Experience essay

Experience essay

Course: Sociology Sex Matters 

I welcome you to be creative in developing your essay ideas. 

Minimum length = 5 pages (i.e. at least 4.5 pages, with the 5th page being at least to the halfway point of the page); Maximum length = 6 full pages; required length does not include References Page 


1. Brainstorm ideas for an experience that you would like to have for our course.  
  a. “Experiences” For this Assignment Can Include:
i. Interviews with social service providers or professionals who work with communities of interest in this course 

ii. Interview a community member or family member who has first-hand experience or knowledge of the socio-cultural issue related to human sexuality that you want to more deeply understand

 iii. Ethnography at community events 
iv. Volunteer work at a social services or non-profit organization

 2. Select and concretize your idea

 a. If you are doing volunteer work, locate an organization and find out the requirements to volunteer.

 b. If you are doing an interview, locate a potential interviewee and develop an interview protocol. 

4. Engage in the “Experience”

 a. If you are going to a particular location for the experience, be sure to take copious notes regarding what you observe, the community context, and who else was at the event location. 

b. If you are doing interviews, be sure to give interviewees the option of using a pseudonym and having any potentially identifying information obscured so that their anonymity is preserved.

 5. Locate a minimum of 5 peer-reviewed, academic resources that you will be using to inform your sociological analysis of this experience.

 a. Resources should be from books published by university and other academic presses or peer-reviewed articles from scholarly journals.

 b. Resources from non-profit organizations (i.e. “.org”) often make excellent supplementary resources, but are not technically peer-reviewed, despite sometimes being labeled as such by Google Scholar. 

i. One exception to this is the Pew Research Center (www.pewresearch.org), which is internally peer-reviewed and holds a very high standard of scholarly quality. However, no more than TWO PEW links may “count” as a peer-reviewed scholarly resource for this assignment, as I want all students to have to seek out and utilize academic journal articles/books.

 ii. Resources from government agencies (i.e. “.gov”), such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics or the Congressional Budget Office, may count as ONE of the five scholarly peer-reviewed resources for this assignment.

 c. Students are to incorporate in-text citations and a References page, both in APA style, for these 5 peer-reviewed, scholarly sources.

 d. If you are at all confused by APA formatting/citation, I recommend the following website:

 i. https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/ (Just google “Purdue OWL”)

 6. Write your paper 

a. If your “experience” involved volunteering or ethnography, provide a rich description of the physical location, what you did, what others around you were doing, and any lectures/speeches/orientation given at the event. 

 b. If you are working with an organization, offer a brief history of that group, including how and when they were founded, how they are funded, and who they serve. What are their organizational goals and values? 

c. If you are interviewing a friend, family member, or community member, be sure to provide some basic demographic data on the person—age, occupation, hometown, and relationship to you. Offer “informants” the option of choosing a pseudonym.

 d. Be sure to follow the “nuts and bolts” listed below for formatting and references

 References Page and in-text citations in APA format required; minimum of 5 scholarly Resources used 5. The assignment does not require a title page or abstract