Paper Assignment Guidelines

#2 – Choose a deviant act of your own making. Remember that deviant does not necessarily mean bad, just “a violation of a norm”. Some examples of deviant acts from the past: standing too close in a an elevator, dressing up (or down) for a week, being a vegetarian (if you are a meat eater), working out more or less than usual. The key is to do something outside of your norm – that’s all that deviance is.

The act must be pre-approved by me on 2/25, or before. I will not accept papers that have not been granted permission.

You may conduct this deviant act alone, or in groups, or you can talk someone else into doing it while you watch. Regardless, each individual must submit a paper.

The paper should include the following:

General Principles

Your paper should be five pages in length, typed, double-spaced, etc. This is a FULL five pages, this page count does NOT include any field journals, letters, etc. 10-12 point font, Times New Roman, etc. Another way to think about it – this paper should be about 1200 words.

All work should be originally yours and in no way copied or otherwise plagiarized. There is a bit more freedom for creativity in this paper, have fun with it. Remember, it is up to you to seek out my help.

The whole point of this paper is to show me how you can explain and apply one deviance theory to your act. In other words, you are going to use a deviance theory to explain your act. Show me what you know!

Paper Overview

The paper should include the following:


A review of the deviant act (also establish the norm)

Reactions to the act (including your own)

How it relates to deviance – one theory – (3) concepts that tie to that theory.

Conclusion – what did you learn?

Helpful Hints

· This is a fun paper, but don’t be fooled, my grading standards remain.

· DO have fun with the assignment though.

· Make sure you pick concepts that fit your actions.

· Make sure you pick concepts that are the ‘right size”,

· If you pick a simple, small concept, it will be hard to develop that into anything significant

· If you pick a topic that is especially complex, or big, that one concept will take over

· It is all about balance

· I remain your best resource. I have written this paper, I have read hundreds, I will grade it – come see me!

· Read, read and RE READ your paper. And then read it out loud.

One way to organize this paper:

I. Introduction – preview the intention and purpose of your paper (1-2 paragraphs)

II. Explain your deviant act – make sure to establish the norm (2-5 paragraphs)

III. Deviance Theory

a. Concept one

i. Tie to your deviant act

b. Concept two

i. Tie to your deviant act

c. Concept three

i. Tie to your deviant act

IV. Conclusion (2-3 paragraphs)

What you liked/disliked

How it furthered your knowledge of the topic

Whatever else you want to add

This is only one suggestion. Organization is the key – the semantics are up to the writer.

The following rubric will be used in the evaluation of this assignment.

Possible Points Actual Points Comments
Previous Approval of Deviant Act 5
Intro 2.5
Explanation of Act 8 What did you do? Are there enough details? Establishment of the norm?
Deviance Theory 12 Is it accurately and thoroughly explained – in your own words?
Application of Deviance (Link) 15 Have you explained the concepts within the theory and shown me how they help connect to your act? In other words, are you using the concepts and theory to explain your act?
Mechanics 5 Organization, grammar, sentence structure, etc.
Conclusion 2.5

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