Anth192/Soc191 Senior Seminar1

Mills College Fall 2016

Course Information

Meeting Times: Wednesdays 4:00-6:30
Classroom: NSB 212
Email: ude.sllim|6102-af-291htna#ude.sllim|6102-af-291htna

Instructor Information

Dan Ryan
Office: Vera Long 105
Email: ude.sllim|nayrnad#ude.sllim|nayrnad
Office Hours: TBA by appointment, click for availability

Course Description

The Senior Seminar is the second half of a two course capstone experience for students majoring in anthropology and sociology. The sequence is designed to guide students from the early through the final stages of a senior thesis/project. In this course students will continue the work they began in Proseminar. The Senior Seminar expects students to have already chosen a research topic, reviewed the relevant research literature, selected an appropriate research method, and received HSRB approval if necessary. If these steps have not been completed before the start of the course, the student is responsible for completing them by the start of the 4th class session (14 September).

Due to the time and intellectual commitment needed to complete successfully a senior project, we advise registering for no more than 10 semester hours beyond this course.

In this course the instructor will:

  • coach students through the data collection phase of their research;
  • review selected data analysis techniques;
  • mentor students through the writing and rewriting process;
  • motivate and assist students to complete their senior projects and theses on time.
Course Objectives, Learning Outcomes, and Assessment

This course is intended to teach you (or further your training in) how to:

  1. propose, design, carry out, and report on empirical social research
  2. analyze data and interpret it in relationship to social theory
  3. write (and rewrite) and present effectively
  4. manage your time and effort on a project

Your achievement of these objectives will be assessed on the basis of your demonstration of competence in these skills in the following ways.

  • By completing the proseminar research proposal you demonstrate your ability to propose and design an empirical research project (1).
  • In the data collection and data analysis sections of the thesis/project, you can demonstrate the ability to carry out research (1) and analyze data (2).
  • In the literature review and discussion sections you can demonstrate your ability to connect theory and empirical analysis (2).
  • In assignments throughout the course, you can demonstrate you written communication skills (3).
  • In a mid-term seminar presentation and end of semester project presentation, you will have the opportunity to demonstrate competence gained in presentation skills (3).
  • Your success in managing the overall project and completing milestone assignments in a timely manner will demonstrate your organizational and project management skills (4).
Milestone Assignments

You are required to complete several "milestone assignments" during the semester. In addition to digital versions, you are expected to keep assignments and notes in a three-ring binder for easy reference and examination during seminar meetings and conferences with the instructor. Further details on each assignment will be given later in the semester.

A Note on Document Format

All digital submissions must be in google doc format. If you write in MSWord or other word processor, it is your responsibility to convert to google doc and submit only the google doc.

All digital files must be named using this convention:


Documents not named this way will be ignored (that is, I won't be sending you a note to say "please rename" and I won't rename it myself and I won't read it).

Text documents should be double spaced. Space between paragraphs should be via formatting, not blank lines. Indentation should be margin settings, not blank spaces or tabs. Section headings and subheadings should use heading styles.

All documents should have a running head that includes author and short title.

All documents should have page numbers.

Course Accessibility

To request academic accommodations due to a disability, students should contact Services for Students with Disabilities in the Cowell Building. If you have documentation indicating a disability that requires academic accommodations, please submit it promptly to the SSD office so that I will be able to provide the accommodations that you need in this class.

Grading Policies

Your grade for this course will be based on 1) your ability to manage your research project and complete assignments in a timely manner, 2) your ability to connect your data and theory in a compelling way, and 3) your ability to communicate effectively in writing through assignments and the final project/thesis and orally in seminar presentations and a final presentation.

In addition to clear, correct, and appropriate communication style, your work should clearly demonstrate the depth of your understanding of the course content, concepts and ideas learned in the major, and the subject of your individual project.

You are required to complete all assigned work. Failure to do so will be reflected in your grade. All assignments must be typed and double-spaced, with 12 point font, and one-inch margins. No late assignments or make-up work will be permitted without grade penalty. If there is an extreme emergency, an exception to the late policy may be made.

Due Dates

Assignments will be due either at the start of seminar meetings (Wednesday at 4), the night before (Tuesday 11:59pm), or, for things requiring other people have time to read them, Saturday 9pm. Tuesday or Wednesday due dates that are missed will lose a letter grade if turned in by Friday 11:59pm, or a D if turned in by the following Wednesday. After that, they are graded F. No feedback will be provided for late work. Saturday due dates that are missed lose one letter grade if submitted (shared) before 7:00am Monday. They receive a D if submitted by 4pm Tuesday and an F if submitted after that. Your classmates are not obligated to give feedback on work shared later than 7:00 am Monday. If you do not share material for your seminar before Tuesday 11:59pm we will cancel your seminar slot and you will receive an F for both the assignment and the seminar presentation.

Milestone Assignments from Proseminar
  • Literature Review
  • Research Question
  • Methodological Strategy

For students who were excused from Proseminar, these grades will be shared 50:50 with the corresponding Senior Seminar Milestone.

Milestone Assignments from Senior Seminar2

7% Revised Literature Review (DUE 9.7)
7% Statement of the Problem (and why it is interesting) (DUE 9.21)
7% Stock of Data and Analysis Plan (DUE 10.5)
7% Data Analysis (DUE 10.19)
7% Discussion/Interpretation and Connection to Theory (DUE 11.2)
7% Seminar presentation (Sign up for due date)
7% Full draft (DUE 11.23)

Additional Requirements

5% Attendance
5% Participation
10% "Billable Hours"
10% Final Presentation
21% Final Project (Due 12.7 4pm - tentatively)

Class Attendance and Your Grade

The success of a seminar depends on everyone's active participation and contribution to a forward looking vibe. You are required to attend all scheduled classes and are responsible for signing in each day on the class roster. Each student will be allowed 1 absence from class for any reason during the semester (e.g. illness, travel, etc.). However, after 1 absence, a student’s total grade for the course will be reduced by 2 percentage points per missed class, regardless of the reason for the absence, with an exception for extreme emergencies.
A = 13-14
C = 11-12
F = < 11


The quality of this learning experience for your classmates depends in part on your active participation and engagement with their ideas. This means demonstrating IN CLASS that you have engaged with their work and readings OUTSIDE and PRIOR to our seminar meetings. Participation will be evaluated subjectively by the instructor using this scale
A (excellent) = consistently demonstrates deep constructive engagement with classmates' work
B (good) = consistent on-the-ball participation that suggests engagement that is more than "off the cuff" and improvisational
C (satisfactory) = active constructive participation in discussions
D (unsatisfactory) = present but with little of the above
F (failure) = not present, not constructive, or not involved

Work Plans and "Billable" Hours

Seminar participants are required to submit a work plan and a record of work accomplished each week. The grade on this work is based on timely submission.
A = all submitted on time
B = 12-13 submitted on time
C = 10-11 submitted on time
D = fewer than 10 submitted on time.

Academic Integrity

No level of academic dishonesty will be tolerated in this course. Academic dishonesty includes all types of cheating and plagiarism including both intentional and negligent versions of these. “In an institution of higher learning plagiarism is a serious breach of academic trust. For purposes of the Mills Honor Code, plagiarism is defined as intentionally or knowingly using someone else’s ideas, words, and/or thoughts without giving proper credit to the source. All work for which another source is not cited is assumed to be that of the writer. Material taken from another source must be cited by footnotes or by other means, as determined by the assigning faculty member” (Mills Honor Code, Mills Student Handbook). The penalty for violating these standards may include a failing grade in the class, not completing the major, and not graduating.


Week 1 8.24

DUE: Clean up your Googledrive Portfolio folder. Change its name to be 191 rather than 190 (even if you are in ANTH192). Revise the name if it does not follow the protocol below. All proseminar material should be put in a folder called "Proseminar." Create a folder called "WorkPlans and Billable Hours" and "New" and "Work in Progress." All of your ongoing work can be placed in the latter. I generally will not look there. If you are new to the seminar, create a folder on Google Drive called


and share it with me. Then create inside of it, the above mentioned folders.

Week 2 8.31

Pre-seminar: SNA, AME, GS

Week 3 9.7

Pre-seminar: CAH-C ELH AMY

Week 4 9.14

Proseminar Materials Due

Week 5 9.21

PPU DRAFT DUE Problem-Issue-Research Question

Week 6 9.28


Week 7 10.5

PPU DRAFT DUE Raw Data and Revised Analysis Plan
Seminar: 1
Seminar: 1
Seminar: 2
Seminar: 3

Week 8 10.12

AgendaSeminar: 4
Seminar: 5
Seminar: 6
Seminar: 7

Week 9 10.19

PPU DRAFT DUE Data Analysis
Seminar: 8
Seminar: 9
Seminar: 10

Week 10 10.26

Seminar: 11
Seminar: 12
Seminar: 13

Week 11 11.2

PPU DRAFT DUE Summary/Conclusion/Interpretations
Seminar: 14
Seminar: 15
Seminar: 16

Week 12 11.9

Seminar: 17
Seminar: 18
Seminar: 19

Week 13 11.16 DJR away


Week 14 11.23 No Class Thanksgiving


Week 15 11.30


Week 16 12.7