct.
Most research documented.
Sometimes follows APA.
Less than 3 cited sources used.
Majority of sourcesdone incorrectly.
Random APA usage.
Rarely documents sources.
Rarely follow APA.
Less than 2 cited sources with little or no documentation.
Works Cited page partial or missing.
Superior editing meeting majority of aspects correctly in Checklist.
Rarely makes errors in grammar or English.
Careful editing, meeting most Checklist items correctly
Makes few errors in grammar or English.
Some evidence of editing, meeting some Checklist items.
Extensive English and grammatical errors.
Poor overall editing, English and grammar skills. Meets few aspects of Checklist correctly.