Self & Social Interaction Term Paper

Students will submit a 7-8 page paper (double-spaced, 12-point font, 1″ margins) under the Assignments tab in Canvas by 11:59 PM on Sunday, August 9. The paper will be a character analysis using the topic of socialization and two concepts or theories from two lecture topics from modules 4-13 which are relevant to the character being analyzed. Specifically, students will describe a character from either film, television, a book, or comic book(s) (or another source if approved by Dr. Weber) and examine how the “self” or identity was/became important for the character as the character interacted with another person or group/organization.

Students should follow the usual format of an essay (introduction with a thesis, body, and conclusion), and in the body of their paper begin with demographic/biographical information describing the individual being analyzed, along with any relevant demographic/biographical information about the individual or group with whom the main character is interacting. In other words, there must be enough “character development” to allow the reader to follow the analysis.

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The remainder of the body of the paper should be the application of the lecture topics to a single interaction or series of interactions between the individual you are analyzing and another person or group (or organization). Students must use the topic of socialization but will choose two additional lecture topics from modules 4-13 which are relevant to the character and interactions(s) they are evaluating and incorporate a concept or theory from each of those two modules into their paper. The evaluation itself should focus on how “the self” or identity was or became important to the interaction (or series of interactions) and affected the outcome or consequences of the interaction(s).

For example, if Dr. Weber chose to examine the main character of Shrek, the body of her paper would begin with some biographical information about Shrek. In a page or two, she would describe Shrek’s home in the swamp and his behaviors (e.g., those juxtaposed to the “civilized” town and people of Duloc ruled by Lord Farquaad), his physical characteristics, etc. She would then discuss the effects of socialization and two other topics – perhaps self and identity (module 4), self-presentation and impression management (module 9) and/or altruism (module 10) – on Shrek’s behavior and interaction(s) with another individual (e.g., Donkey and/or Fiona) or groups (e.g, townspeople).

In the body of the paper, the three lecture topics can be addressed singularly, that is, in separate sections wherein the student discusses socialization first, then transitions to the second lecture topic before, finally, addressing the third topic. Or, the three topics can be addressed collectively as the student writes the body of the paper. Further, students may examine one interaction/exchange for the entire paper or use several interactions to illustrate their point(s).

For example, Dr. Weber could discuss socialization, self-presentation and impression management, and altruism altogether as she discussed the one extended interaction between Shrek and Fiona/Donkey as Shrek rescues Fiona from the castle and dragon. Alternatively, she could discuss impression management and altruism together, using the scene in which Shrek has managed to pull Fiona and Donkey to safety on the other side of the fiery moat (and Fiona is a bit dismayed to find her rescuer is an ogre and his “steed” a donkey). Ultimately, how the three lecture topics are handled – and whether one or more interactions are provided as examples – within the body of the paper are at the student’s discretion.

Students should review the grading rubric on page 10 of the syllabus and review Dr. Weber’s “Writing a Term Paper”Preview the document document.

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