Sociology research papers don’t seem that difficult from the start. The topics are usually really inspiring; you get to examine different aspects of society and see how certain cultural phenomena affect the collective behavior. However, the project becomes very complex when you start revealing all layers of the issue you’re elaborating.
Sociological thinking is a complex category: you take facts and statistical data and apply that empirical knowledge to phenomena that can hardly be measured. For example, it’s difficult to determine how the implementation of technology in education affects the choices students make upon graduation. Thus, the sociology research paper needs to be based on something more than good research; it requires reasoning and playing with ideas and words in a way no other author has done before.
The Process of Writing Sociology Research Papers
1. Determining your topic
Sociology professors usually give broad guidelines about this type of project and enable the student to decide upon the precise topic. They allow such flexibility because they want students to showcase their individuality through the research papers. This is the simplest answer to the topic dilemma: write about something that matters. Choose a relevant topic that’s related to any society. You can consider issues related to political institutions, natural resources, education, family, deviance, and any other area of sociology. Make sure you can support your main statement with technical, scientific, and statistical data. Omit topics that would lead you to contradictions and repetitions. Conduct a preliminary research, consider few options and settle for the topic you feel most comfortable with.
2. Gathering sources
This part is not that difficult. Regardless of the subject your professor assigned, you’ll be able to find tons of materials, theories, studies, surveys and statistical data online. If you can’t locate anything relevant, maybe it’s time to reconsider the topic you chose and go for a more specific, relevant, and known issue.
You need to take notes during this process, since it will be difficult for you to remember how you planned to use each material you located. Classify your sources; you’ll need primary, secondary and tertiary support for your project. You will mostly base the research paper upon your primary sources, but you will still need to support the facts with more arguments. The tertiary sources will be the ones that may have been rejected by many sociologists because they lack precision, but they still help you prove your point up to a certain extent. You can even use tertiary sources that oppose your opinions, only if you can explain why those authors were wrong.
Sociology is not an exact science. It’s based on reasoning and deduction, so your professor will be impressed if he sees these skills in your research paper. One way of developing an extraordinary sociology project is by conducting your own survey. Think about the issues you’re elaborating in the project and create a detailed questionnaire. Then, ask several people to complete it and draw your own statistical data. How does your survey prove the point of your research paper? Were the results anywhere near to the ones described in the sources you located? The answers to these questions will add depth to the content. That’s a great way to make your first sociology research paper impressive.
3. Writing the paper: draw conclusions and justify the research
Your approach on the matter will depend on the topic itself. Are you writing a content paper or a theoretical paper? You need to understand the difference between these two concepts before you start developing the content. In a content paper, you focus on a social situation or problem, and you try to explain how it affects society. Theoretical papers, on the other hand, focus on certain theoretical concepts or ideas. For example, you might choose to describe the social contact theory established by Thomas Hobbes, and show how it takes place into today’s society.
Your entire reasoning process will depend upon the type of sociology research paper you’re writing. In both of these cases, you’ll need to use different sources of information and explain where your conclusions come from. You should examine all information you collected and decide on your main thesis statement.
You need to justify each source you use. If the relevance is not obvious from the context of your writing, make sure to explain why particular information is important and why you think it’s correct. Don’t forget that plenty of the information you locate online cannot be taken for a fact. You’ll come across many contradictory claims by modern sociologists, so you need to make sure you’re relying on the right sources.
Write a Believable Sociology Research Paper Based on Pure Logic
The sociology project leaves you with many opportunities. This is a flexible assignment that enables you to examine several opinions and draw your own conclusions. Although you cannot expose facts that are 100% true, you can still identify the patterns of the issues you elaborate.
Your analysis should be based upon the principles of logic. If you conducted your own survey, try to explain how the results you got can be applied to a larger group of people – the society. Let’s say you settled on the topic of death penalty and the results from your survey showed that people who are over 40 years old mostly approve of this practice, while the younger generations are against capital punishment. Then, try to look into the reasons for the differences in attitude.
Your own logic is not a valid proof, so you’ll certainly need to support your claims with scientific studies and statistical data. That’s the whole point of writing a sociology research paper.
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Wendy J. on Feb 2016
James L. on Jan 2016