how and why Latino poverty is similar to or different from the urban poverty

Sociology 153 / USP 105 – Grading Rubric for Midterm
Professor Abigail Andrews
Student Name _____________________________________________Overall Grade _______
Sub-par Fine Excellent
Main Argument
Clearly articulated thesis statement, that makes a specific argument answering “how” or “why”
None, incomprehensible Thesis present Sophisticated Compares causal reasons for marginality among groups Vague, or little
comparison of causes

Compares causes among groups
Thoughtful on causal differences
Defines key concepts from the reading and communicates understanding None Partially – sometimes mixes up concepts Sophisticated
Shows understanding of texts (Including at least 3 weeks of reading)
Vague or misinterpreted discussion
Discusses 3 weeks of texts with some understanding
Clear interpretation of at least 3 weeks
Use of evidence to support argument None, little, or inappropriate
Some, straightforward (a quote, a reference)
Creative, thorough use of evidence
Attention to folk logic, opposing views, or possible counter-claims (with rebuttal to possible critiques)
None or superficial
Takes on at least one counter-claim seriously
Takes on two (or more) critiques seriously
Whole Reflection Memo
Organization, logical argument Scattered, disorganized thoughts
Some organization, but flow could be improved
Excellent – logically compelling
Mechanics Lots of typos, grammar errors
A few typos, some awkward language
Almost no mistakes; excellent writing

Professor Abigail Andrews
A- through A+ For an A, a paper must have all of the characteristics of a B
paper listed below. In addition, it will:
• have an innovative thesis.
• have a logically compelling argument.
• consider and refute alternative arguments.
• show evidence of originality or creativity.
• have a clear and error-free prose style.
• use particularly strong evidence.
B- through B+ For a B, a paper must have all of the characteristics of a C
paper listed below. In addition, it will:
• have a clear thesis statement.
• have a logical structure that advances the argument.
• use appropriate evidence to support its argument.
• be free from digressions and extraneous material.
• be mostly free from errors of usage and grammar.
• be free from major substantive errors; where a C paper
gets some things right, a B paper gets few things wrong.
C- through C+ For a C, a paper must have all of the characteristics of a D
paper listed below. In addition, it will:
• have an identifiable thesis statement.
• use evidence to support its argument.
• communicate an understanding of some core concepts
from the reading.
D- through D+ A D paper will:
• comply with UCSD’s policy on the integrity of
• comply with the instructions for the assignment (e.g.
with respect to length, timeliness of submission, and the
number and character of sources)

SOCI 153 / USP 105: Urban Sociology [Fall 2015]
Professor Abigail Andrews
In the first half of this course, we have read several works about the characteristics of urban black
marginality, the causes of this marginalization, and the possibilities for change. In his article
“The New Latino Underclass” (2013), Douglas Massey argues that a new migrant “underclass” is
emerging in the United States today: Latinos. How valid is Massey’s comparison, and why?
Should we fear that Latinos will face the same fate blacks have faced over the 20th century?
Your midterm assignment: Drawing on the readings from this course, write an
op-ed in which you make an argument to readers of a major newspaper about how
and why Latino poverty is similar to or different from the urban poverty that
plagued African Americans throughout the 20th century and keeps them marginal
You may also want to consider addressing common public understandings of black and Latino
poverty, or conclusions from course readings with which you disagree. Finally, consider
commenting what the implications of your analysis for each group’s prospects in the future.
As is standard in an op-ed, your paper must make and defend a reasoned argument. This means
starting out with your central claims, making a well-organized case in answer to the question you
choose. It also means using specific, concrete quotations and evidence to support your argument.
You do not need to do any outside research. Rather, your essay should draw exclusively on the
readings, using readings from at least three different weeks between weeks 1-5. That includes
Week 1: Engel, Burgess
Week 2: Wilson
Week 3: Massey & Denton, Wacquant, Coates
Week 4: Goffman (you may also draw on the work of Michele Alexander)
Week 5: Massey, Menjivar & Abrego, and Golash-Boza & Hondagneu-Sotelo
The best papers will critically assess and compare the readings selected. You may use class notes
and the TED discussion memos to help guide your thoughts but please do not cite them.
Specifications: Your paper should be five (5) pages or less, double-spaced, 12 point font, 1 inch
margins. Your paper MUST be in .doc or .docx (Microsoft Word) format, otherwise we may be unable to
read it online. You do not need to include a works cited section, but you should mention the full
name and year of works in the text, as in an op-ed.
Submitting the paper: You DO NOT need to submit a hard copy. Instead, please post your essay
on TED, using the content tab for this class. You will submit the assignment through the function on TED, which checks for plagiarism both from the Internet and among
members of the class.
Deadline: Monday, November 2 no later than 11:00AM.

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This assessment task is a 2000 word essay, included in the word count is a 150 word abstract. Referencing should be Harvard with in-text citations and a comprehensive reference list. The font should be Times New Roman, 12 point with double line spacing.

The essay will be an analytical response to a work in a dress rehearsal of Sydney Dance Company’s production Louder than Words which you will be required to attend in the first week of October. The essay will investigate the use of contact in the choreography with reference to class themes, dance theorists, and the work of other choreographers. You will be required to investigate a research question and create a dialogue between your own analytical responses to the chosen dance piece and the work of other theorists and practitioners in the field, and to form some coherent conclusions.

Once submitted via Turnitin the written assignments will be assessed by the course convener, who will provide online feedback and grading which the student can access through the My Submissions link in ilearn.

Assessment criteria:

  1. a) Evidence of well-devised and clearly articulated structure and organisation.
  2. b) Evidence of correct academic protocols, formatting, and referencing.
  3. c) Evidence of critical, analytical, and integrative thinking: extent to which reasoning, questioning and analysis are applied to the topic.
  4. d) Evidence of appropriate and well researched response to the theme.

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