Sociology 101-81, Brown

Welcome Letter for Principles of Sociology, Online

Professor:    Dr. Samuel R. Brown
Department:    Sociology
Course No. & Section:    SOC 101 81
Phone:    (203) 575-8022
Office Hours:    750 Chase Parkway, Waterbury, CT 06708

Hello and welcome to Principles of Sociology, Online !

This course provides students with an overview of the field of sociology. Throughout the semester the course will focus on the application of sociology in everyday life. Students will understand the basic concepts of the field of sociology. In particular, they will become familiar with sociological theory, methods, and the primary areas of sociological inquiry: race, class, and gender.


Participation: It is expected that students will participate in the class each week by contributing to the threaded discussion questions, completing assignments in a timely fashion, and asking questions of your classmates and the facilitator. Participation will be monitored. Please be respectful of your classmates in these discussions. Derogatory comments, inflammatory remarks, violent references, etc. will not be tolerated.

Discussion Boards: There are three discussion board forums for the class "Lecture Questions (LQ)" based on the lectures available through the Course Documents link, "Discussion Questions (DQ)" based on the assigned chapter in the text each week, and Research Paper. You should reply to all five LQ's each week and the DQ. On top of that you should reply to the comments of two other students--altogether that is at least eight responses each week that you need to post. For example, you could respond to someone's Lecture Question response and to someone's Discussion Question response, you could respond to the Lecture Question responses of two other students, or you could respond to the Discussion Question responses of two other students. Please note that participation points are only given for the current week. A response of "That's great!" or "Wow!" To the post of another student will not be counted as a response. Responses must be substantive and show evidence of reflection and thought. Responses should add new information, or in some way enhance the learning of others in the course by providing additional resources. Your Discussion Questions (DQ) and Lecture Questions (LQ) are due by midnight server time (eastern zone) on Sunday of each week. Submit your DQ and LQ posts to the appropriate Discussion Board. Length requirement is a minimum of 1,600 characters (no spaces) for each DQ. Points will be deducted for responses that fall below this minimum. There is no length requirement for LQ's. In order to receive full participation points you need to answer all five LQ's and the DQ each week and respond to the posts of at least two other students. Participation points are only given for the current week. For extra credit you may revise any LQ or DQ responses for which you did not receive full credit. Email them to me and I will revise your grades. Determining the number of characters (no spaces) does NOT mean writing your responses with no spaces. It is simply a count of the letters in your response, not including the spaces. Try this: Open a blank MS Word document on your desktop. Type your response. Select Tools from the Tool Bar at the top of the page, then Word Count. Note the number next to Characters (no spaces). Copy and paste your work into the message box of the post on the discussion board. There will also be a discussion board entitled Sam's Speakeasy. Please use this section to post questions you have about how to complete an assignment, something about the course you do not understand, or use it as a place to ask questions in general of each other. If you would like to ask the Instructor a question please put "Question for Sam" in the subject line. Check this section each week to see if you can be of help to anyone else in the class. Responses and questions posted here will NOT count toward weekly participation points.

Research Paper: For your research paper you will argue for or against any of the following topics: abortion, affirmative action, capital punishment, euthanasia, right to privacy, same-sex marriage, school choice, welfare reform Requirements: The body of the research paper--not including the title page and bibliography--must be 4-5 pages, typewritten (Times New Roman font, size 12), and double-spaced. If you have posted the outline and bibliography to the Discussion Board they do not need to be included with your paper. However, if you have added or deleted sources from your bibliography since it was posted please include the revised bibliography with your paper. You are required to use at least four articles that are in the Academic Search Premier database or in any of the other databases available at the following link on the WPU Library website. For help in accessing this database or general searching techniques please call 973-720-2116. If you have a problem or question about your WPUNJ e-mail username/password please call the Help Desk at 973-720-4357. You should also follow the American Psychology Association (APA) guidelines for citations and format. You are not permitted to use books for the research paper unless the complete book is in electronic form, in which case put [e-book] next to the citation in your bibliography.

APA format: Author's last name, Author's initials (Year of publication). Article title. Journal title, Volume number(Issue number), pages of article. Retrieved from Name of the database. Sample citation using APA format: Curley, A. M. (2005). Theories of urban poverty and implications for public housing policy. Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, 32(2), 97- . Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database. Points will be deducted for including books or Internet sources other than databases that are on the WPU Library website.

Points: The research paper will comprise 17 percent (170 points) of your final grade. An additional 50 points will be given over a period of weeks for selecting a topic for the paper, writing a bibliography, an outline, and an introductory paragraph. The outline should contain headings for the major points in the paper and subheadings for the minor ones. Headings may be ordered by indentation, numerals and/or letters. For your research paper you may use footnotes, endnotes or include (author, date) in the text. A bibliography should always be included. Grading: The research paper will be evaluated on content, grammar, and composition.

Submission: Please submit the paper using the Assignments link. All other parts of the research paper (the topic, bibliography, outline, and introductory paragraph) should be submitted to the Research Paper Discussion Board.


Kendall, D. (2009). Sociology In Our Times, The Essentials. (7th. Ed.) Wadsworth/Thompson Learning. Belmont, CA. (the 6th edition may also be used)


1. Lecture Questions (16%) Lecture Questions are worth two points each. There are a maximum of five lecture questions per week. Over the 16 week course you may earn a possible 160 points from lecture questions. Grade breakdown: 2 points * 5 questions per week * 16 weeks = 160 points 2. Discussion Questions (30%) Discussion Questions are worth 20 points each week. You are responsible for Discussion Questions during Weeks 2-16. Grade breakdown: 20 points * 15 weeks = 300 points (there is no discussion question due the first week) 3. Participation (32%) Participation is worth 20 points each week. Students will participate in online discussions posted on the Blackboard Discussion Board, answering at least two posts per week. 10 points will be given for one response per week; 20 points will be given for two or more responses per week. To receive full credit (320 points for the 16 weeks) for Participation, you should make at least two responses per week to the comments of the other students in the class. Participation points will only be given if responses are made to all Lecture Questions and Discussion Questions for a particular week. Grade breakdown: 20 points * 16 weeks = 320 points 4. Research Paper (22%) The Research paper is worth a total of 220 points: Choosing a topic: 10 points; Bibliography: 10 points; Outline: 10 points; First paragraph: 20 points; Final paper: 170 points

How to Access Blackboard:
To log on to Bb point your web browser to and click the Login button in the upper left. Then enter your username and password in the spaces provided and click login again -- you'll find your course Bb sites listed on the right.

Some things to be aware of as you work with Blackboard:

   1. You probably won't find all your courses listed; the only ones that will appear are those that have been activated by the professor teaching the course. Professors who don't use Blackboard will not activate their courses.
   2. Your username is comprised of your lastname and firstinitial, usually appended with a numeral. If you don't know your WPUNJ system username password you can use the Username lookup link at, or go to it directly at:
   3. If you are already logged in to the WPUNJ system through WPConnect you won't have to re-enter your username and password -- just click the first login button.
   4. Blackboard documentation can be found in two places: at Bb Home,, before one logs in, and in the Blackboard Support tab after one has logged on.
   5. You can always obtain Bb help by using the Problem Report form at, or by going to it directly at: .

WPUNJ Student Email:
To access WPUNJ Student Email point your web browser to, enter your username and password, then select the Mail tab.  If you are logging on for the first time you'll be asked to set your time zone and language.

Blackboard courses will use student email; third-party email addresses will not work on Bb

Good luck and have fun in the course! Dr. Samuel R. Brown