Syllabus & Info

Download full syllabus in PDF or Word format.

Grading & Assignments

Your final grade will be based on the following assignments:

grading percentage breakdown table

  • IN-CLASS QUIZZES – Beginning in week 2, for each class session you will take an in-class essay or multiple-choice quiz on the assigned reading(s) for that date. Quizzes will also serve as attendance and participation so you must make every effort to be present at least 5 minutes after our class begins. A random selection of quizzes will be graded which means it is important that you are well read and prepared at every class session. This portion of your grade is worth 100pts.
  • THE HIP HOP FAMILY TREE – This semester you will apply your sociological imagination by creating a hip hop ‘family tree’ using a current popular hip hop artist. Your task will be to show how the choices made by artists connect them not only to other artists but also reveal the constraints of the structure of the hip hop industry. More details on this assignment will be provided on BB. This portion of your grade is worth 100pts.
  • THE CIPHER (Slack-tivities) – Over the course of the semester, you will complete 4 out of 7 short activities that will be posted on SLACK. While only four are required, students may complete up to two additional activities for extra points on the final exam. Slactivities will be graded 3 times during Week 5, details will be provided on BB. This portion of your grade is worth 100pts.
  • MIC CHECK (Final Exam) – At the completion of the class, you will take a final exam demonstrating your knowledge of key concepts and your ability to apply them to real world scenarios. This will be a cumulative exam based on course lectures, readings, in class activities. More details on this assignment will be provided on BB. This portion of your grade is worth 100pts.


  • 360-400 =A+, A, A-
  • 320-359 = B+, B, B-
  • 280-319 = C+, C, C-
  • 240-279 = D+, D, D-
  • Below 240 =F

Note: As in all courses, an “A” represents outstanding/exceptional work; a “B” represents good to very good work; a “C” represents adequate work; a “D” represents a borderline effort, and an “F” represents a failing grade.


GRADING INQUIRIES – All assignments will be graded and returned as quickly as possible within a two-week timeline. To further ensure that they are graded and returned in a timely manner, students will have different due dates based on their last name. I will not discuss grades immediately before, during or after class time. Instead we will follow the “24/7 rule” regarding any questions about your grade. That means that I will not respond to any grade questions until at least 24 hours after graded assignments are returned. All grade queries must be submitted in writing within 7 calendar days after the assignment has been returned. Your written statement should include a specific and thought-out rationale for why you feel your answer is correct or why the paper deserves a higher grade. Simply writing, “I think I deserve a better grade” is not a rationale. Once I have received your query, we can schedule a meeting to talk in person if necessary.


OFFICE HOURS AND CONTACT INFORMATION – A successful student is one who is proactive about their education. If at any point you have questions or struggle with course concepts feel free to set up an appointment or stop by my open office hours. You may also reach me by email. I generally respond within 24-28 hrs. to emails. When sending emails please use your last name and SOC 1201 in the subject heading (i.e. Granville-SOC 1201) and be sure to adhere to professional writing guidelines. While I am happy to answer questions, if they can be found be on the syllabus, I will simply respond ‘check your syllabus’.

EXCUSED ABSENCES – Excused absences include the following: college-sponsored activities (please notify me at least 3 days in advance), an unforeseen family emergency, and illness serious enough to seek the attention of a health-care professional. You must also provide documentation (i.e. an obituary or doctor’s note). Family trips, traffic and routine medical appointments do not qualify as an excused absence. Whether or not your absence is excused, if you miss a class, it is your responsibility to ask another student in the class for notes and/or an explanation of what was covered that day.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY – The faculty and administration of Brooklyn College support an environment free from cheating and plagiarism. Each student is responsible for being aware of what constitutes cheating and plagiarism and for avoiding both. The complete text of the CUNY Academic Integrity Policy and the Brooklyn College procedure for implementing that policy can be found at this site.

CLASSROOM ETIQUETTE – All cell phones should be turned off or placed on silent during class. Activities that may be distractions to the class such as cell phone usage, “tweeting/status updating,” eating large meals, and the like are prohibited during class time. Laptops may be used in class however, they must be used for class purposes such as taking notes, not checking your email or Facebook page. If found in violation of this policy, you will be warned and then asked to leave.

SYLLABUS CHANGES – The syllabus is subject to change over the duration of this course; however, you will always be notified of changes via BB and class announcements. It is your responsibility to keep abreast of course changes and requirements.

LECTURE SLIDES – I will post lecture slides or notes for class lectures on Blackboard after class. Having these slides will hopefully help you to pay more attention in class but they do not contain all the material you need to know. Additionally, not attending class but reviewing slides or notes is a poor substitute for attending lecture.

CLASS CANCELLATIONS – If class is canceled, you will be notified as early as possible via your Brooklyn College email account and Blackboard. You can also sign up for text alerts via BC Webcentral.


FACING CHALLENGES? -Sometimes in a semester circumstances arise that may negatively impact your grade. If at any point you experience such a challenges or issue—don’t wait! Be proactive and make an appointment to see me as soon as possible.

DISABILITY SERVICES – To receive disability-related academic accommodations students must first be registered with the Center for Student Disability Services (CSDS). Students who have a documented disability or suspect they may have a disability are invited to set up an appointment with the Director of the Center for Student Disability Services, Ms. Valerie Stewart-Lovell at 718-951-5538.

IMMIGRATION RESOURCES – As an educator, I support the rights of undocumented students to an education. If you have any concerns in that regard, or about other immigration issues feel free to discuss them with me, and I will respect your wishes concerning confidentiality. For resources and support, please visit Brooklyn College’s Immigrant Student Support Office, 117 Roosevelt Hall, website: Immigrant Student Success Office or visit this link.


For each class date listed below, there is a topic, assigned reading(s), and any assignment due.

  • To prepare for class, read and take notes on the assigned reading listed for the date, before we meet for class.
    • Be sure to note the topic of the day and consider how the assigned readings help you to better think about or understand our topical focus. Turn the title of the article into a question and use your notes to produce the answer.
  • Once you arrive to class, review your notes on the reading(s) so you are prepared for the class discussion and any possible quizzes.
  • So for class on 1/30, read the Hebdige article- Rap and Hip Hop before class and be sure to take good notes. Jot down any questions you may have and highlight any areas in the reading you found significant.