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How to Write a Sociology Essay: Ultimate Guide

Looking for advice on how to write a good sociology essay?

Sociology is a science that systematically studies human society. Sociologists try to understand and explain the interaction of social groups and individuals. When writing sociology papers, you have to provide an effective sociological argument that balances structural constraints and individual agency. Actually, your task is to provide a strong sociological argument and make it as clear as possible in stating your thesis.

Sociology essay writing can be a daunting task if you are a beginner in sociology and can’t boast of strong writing skills. But there is no need to feel frustrated about that. Writing skills can be learned if you work hard and practice a lot. Here is an easy guide to writing an impressive sociology essay where you can find all the essential information on all aspects of the writing and editing process. Keep reading to learn the secrets of writing on sociology topics.

What Is a Sociology Essay?

Sociology essay is a common assignment for students who take classes in sociology. This type of assignment is typically based on library research but it can also be based on empirical content. When writing a sociology essay, you have to provide an answer to a research question and argue convincingly for your answer to the assignment question that is called the assignment’s assertion.

All assignments in sociology are argumentative and you have to convince your readers that your assertion is correct and to present the necessary information to support your argument in a specific order. That means that you have to structure your sociology essay in a specific way. All sociology essays typically consist of the introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
If the topic for your essay was given by your instructor, you have to follow the directions provided in your assignment. You may be asked to write different types of essays for your sociology class. You can be assigned to:

  • summarize a certain text;
  • compare and contrast two texts;
  • explain or interpret a passage;
  • apply a theory;
  • critique or evaluate an argument or a theory.

How to Tackle Different Types of Sociology Essays: Quick Tips from Our Experts

When you need to summarize a sociology text, you actually have to provide a brief overview of the piece of writing. You need to determine the most important points of the argument in a certain text and present them in the best possible way. It’s essential to include in your summary concrete key points and examples.

When analyzing a quote or interpreting a passage, you have to keep a balance between explaining the given text and linking it to the text of the entire work. Remember that there different ways of being right when interpreting a passage. You need to identify the central argument and determine how it fits into the overall argument.

When writing a compare and contrast sociology essay, you have to explore differences and similar features in two texts. You need to explain the argument and the evidence of two different texts. You should show that you understand both texts and are able to determine their similarities and differences. You need to create a strong thesis statement that unites the discussion of the texts. You can discuss whether one argument is more convincing than the other. Besides, you can speak about the strong points and weaknesses of both texts. You can organize your essays around the main points of comparison or around the theories of the authors.

When your assignment is to evaluate arguments or theories, you have to demonstrate your critical thinking skills and your ability to think independently. When completing this type of assignment, you can use different strategies, for example, determine the weaknesses and strengths of the argument, find some important points in the text, and anticipate the counter-argument.
If your assignment is to apply a theory, you need to find analytical concepts in your readings and apply them to interpreting some phenomenon you have observed. You can be assigned to conduct some research or analyze a single magazine article, movie, book, event, website or TV show. For example, you may be asked to analyze a film Office Space using the theory of bureaucracy by Weber.

How to Choose Powerful Sociology Essay Topics

If your professor hasn’t assigned a specific topic for your sociology essay, you have to choose a good topic yourself. You should choose your topic as early as possible to ensure that you will have enough time for writing it. Besides, you should think critically when choosing your topic and keep in mind that the success of your sociology essay will depend on a good sociological question.

When selecting a topic for your essay, you can use different approaches:

  • You can choose a topic you are interested in;
  • You can write about a phenomenon or a concept that is not familiar to you and challenge yourself;
  • You can pick a broad topic and narrow it to focus on some small issue and dig deeply for new ideas.

Lack interesting ideas for sociology essay topics? Feel free to use some form our short list.

  1. The Culture of Poverty
  2. What is the Impact of the Technological Progress on the People’s Health?
  3. Benefits of Real Friendship
  4. Moral Norms and Deviations
  5. What are the Long-term Effects of Child Abuse?
  6. How Do Divorces Affect Children?
  7. Superstitions in Japan
  8. Key Features of Mayan Culture
  9. Food Traditions in Rich and Poor Areas
  10. Anti-vaccination Movement
  11. History of Suffragettes
  12. Civil Rights Movement
  13. How Are Women and Men Treated Differently in Media?
  14. What Are the Messages Promoted by the Contemporary Music?
  15. Common Attitudes Toward GMOs
  16. What Caused the Rise of the Organic Farming?
  17. Importance of Food Education
  18. Social Networking in Modern Society
  19. Nationality and Pride
  20. Effects of Racial Stereotypes

How to Make an Outline for Your Sociology Essay

When writing your sociology essay, you should use complex, sophisticated, and creative ways to structure your key ideas. Creating an outline, you’ll be able to find out if your key points connect to each other or if there are gaps in your thinking. It will help you stay focused and organized and ensure that your sociology essay is coherent. Before you start creating an outline, you need to determine the purpose of your essay and your audience and formulate your thesis statement/research question.
You can use 2 approaches when creating an outline for your sociology essay:

Tired of all the guides and never-ending instructions?
  • the sentence outline that is made of full sentences;
  • the topic outline that is made of short phrases.

When making a basic outline, you should follow certain steps:

  1. Determine the research problem;
  2. Determine the key categories;
  3. Make the first category;
  4. Determine subcategories.

Keep in mind that there are no rules that determine which approach is the best so you can use either the sentence outline or the topic outline. Of course, you should be consistent and stick to a certain approach. You can also arrange the key points of your outline in the chronological order.

Work on the Essay Structure

You should outline a detailed structure of what you plan to include in your sociology essay. You’d better start with the main sections and experiment with different sequences filling every section with the necessary information. You can outline your argument in an abbreviated form to get an idea of if it is logical and identify possible gaps in it. You can add necessary information where it is suitable.

sociology essay structure

When you start writing your sociology essay, this structure can serve as headings for different sections of your essay. Make sure your headings are brief and clearly state the key ideas of every section. If you do it this way, you will be able to work on your essay writing any section in the middle of your essay without having finished the previous ones. That will make the writing process easier.

Write a Draft

Start writing your sociology essay early so you will have enough time for completing it on time. The writing process is time-consuming and requires hard work. Keep in mind that no one can write a strong essay from the beginning to the end without revising, rewriting, adding, deleting or moving different parts of the content.

Start with an Introduction

In this part, you have to present your research question/thesis statement and demonstrate that it will be interesting to find the answer. You have to explain the significance of your topic and outline the key points of your argument to help your readers follow your logic. You can also provide a hint on your assertion, saying something like ”I will argue that…”. During the writing process, you should stay focused on your assertion, even if you change it as the work progresses.
Here is a recipe for an introduction to your sociology essay:

  • the research question/thesis statement;
  • the key reasons why the topic is important;
  • major points;
  • an assertion and answer to your research question.

Provide the Background Information

To help your readers follow your essay and ensure that they will be able to assess your argument, you need to provide them with some basic information that introduces your topic, describes the key problems, and briefly explains theories, concepts, and empirical findings. You should include here any relevant information for your research question and your assertion. You can also give an account of the previous research on your topic and explain why it is important for your research question. For example, if your assignment is to make an investigation about the reasons of unemployment of people with criminal records, you have to provide information from the previous research that proves that former prison inmates face difficulties when searching for jobs.

Discuss Your Research Question

In this part, you have to offer the line of argumentation. There is no need to be dogmatic. You can just state that there isn’t an unambiguous answer to your research question. For instance, you can provide an argument for the assertion that we can’t fully determine the reasons why women earn less than men.
If you are assessing two theories that explain a social phenomenon, you should discuss the strengths and weaknesses of every theory, addressing different elements of the social phenomenon.
You should make clear points that support your argument in different ways. To make your sociology essay orderly and easy-to-read, you should devote every new paragraph to a new point. You should start each paragraph with a topic sentence and then provide supporting arguments and relevant evidence.
Take into account all possible relevant objections and treat them seriously. Be creative to anticipate how your future readers may critically assess your argument. You need to provide clear answers and prove that those objections are irrelevant.

Write a Conclusion

In this part of your sociology essay, you should emphasize your findings and state once more why they are significant. You can restate your assertion more confidently because you have already shown your audience why it’s the most correct and the most reasonable answer to your research question. You can also give some recommendations and provide suggestions for further research. This part shouldn’t include any new information – you should make it as brief as possible.

Revise Your Sociology Essay

Be ready to write more than one draft of your essay. First drafts are full of confusions, errors, omissions, and bad writing. If you want to make your essay perfect, you will need to revise it and rewrite it in whole or in part several times. When revising your essay, you will be able to expand your argument, improve your analysis, and make links between your arguments. You can add some information, make changes in the content, move your parts or delete them, rework sentences and paragraphs. A good idea is to ask someone to read your sociology essay to point out mistakes and suggest improvements. You can ask your family member or a roommate to do that.
When your final draft is ready, you need to proofread it and eliminate minor grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes and typos. You should aim for the economy of the language and the precision. Proofreading your sociology essay will be easier if you read it aloud.
Remember that a revision takes time so don’t put it off till the last day before your deadline.