Skip to main content

Assessment (HC)

Religion Rubric

Sociology Department Four-Year Library-Skills Rubric-Draft

  Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4
Research Questions Students begin to identify sociological questions, and to formulate their own interests in terms of sociological theory and practice. They work on at least one paper that draws on secondary sources, and consult with a librarian to identify appropriate search terms and sources. Students use class discussion, readings, personal knowledge, and targeted searching to create compelling sociological research questions that engage with significant issues.  While incorporating analysis and methodologies learned in Sociology courses, students also consider what other disciplines and approaches may bring to the questions they are seeking to answer. Students think through complex sets of primary materials and secondary sources to pose a research question for their theses.  As they gather more evidence and analysis, they rethink their question and the connections they have drawn, making changes that strengthen their argument.
Scholarly Publishing and Information Dissemination Students understand the difference between scholarly publications and those intended for a general audience.  They recognize the importance of finding and using relevant and up-to-date scholarly work. Students use both general and subject-specific databases to find recent research.  They choose journal articles based on topic and approach.  They understand what the concepts and methodologies of Sociology add to scholarly inquiries.   Students recognize that the field of Sociology involves individuals, groups, and institutions exchanging ideas in person, online and in print.  They understand that research involves tracing these lines of dialog and determining what new ideas to explore.  They also have some understanding of the sources of data available for sociological research, and how it is organized and found. Students are skilled in searching and identifying relevant scholarship, including books, journal articles, data sets, papers, and reports, using databases, bibliographic notes, and citation searches.  They evaluate material critically, distinguishing those works that are likely to have greater credibility and relevance.
Primary Sources Students understand the difference between primary and secondary materials and realize the value of using different kinds of pertinent primary materials to support their arguments. Students read articles and books critically, and understand that different kinds of research questions engage with different methodologies and forms of evidence. They can navigate databases, library catalogs, and websites that give access to primary materials.   They use recent scholarship to better understand the issues involved in particular source materials. Students are adept at using both analog and digital sources which give greater range and depth to the research done in primary materials.  They bring an informed understanding of source materials both to their reading of scholarly studies and to their own research and analysis. Students identify and find relevant primary source materials (data, documents ranging from the local level to international organizations, news, opinion polls, etc.) for their seminar papers and theses.  They contextualize their understanding of a source by bringing in sociological methodologies and scholarship, theoretical and critical ideas, and other primary source materials.
Understanding and Using Theory Students realize the difference between authoritative reference works and those designed for a general audience without subject expertise.  Students develop a familiarity with a range of sociological analyses, disciplinary approaches, and subfield topics.  They recognize major concepts and key theorists in the field and can locate more information in reference works and secondary literature.   Students systematize their knowledge of sociology by strategic use of such disciplinary sources as literature reviews, book reviews, and studies of sociological and social science theory. Students bring a sociological approach to seminar papers and theses, presenting their argument within a larger context of the related scholarship.  They give a cogent account of the issues involved and explain why their new interpretation is significant.
Responsible Use of Sources Students understand that they must cite others’ work whether quoting directly or acknowledging an author’s ideas within their own statements.  Awareness about plagiarism and copyright is connected to an understanding of how citations function in scholarship. 

 Students take on more involved research projects and learn to use citation-management programs, so that they can save, organize, and put to use the research they have gathered.

Students do research that connect them to scholars and cast them in a practitioner’s role.  The attention which the campus gives to issues involving ethical practices in research and writing helps convey to students the importance involved.    Students have developed a critical awareness of the ways in which sociological scholarship is created, distributed, and used.  This knowledge informs the production of their own work in terms of handling sources, considering confidentiality, understanding fair use, and providing access to their finished projects.
Library Services Students know that they can get the assistance they need either by first contacting either their personal librarian or by going to the Research Help Desk.  They have experience using the Library’s catalog and website and can request materials both from the TriColleges and from outside the local system. Students know how to search Tripod in basic ways, and how to request materials from Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore via Tripod.  They have met the Sociology Librarian and have explored the sociology research guide.   They recognize the "FindIt" button as a gateway to materials.  They are also aware of the wider range of scholarship available through interlibrary loan.  Students are confident in their ability to search Tripod  and Sociological Abstracts robustly.  They refer to the sociology research guide as well as the different course pages developed by the Sociology Librarian, whom students consult regularly.    Students are frequent user of the different services provided by interlibrary loan.  Students work closely with the Sociology librarian as they develop their senior thesis. Students refine their research plan and consult the librarian through the research process. This includes defining subject areas, search strategies, connections between fields, and resource assessment. The successful completion of the senior thesis marks a thorough understanding of the materials chosen, and an independent addition to the scholarly debates surrounding those materials.