Writing in the Disciplines
Every major at Rhode Island College must include coursework in which students learn to write in and for that field of study. This requirement, Writing in the Disciplines or WID, builds on the written communication skills students have learned in First-Year Writing and other General Education courses, as part of helping them meet the college-wide Written Communication learning outcome (“Students will understand the different purposes of writing and employ the conventions of writing in their major fields. Students will produce writing that is well organized, supported by evidence, demonstrates correct usage of grammar and terminology, and is appropriate to the academic context.”)
WID in Sociology
Sociology majors take a sequence of four courses to meet the WID requirement. At the 300 level, they take Sociology 300, our classical theory course, and Sociology 302, the first of two research methods courses. In Sociology 300, students complete a series of sort writing assignments in which they learn to apply theory in their writing and to use the conventions of sociological writing, including American Sociological Association format. In Sociology 302, students learn to write about prior research and to describe research methods and approaches by completing a literature review and a research proposal.
At the 400 level, students take Sociology 404, the second research methods course, and Sociology 460, the senior seminar. In Sociology 400, students draw on their experience in Sociology 302 to write completed empirical research papers, including writing abstracts, describing their methodology, and clearly explaining the findings of their research. In Sociology 460, students design and implement an original research project. The writing for this project is completed in stages, with drafts and revisions of each stage. Students must complete a literature review using correct citation style, an overview of the methodology, an analysis of the data they collected, and a discussion of conclusions and limitations. Students also learn to critique other students’ projects.
WID in Justice Studies
Justice Studies majors meet the WID requirement through a series of 4 courses. First of all, they complete research methods courses (Sociology 302 and 404 for most students, except double-major in psychology or political science who take slightly different requirements). In the research methods courses, students learn to write literature reviews, research proposals, empirical research papers, and explanations of data and findings.
In Sociology 309, the required theory course for the Justice Studies major, students learn to write about theoretical ideas and connect them to empirical research findings. Finally, in Justice Studies 466, the capstone course in the major, students complete a sustained research project, grant proposal, or other writing assignment that enables them to practice and bring together their writing skills to produce a polished piece of work.