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Last Week Note to my IP Warriors!


Deep breath!  Eye on the prize! This is your final stretch!

I can see that many of you are continuing to work on your drafts based on my feedback, and several have made visits to the Writing Center. Eight of you provided some wonderful feedback on Opposition segments in the Blackboard assignment before Thanksgiving. Bravo to these students!

Several have asked if you should use MLA or APA citation formats in your IP. I suggest APA if you have no preference, simply because your IP likely falls in the social sciences discipline. However, if you feel more comfortable with MLA, please use that format. The important thing is to use ONE format consistently and correctly. If you have questions about how to cite sources (either in text or on the final citation document), a good source to consult is the Purdue OWL Citehttps://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/ or your Diana Hacker handbook.

This is the final culmination of all of your hard work in Univ 200 this semester. I urge you to send the link to your final project out to a friend or family member before you submit it and ask them to read it for writing errors and clarity.   At the very minimum, you immediately lose credibility on a website if you have grammatical and writing errors.  It is not cheating to ask a friend to go to your website and review it for readability and grammatical correctness.  I have friends ask me all the time to review their websites or their written work to assure these are grammatically and structurally sound.

As far as textual errors: don’t forget little things like placing titles of articles or movies in italics, and using correct capitalization in titles.  Paragraphing was also a problem in several beta drafts.  You must break your text into paragraphs — besides being grammatically incorrect to cram numerous ideas into one long paragraph, it’s simply visually unappealing not to have your text broken into paragraphs.  Use space to your advantage!

Think about what kind of supplemental information someone coming to your website would be interested in having.  If you have a long video that you do not want to include in your article/essay/argument, but it helps supplement your argument, you can create a tab or page for an Supplemental Bibliography of supplemental works.  Try out the tools available in your web template so that you can add side bars, headings, etc.

All of you should have created an About page in your website. Think about what you would like readers coming to your site to know about you.  If you have an About page in your Rampages blog, you can copy and paste this bio into your website’s About page.

Check the thoughtvectors.net site as well as the #thoughtvectors Twitter hashtag, to see links to your peers’ work (from across sections) this week. I will be asking you to post a link to your final IP on Twitter as well.

Finally, please take the time to complete the course evaluation (which you can access in Banner if you have not seen the emails sent to you).   This feedback is very important to me. You only have until Friday to complete the evaluation Please take a few minutes to do this as you finish up your project.


Have I said that some of your work has been amazingly impressive?!! I can’t wait to see your final projects!

PS:  Hosna and Tran, please see my reply to your comment on my last post (your IP Google doc link). — I couldn’t open either of your Google docs to provide you feedback on them.

Featured post

Drafting in Google Docs this Weekend

Hello IP Warriors!


Students wanting more feedback on their draft — especially students who are late to drafting — MAKE AN APPOINTMENT in the Writing Center now, since appointments book fast at the end of the semester!

writing center meme

This weekend is a drafting weekend, and to do this, please create a Google Doc. to draft your IP project.  

For those new to Google docs, see “How to Create and Share a Google Document” here: http://heavy.com/tech/2014/03/how-to-make-a-google-doc-in-3-steps/

Note last step:  “Type in the e-mail addresses for those who you want to share the document with.” My email address is bboaz@vcu.edu   Make sure you give me permission to EDIT document and not simply VIEW it.  The default is view, so you’ll need to change this.  See these tips:  http://googledrive.blogspot.com/2010/10/tips-tricks-sharing-google-docs-like-pro.html

If you allow me to Edit, then I will be able to make comments and provide feedback on your draft.  If you do not allow me to edit, I will be unable to comment.

See assignments for your weekend work, and as soon as you’ve created your Google doc and begun drafting, post a link here —

POST A LINK TO YOUR GOOGLE DOC as a REPLY to this post.  (This allows me easy access to all Google docs).


Week 4

I took the CITI course almost two years ago, but I went back and took some tests to refresh my memory. I did re-learn some thins through the course, but by and large I didn’t relate much in terms of my own experiences and understandings. I don’t have much personal experience with ethics and ethical dilemmas (which I would say is a good thing?) so I wasn’t able to fully relate to the work. That being said, I did gain a deeper and better understanding of potential ethical issues in general.

After reading the first article about the VCU study with twins, I can see a few ethical implications. Like the father said, it could be seen as an invasion of privacy for everyone who is involved whether its tangentially or not. This brings up the issue of confidentiality and informed consent. Can someone consent when they don’t even know they’re being studied? Their information should be kept confidential, even though they aren’t directly involved, right?

There was also the issue of IRB regulations. While they do have a set standard of regulations, there is still some room for interpretation between boards. But is requiring the boards to screen more really going to help research, or simply bog down researchers with more administrative tasks? There comes a point when there is too much.

I think that, at times, researchers do come across difficult decisions that cannot be easily solved. Promising compensation for participation could be seen as coercion or undermining informed consent. When researching children, it’s hard to make sure you aren’t overstepping any boundaries with the parents of the kids. These types of situations and more are difficult to traverse, and that is what the IRB is for. In murkier cases, researchers should defer back to the IRB to make sure their decisions are ethically sound. While we would like to avoid too much administrative tasks in order to conduct research, there’s no denying that the safety of the subjects comes first. There should be more regulations in place in order to make research standards clearer and easier to follow.

Week 2

In light of everything we’ve read, I feel like there are quite a few issues that could arise when studying social phenomena. One pertinent issue is confidentiality vs. anonymity. For example, a researcher focusing upon the sociology of higher education may want to interview freshman students against transfer students to better understand how they feel about their cost of attendance and their sunk cost into their experience within the sphere of higher education. In order to do this, students would be asked to disclose their financial status, their parents’ or legal guardians’ financial status, their personal experiences within their institution and more. With this personal information, it would be understandable that a student would refuse or, at the very least, be reluctant to disclose this due to possible stigmatization. It is incredibly important to clearly distinguish between when a respondent is anonymous as opposed to their information being confidential. We have an obligation as researchers to make sure this line is well understood, instead of using these terms interchangeably when we clearly know better than this.

There is also the issue of deception when researching. While I may not fully understand all of the nuances of social research, I can certainly see how this can complicate research. In my personal experience, I was collecting data from multiple people on their usage of Pokémon Go. I went into multiple Facebook groups and spoke with the admins before posting within their groups. I thought to myself if I should or should not be completely honest upfront with the people I was speaking with. I wondered if maybe I should present myself as an independent researcher, or if I should use my university affiliation in order to provide legitimacy. In the end, I decided to be honest in the beginning and it worked in my favor. I received a plethora of responses from around the country, which was excellent. While I may not have had to use deception to achieve my goal, I could see reasons why. In some cases, the ends could justify the means such as the “Tearoom Trade” study. Thanks to Humphreys, there was more research done on the interactions of men who participate in these casual sex acts. There was even another study done called the “technological tearoom trade”.

Although deception shouldn’t be the first thought a researcher has, it is undeniably useful. However, as a community we have to make sure that people are held accountable and are indeed using deceit for the best purposes of the study.

Test post

Hello everyone! My name is Qarahn Anbiya, but everyone calls me Q. I’m currently a non-degree seeking grad student, and hoping to move into the master’s of sociology program for the fall of 2017.

I’m from Fredericksburg, VA, and I just received my BS in sociology from VCU this past December. I absolutely love anything related to Pokémon or Harry Potter related. My favorite kinds of books are fantasy, sci-fi, and dystopian novels. I have a huge passion for the sphere of higher education. Also, on the weekends I play Quidditch and travel with my friends to play teams in other states.

I’ve had some experience with collecting original quantitative data, and I’ve done a good amount of reading on the topic of research itself. As it stands, I have a preference for qualitative over quantitative, but we’ll see how that is by the end of the semester!

I’m honestly very concerned about our research proposal having to be mixed methods. I’ve done quantitative data collection and analysis, and I wasn’t good at it at all. I’m a friendly person, so qualitative comes more naturally for me since I get to deal with people more often. However, I hope to learn how to become better at dealing with quantitative data, and I have every intention of doing my very best to make an excellent proposal for the end of the semester.




Casey Patterson UNIV 200 (1) (1)           Minority Socioeconomics Casey Ryan Patterson UNIV 200                                 Abstract There is a historical reason for the continued racial unrest in America. The failure of our current political leadership to … Continue reading UNIV 200 FINAL PAPER

Evaluative Bibliography

Bibliography 2 This source is “The Nature and Various Forms of Democracy” by Gerhard Leibholz (1901-1982), a legal scholar who migrated from Germany to England during the Nazi dictatorship, in the year 1938. I chose this article as an introduction to the research of early democracy and its effects of pre-modern society. Gerhard Leibholz articulates … Continue reading Evaluative Bibliography

Body of Knowledge Reflection, Post 2

Most of my beliefs about the American govt and political process come from people’s experience; this experience can be mine, my family’s, or another person’s. This is because everyone who is charismatic and personable can talk a good game, but what people go through on a daily basis is what’s really going on. Some areas … Continue reading Body of Knowledge Reflection, Post 2

Body of Knowledge Reflection, Post 2

Most of my beliefs about the American govt and political process come from people’s experience; this experience can be mine, my family’s, or another person’s. This is because everyone who is charismatic and personable can talk a good game, but what people go through on a daily basis is what’s really going on. Some areas … Continue reading Body of Knowledge Reflection, Post 2

Thoughtvectors Metaphor

This course, to me was a lot like going to an art museum. When the course began, we started with assignments that were surface level and allowed us to reflect on our own lives. The assignments were fun, easy to understand and relateable. The amount of thought needed in order to complete the assignments was very minimal. This is much like going to an art museum and starting off in an exhibit of paintings of well known cartoons or paintings of a celebrity. Here the artwork is fun and we can understand it because we have seen the subjects outside of the museum. Not much thought is needed into understanding the deeper meanings of the paintings simply because there is no deeper meaning.

Then we moved along to the readings. Given that many of the readings were not written in this decade, we were required to turn on our reading comprehension skills. For me personally, I found the readings difficult to get through. They were extremely long and the diction in some of them threw me completely off. I had to use context clues sometimes in order to understand enough to pull out nuggets that I could talk about. This to me is much like looking an abstract painting that is hard to understand. The more you look at it, the more you see that there is an amazing deeper meaning within the painting, however you just can not quite grasp what it is. You start looking at little things here and there within the painting that can help you put together what the painting might actually mean. Being asked to pull out a nugget from a reading is equivalent to somebody asking you “hey what do you think this painting means? ” or “how does this painting make you feel?” In the end there really is no right or wrong answer, it is all based on your own personal interpretation.

Finally, we made it to the main featured exhibit, the Final IP. All the assignments that led to the Final IP were smaller exhibits that related to the featured exhibit, but were not exactly the main attraction. The Final IP was like the exhibit that make flyers for that will only be in the museum for a limited amount of time. This is what most people came to see.

Overall, my experience with this class has not been the best. Even though in reality I enjoy art and museums, for the purpose of this metaphor I am a preteen who was dragged along on the family trip to the museum and I am disinterested by nearly everything that I see. With this class, I found it very difficult to be engaged in this class. Even with my Final IP which was on a topic that I eventually would like to have a career. As a student at vcu, I am an extremely abstract thinker. I do not do well in environments that are not hands on, or one on one with my instructor or peers (sometimes; I am not too fond of group projects). In addition, I do not do well when it comes to a lot of direction and rules. This class was filled with them. I find it that I can be a great writer when I am given little direction, however I know that this is something that I will have to get over since many of the writing done in college is structured. This class has been a learning experience for me and I am now ready to leave the museum.