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Recipes for Effective Literacy Instruction

Sociological Writing

Not every writing assignment has to be about a text.  This section provides materials for several engaging sociological writing projects.  I have used them with HS students, but you can adapt them for MS students with more scaffolding. 

Materials for each of the following projects can be found in the Download Zone: 




Students interview someone they respect and write a profile that makes an argument about this person.

The goals of this project are as follows:

1) To learn how to conduct an effective interview

--Design appropriate questions

--Take good notes

--Treat the interview subject with respect and gratitude

2) To learn how to write an interview profile that is both engaging and convincing 

It is June.  You have just earned a high school diploma.  Unfortunately, college is not yet an option for you because you did not plan for it.  Here is your situation: 

  • You cannot live with your parents or any other relatives.
  • You have $1000 in the bank and $20 in your pocket.  No credit cards.  No generous friends.  No assets other than what you currently possess.  If you own a car right now, then you have it for the purpose of this task.  But you must pay all costs associated with it, or else sell it.
  • You do not have a job.  The place where you were working (meaning your real-life current job, if you have one) just went out of business.

Given your situation, how will you support yourself? 

In small groups, students conduct an observation of an area on/near school grounds.  They take notes, draw maps, and compare their notes and maps.  This project clarifies the difference between observations and assumptions. 

Students select someone to observe on the job and write a description of what they observe and learn about the job.

IN THE DOWNLOAD ZONE for Sociological Writing:


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