Sociology is a fascinating field of knowledge that studies human social behavior and is focused on human social groups and structures. It involves empirical research and data analysis as well as the studying of social theory. Students who take sociology classes are typically assigned to write different types of papers, for example, essay, textual analysis, literature review, critical thinking. But the most complicated task is writing a quantitative sociology research paper.
In this article, you will find a detailed guide on how to write a sociology research paper. We will also give you some easy tips on how to organize planning, researching, outlining, editing, and rewriting to help you succeed in completing this complex and time-consuming assignment. Let’s get started.
Sociology research paper is typically written in the report format and is based on text analysis, statistical analysis, interviews etc. When completing this complex sociology assignment, you need to:
When doing your research, you can analyze different types of data and:
You can use different types of evidence (primary and secondary sources) to support your argument, for example, observations, interviews, surveys, books, newspapers, scholarly journals, the internet etc.
Choosing a topic for a sociology research paper is a crucial step that has a great impact on the success of your project. Here are some quick tips on how you can do it right.
Not sure what topic to choose for your paper? Have a look at our short list of effective sociology research paper topics and feel free to use them for creating your own research papers.
Before you start writing for sociology, you should clarify your thinking, plan your project, and determine what work you need to do, for example, find a new source or read a text. Here are some tips that can help you make writing a less painful process.
Your instructor can give different guidelines for your sociology research paper but it typically consists of the following components:
Here are some sociology research paper writing tips on how to outline and write these sections.
In this part of your sociology research paper writing, you set up a research question or a problem. After that, you need to briefly explain why addressing this particular problem is important and what the implications might be. Actually, you need to provide an answer to the question: “So what?” that your readers may ask when they finish reading the introduction. Your task is to give them a compelling answer if you want them to continue reading.
In this section, you need to provide your audience with an overview of the previous research on your topic. You can organize the literature review in a number of ways.
For example, you may argue that there are 2 approaches to researching your sociology topic: X and Y. But neither of them takes into account Z. You have to convince your audience that Z is very important and there is a need to explain it. And you may build your study on Z or expand the previous researches.
There is one more approach. You can argue that an existing theory doesn’t explain your findings properly. You should give a summary of the existing relevant studies and demonstrate that if the accepted theory was correct, you would get the result X, but in fact, your result is Y. How can finding B be explained. You have to ask a question and build some foundation for an answer. Your research can suggest changes to the existing theories or question the universally accepted theory.
When writing your literature review, you should paraphrase ideas created by others and use quotes only when a certain part of the text describes the specific idea you are referring clearly and briefly.
If the question that you are discussing in your sociology research paper or the case that you use to illustrate your point is unfamiliar to most of your audience, you need to give your readers the background information that explains these aspects to help them understand your paper. You should provide additional information to clarify your point. When you are describing some case, you can also suggest why it is good for finding a relevant answer to your question.
Here you need to provide details about what you actually did to give an answer to your research question and about your reasons for choosing a particular method. If you used statistics for your research, you need to explain why you have chosen a specific data set. If you used interviews as a method for your sociological research, you should provide your readers with the information about the people you interviewed, for example, about their gender, age, occupation etc. and explain why you chose those people and the others. If your sociology research paper is based on the analysis of some texts, you have to explain how and why you chose them.
In this section, you also need to provide information about the limitations to your research. Then, you have to explain why the readers should trust your results despite limitations. You have to provide convincing evidence and persuade your audience that you are trustworthy and that your sociology research paper is worth reading.
Now you need to present what you actually found during your research. You have to provide convincing evidence to show your readers that you have answered your research question. In this part of your sociology research paper, you have to cite sources to provide evidence that proves your point of view. If it was a statistical research, you have to report the results of the regressions. If you performed a textual analysis, you need to cite the analyzed texts and explain what these sentences mean for your project. If you conducted interviews or did participant observations, you have to report what the people said.
In the introduction and in the literature review, you presented an answer to your research question. You need to present your answer here and persuade your readers that it is correct.
This section should give a full answer to your “So what?” question. You should “think big” and prove that your findings can be applied to a larger population and speak about important implications for public policy, sociological theory or on our ideas about our society.
All research papers and essays need to be revised more than once if you want to create a strong argument and make a great impression on your readers. During this process, you can expand your argument, improve your analysis, and make connections between different parts. When you rework paragraphs and sentences, you develop a more complex argument. You should also add some additional information to improve the content.
Here are some suggestions on how to organize revising and editing:
Keep in mind that any revision takes time but you should make an effort to improve your first draft and get a clearer and more sophisticated sociology research paper that will impress your professor and bring you a high grade.
Follow our easy tips on how to write an impressive sociology research paper, practice a lot, and you are sure to become a better writer.