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Columbia College
Evening Campus
1001 Rogers Street
Columbia, MO 65216
(800) 231-2391


17 / SPRG1 - Early Spring 8-Week Session

Course Syllabus

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Course Syllabus
17 / SPRG1 - Early Spring 8-Week Session
Evening Campus
1001 Rogers Street
Columbia, MO 65216
(800) 231-2391

Course Prefix and Number: SOCI 175
Course Title: *Introduction to Theory Based Research and Writing
Semester Credit Hours: 3
Class Day and Time: Tue 
5:30 PM-8:30 PM
Additional Notes:

As this is a hybrid course, a portion of the course work is done in a traditional classroom setting while a portion is conducted online through D2L.

See the?Instructional Methods?section below for more specific details related to course layout.


Catalog Description

Introduction to theory-based research and writing in social and behavioral sciences. Prerequisites: PSYC 101 or SOCI 111; grad of C or higher in ENGL 111, or satisfactory Columbia College placement exam by ACT English Score or by SAT Verbal Score: students whose ACT English Score is from 30 to 36 or whose SAT Verbal Score is from 670 to 800 will be placed in ENGL 112. Offered Fall and Spring.  


Prerequisites: PSYC 101 or SOCI 111; grad of C or higher in ENGL 111, or satisfactory Columbia College placement exam by ACT English Score or by SAT Verbal Score: students whose ACT English Score is from 30 to 36 or whose SAT Verbal Score is from 670 to 800 will be placed in ENGL 112. Offered Fall and Spring.  


Publication Manual of the American Psychology Association 6th edition
Author: American Psychological Association (APA)
ISBN: 9781433805622

Course Learning Outcomes

  • To distinguish critical thinking from non-critical thinking.
  • To identify bias in scientific writing.
  • To develop research skills using library resources in digital and print media.
  • To engage in peer-review of academic writing.
  • To complete an archival research and¬†writing project and present it to a forum of academic peers.

Special Course Requirements

Participation in this course requires the basic technology for all hybrid classes at Columbia College:

  • Computer with reliable Internet access
  • Web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

Find more details about standard?technical requirements?for our courses on our site.

~~All work for this class must be original; no work is accepted if it was originally composed for another class. ~~

Instructional Methods

Professional communication is required, verbally in class and written in the online portion and in email communication.

Out of Class Activities

Use of the Writing Center on Main Campus and/or SmartThinking available in CougarTrack is required.

Graded Activities

Online Discussions20 each Points16% of grade
Description -

Questions are designed to help you understand key concepts in the readings. A formal essay of 250 words or more answering the questions posed is required. Answers should be based on the assigned readings and class discussion. Correct APA format is required.
Additionally, read posts of fellow classmates and respond to at least one classmate by adding substance and analytical insight. Simply agreeing and/or posting "Good point" are not substantive posts.
Your original discussion posts is due before 11:59pm Wednesday each week and your response to one classmate’s posts is due before 11:59pm Sunday each week with the exception of Week 8 where your response will be due before 11:59pm Saturday. Discussion posts and responses to classmate’s posts made past the due date will receive no points.
Posts and responses to classmate’s posts are graded by how well you understand, integrate, and apply the concepts under discussion. Do not copy examples from sources; instead develop your own. Only posts and responses that address the questions clearly, correctly, completely, include APA format, are void of excessive spelling and grammatical mistakes, and are on time, will earn full credit.

In-class Activities25 each Points20% of grade
Description -

We'll work together in small groups to discuss important concepts of the weeks reading material and research project. Attendance is required to earn the points for each in-class activity. Specific details regarding the in-class activities will be discussed in class.

Article Reviews (3)100 each Points30% of grade
Description -

The very foundation of psychology and sociology is rooted in social science research. Using the resources provided by Stafford Library, you'll write three different article reviews formatted using APA standards. Find an article and write a summary of the article. View the Sample three page paper in the Content area of D2L as an example of how to format your paper. Note that the sample paper has a title page formatted in APA style, one page of text that contains in-text citations, and a reference page with one reference. This sample paper is the standard for article reviews you will write in this class.

APA Research Paper & Presentation340 Points34% of grade
Description -

The assigned article reviews will help you develop the foundation of your APA Research Paper. We'll work on this paper throughout the session. The final research paper is due during Week 8 and should include a title page, an abstract page, three pages of essay text, and a reference page. Your final document should be six pages maximum. A minimum of six sources are required.

Method of Evaluation -

Research Paper Topic 10 points
Abstract 30 points
Annotated Bibliography 40 points
Methods 40 points
Discussion 40 points
Peer Review 50 points
Final Paper 90 points
Presentation 40 points


Grading Scale

90-100 A
80-89 B
70-79 C
60-69 D
0-59 F

Additional Information / Instructions

Portions of this syllabus based on PSYC/SOCI 175 Online, used with permission from Dr. Graham Higgs.

Schedule of Activities and Assignments

Week 1
Critical Thinking

Readings: Review Syllabus & Ch. 1
Discussion 1: This course is an introduction to archival research and writing of literature reviews in the American Psychological Association style. Identify and describe one reason why the disciplines of psychology and sociology use a standard publication style. Do not duplicate examples in this discussion board. Use the information you gained from reading the course material to bolster your analysis. Your initial post is due before 11:59pm Wednesday, then respond with substance to at least one classmates post before 11:59pm Sunday. 
In-class Activity 1: Plagiarism Defined
APA Research Paper: Choose a topic

Week 2
Academic Writing

Reading: Ch. 1
Discussion 2: Professional writing is different than other types of writing. Identify and describe one major difference. Do not duplicate differences in this discussion board. Include one reason for this difference. Lastly, provide an example of how a writer might establish the credibility of their statements in professional writing. Use the information provided in the course material to support your analysis. Your initial post is due before 11:59pm Wednesday, then respond with substance to at least one classmates post before 11:59pm Sunday. 
In-class Activity 2: Research Methods
Article Review 1: Select an article from the resources provided by Stafford Library and provide a summary, due before 11:59pm Sunday.
Research Topic due: Provide a one-page document that includes your research question, a paragraph detailing your plan for research, and another paragraph explaining what you believe the conclusion of your research will be. Due before 11:59pm Sunday.

Week 3
Structure and Content

Reading: Ch. 2
Discussion 3: The structure of a manuscript defines its function.?Identify and describe one reason why scholars in sociology and psychology use uniform reporting standards in the publication of their research. Do not duplicate reasons in this discussion board. Use the information you gained from reading the course material to support your analysis. Your initial post is due before 11:59pm Wednesday, then respond with substance to at least one?classmates post before 11:59pm Sunday.?
In-class Activity 3: The best writers are avid readers...
Article Review 2: Select an article and provide a summary, due before 11:59pm Sunday.

Week 4
Writing Clearly & Concisely

Reading: Ch. 3
Discussion 4: Identify and describe on reason we identify certain articles as peer-reviewed. Do not duplicate reasons in this discussion board. Use the information you gained from reading the course material to bolster your analysis. Your initial post is due before 11:59pm Wednesday, then respond with substance to at least one?classmates post before 11:59pm Sunday.?
In-class Activity 4: Research Questions
Article Review 3: Select an article and provide a summary, due before 11:59pm Sunday.

Week 5
Write, Write, Write

Discussion 5: Choose one of the general principles of writing outlined in the APA manual and discuss how they will help you improve your writing. Explain why you believe this particular principle would be useful to you. Your initial post is due before 11:59pm Wednesday, then respond with substance to at least one classmates post before 11:59pm Sunday. 
In-class Activity 5: Prepping for peer review.
Annotated Bibliography: Provide the complete reference of each article in your final paper followed by a description of the authors’ research question. Include a statement that summarizes the research and findings and include the keywords in the abstract of the article. Make a statement about why this article was useful or not useful to your research. Your annotated bibliography must include the three articles you use in your final paper. You may also include other research articles you considered, but it is not necessary to do so for the purposes of this course. My hope is that you will begin to collect archival research sources for use in future courses. Due before 11:59pm Sunday. 

Week 6

Discussion 6: All types of research reports?written in APA style contain abstracts. Look at one of the articles?you plan to use in your research paper and identify the types of information provided in the abstract.?In your discussion, identify the elements contained in the?abstract. Describe the essential characteristics of a good abstract. From the researchers’ perspective, explain why you think these pieces of information are necessary to include in the abstract. Your initial post is due before 11:59pm Wednesday, then respond with substance to at least one?classmates post before 11:59pm Sunday.?
In-class Activity 6: Peer Review
Methods section due before 11:59pm CT Sunday.

Week 7

Readings: Ch. 6 & 7
Discussion 7: Citing references in-text is a skill that takes practice. The fastest way to learn this skill is to use the Publication Manual as a resource. Identify and describe one reason?why it is necessary to credit sources of information when doing archival research. Do not duplicate reasons in this discussion board.?Your initial post is due before 11:59pm Wednesday, then respond with substance to at least one?classmates post before 11:59pm Sunday.?
In-class Activity 7: Pulling it all together.
Abstract and Discussion due before 11:59pm CT Saturday.

Week 8
Wrap-up & Presentations

Discussion 8: Identify and describe one aspect associated with academic writing that has been altered or modified by the information provided throughout this class. Secondly, describe how adopting APA standards will impact you moving forward. Use the information presented in the reading to support your analysis. Your initial post is due before 11:59pm Wednesday, then respond with substance to at least one?classmates post before 11:59pm Saturday.?
In-class Activity 8: Paper Presentations
APA Research Paper: Final paper due before 11:59pm Saturday.


Library Resources

Columbia College Resources - Online databases are available at the Columbia College Stafford Library.  You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Course Policies and Procedures


Columbia College Policy - Columbia College students are expected to attend all classes and laboratory periods for which they are enrolled.  Students are directly responsible to instructors for class attendance and work missed during an absence for any cause.  If absences jeopardize progress in a course, an instructor may withdraw a student from the course with a grade of "F" or "W" at the discretion of the instructor.  For additional information, see the Columbia College policy on Student Attendance.

Academic Integrity

Columbia College Policy - Columbia College students must fulfill their academic obligations through honest, independent effort.  Dishonesty is considered a serious offense subject to strong disciplinary actions.  Activities which constitute academic dishonesty include plagiarism, unauthorized joint effort on exams or assignments, falsification of forms or records, providing false or misleading information, or aiding another in an act of academic dishonesty.  For more information, see the Columbia College Academic Integrity Policy and Procedures.

Class Conduct and Personal Conduct

Columbia College Policy - Students must conduct themselves so others will not be distracted from the pursuit of learning.  Students may be disciplined for any conduct which constitutes a hazard to the health, safety, or well-being of members of the College community or which is deemed detrimental to the College's interests. Discourteous or unseemly conduct may result in a student being asked to leave the classroom.  For more information, see the Columbia College Student Code of Conduct and Student Behavioral Misconduct Policy and Procedures.

Cancelled Class Make-Up

Columbia College Policy - Classes cancelled because of inclement weather or other reasons must be rescheduled.  For more information, see the Columbia College Inclement Weather Policy.

Make-Up Examinations

Columbia College Policy - Make-up examinations may be authorized for students who miss regularly scheduled examinations due to circumstances beyond their control.  Make-up examinations must be administered as soon as possible after the regularly scheduled examination period and must be administered in a controlled environment.

Campus Policy - Make up examinations are scheduled on designated Saturday mornings 9am in 103 Buchanan. Students must present a picture I.D. in order to be admitted to the testing session. Students must arrange with the instructor to take the exam before or after it is given in class and permission to take a makeup examination (or any graded activity) is granted at the discretion of the instructor.

Adding, Dropping, or Withdrawing from a Course

Columbia College Policy - Students may add a course through Wednesday of the first week of the session and drop a course without academic or financial liability through close of business on Monday of the second week of the session.  Once enrolled, a student is considered a member of that class until he or she officially drops or withdraws in accordance with College policy.  An official drop/withdrawal takes place only when a student has submitted a Drop/Add/Withdrawal form.  A failure to attend class, or advising a fellow student, staff or adjunct faculty member of an intent to withdraw from a class does not constitute official drop/withdrawal.  The drop/add/withdrawal periods begin the same day/date the session starts, not the first day a particular class begins. If a student stops attending a class but does not submit the required Drop/Withdrawal form a grade of "F" will be awarded.  For more information, see the Columbia College Registration Policy and Procedures.

Withdrawal Excused

Columbia College Policy - A student may request an excused withdrawal (WE) under extraordinary circumstances by submitting a Drop/Withdrawal form accompanied by a complete explanation of the circumstances and supporting documentation to the location director.  The WE request must include all classes in which the student is currently enrolled.  The Vice President for Adult Higher Education is the approving authority for all WE requests.  A student who receives approval of their WE request may still be required to return some or all of the federal financial assistance received for the session.  For more information, see the Columbia College Withdrawal Policy.


Columbia College Policy - A student may request that the instructor award a grade of "I" due to extraordinary circumstances (unforeseen or unexpected circumstances beyond the student's control) that prevent a student from completing the requirements of a course by the end of a session.  An "I" will not be given because a student is failing, negligent or not meeting requirements.  If the instructor believes an "I" is appropriate, the instructor will specify the work needed to complete the course and the time allowed to complete the work.  Work missed must be made up within two subsequent sessions unless the instructor specifies an earlier date.  Extensions beyond two sessions must be approved by the Vice President for Adult Higher Education.  If the work is completed during the specified time period, the instructor will change the "I" to the grade earned.  If the work is not completed during the specified time, the instructor may allow the incomplete to remain on the student's permanent record or change it to any other letter grade.  For more information, see the Columbia College Undergraduate Grading Policy.

Grade Appeal

Columbia College Policy - A student may appeal any grade given if it is believed to be in error or in conflict with Columbia College policy and procedures.  The student must state in writing to the location director why the grade awarded is believed to be in error and request a desired remedy.  The faculty member who awarded the grade will be given the opportunity to comment on all student allegations.  If the issue cannot be resolved at the location the appeal will be transmitted through the location director to the Vice President for Adult Higher Education.  A grade appeal must be received for review by the Vice President for Adult Higher Education prior to the end of 60 days from the date the grade was awarded.  For more information, see the Columbia College Undergraduate Grading Policy.


Columbia College Policy - Course prerequisites are established to ensure that a student has adequate academic preparation to succeed in a particular course.  Staff members will attempt to ensure that students meet prerequisite requirements.  However, it is the student's responsibility to closely examine the course descriptions to determine if prerequisites exist and to enroll in courses in the proper sequence.  In some exceptional cases it may be apparent that the student possesses the required skills and knowledge to succeed in a particular course, even though they have not taken the prerequisite course.  In this case the prerequisite course may be waived by the location director.  Waiver of a course as a prerequisite does not remove the requirement to complete the course if it is a requirement for the student's degree program.


Columbia College Policy - The College provides all students access to CougarMail (the official means of e-mail communication for the College), online resources from the Stafford Library, and their Columbia College records (transcripts, grades, student schedules, etc.) through CougarTrack.


Columbia College Policy - The official student email address (also known as CougarMail) will be used for all official correspondence from faculty and staff.  Students are responsible for the information received and are required to monitor their CougarMail account on a regular basis.  Students may forward their CougarMail to another email account but will be held responsible for the information sent over CougarMail, even if there is a problem with the alternate mail service.

Cell Phones

Columbia College Policy - Cell phones can be a distraction to the learning process.  Location directors or course instructors may require that cell phones be turned off or set to vibrate during class periods.  Students requiring special arrangements to receive a cell phone call during class should make prior arrangements with their location director or course instructor.

Bookstore Information

Columbia College Policy - As part of Truition, students will receive their course materials automatically as described below. 

eText Information

If a course uses an eText, (see Textbook information above) the book will be available directly in Desire2Learn (D2L) and through the VitalSource eText reader the Friday before the session begins, if registered for courses prior to that date.  Students will have a VitalSource account created for them using their CougarMail email address.  Upon first login to VitalSource, students may need to verify their account and update their VitalSource password.  More information about how to use the VitalSource platform, including offline access to eTexts, can be found in D2L.  Students that would like to order an optional loose-leaf print-on-demand copy of eligible eTexts can do so through the VitalSource Bookshelf at an additional cost.  Once orders are placed, it can take approximately five to seven business days for students to receive their print-on-demand books.

Physical Course Materials Information

Students enrolled in courses that require physical materials will receive these materials automatically at the address on file with Columbia College.  Delivery date of physical materials is dependent on registration date and shipping location.  Please refer to confirmation emails sent from Ed Map for more details on shipping status.

Returns:  Students who drop a course with physical course materials will be responsible for returning those items to Ed Map within 30 days of receipt of the order.  More specific information on how to do so will be included in the package received from Ed Map.  See here for Ed Map's return policy.  Failure to return physical items from a dropped course will result in a charge to the student account for all unreturned items.

Students who opt-out of having their books provided as part of TruitionSM are responsible for purchasing their own course materials.  Visit for details.


Columbia College Policy - The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records.  For more information, see the Columbia College Family Education Rights and Privacy Policy.

Student Accessibility Resources

Columbia College Policy - Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources.  Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted.  If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible.  The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible.  Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626.  For more information, see the Columbia College ADA and Section 504 Policy for Students.

Alcohol and Other Drugs: Columbia College Policies & Resources

Columbia College Policy - Columbia College recognizes the negative health effects associated with the use, possession, and distribution of controlled and/or illicit substances, and their detrimental impact on the quality of the educational environment.  Therefore, all members of the College community share in the responsibility of protecting the campus environment by exemplifying high standards of professional and personal conduct.  For more information and resources, see the Columbia College Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy.

Tobacco-Free Policy

Columbia College Policy - The following policy goes into effect on August 21, 2017.  Columbia College values and is concerned for the health and well-being of its students, employees and visitors. The College is committed to providing a healthful and productive educational and employment environment for members of the College community. Consistent with this commitment and in the interest of the general health and welfare of the College community, the College prohibits the use of all tobacco products and related devices on all College property and premises.  For more information, see the Columbia College Tobacco-Free Policy.


Columbia College Policy - Discrimination, harassment, and retaliation on the basis of protected status (see Notice of Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity for a definition of "protected status") are strictly prohibited. Persons who engage in such conduct are subject to discipline up to and including termination or dismissal.  For more information, see the Columbia College Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity Policy and Complaint Resolution Procedure.

Columbia College Policy Library

Columbia College Policy - The policies set forth in the Online Policy Library are the current official versions of College policies and supersede and replace any other existing or conflicting policies covering the same subject matter.  The Online Policy Library is currently under construction with new policies being added on a frequent basis and the policies currently listed are not comprehensive of every College policy.  Questions regarding the Online Policy Library should be directed to the Office of the General Counsel.  For more information on policies applicable to students, see Student Policies.  For more information on policies applicable to the entire Columbia College community, see College-Wide Policies.

Technical Support

Columbia College Policy - If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Technology Solutions Center, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance.  If you have technical problems with the VitalSource eText reader, please contact VitalSource.  Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

        - Columbia College Technology Solutions Center:, 1-800-231-2391 ext. 4357

        - D2L Helpdesk:, 1-877-325-7778

        - VitalSource:, 1-855-200-4146


Course Evaluations - All students are encouraged to complete the online course evaluations. Students are notified by way of CougarMail when the evaluations are available. The evaluations are used to help instructors improve their teaching techniques. They are reviewed carefully by the Evening Campus Director, Assistant Director, and several AHE Administrators. Student should know that all responses are completely confidential, instructors only view results after grades are posted. Your input is valued and appreciated.

Late graded assignment/activity policy - All graded assignments or activities are due when stated in the syllabus or by the instructor. Graded assignments or activities submitted after the stated due date/time will not receive any credit unless the instructor has specifically stated that full or partial credit may be awarded to late submissions.


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