Need advice on how to cope with a sociology term paper? Sociology term papers are assigned to students who take sociology classes with a purpose to evaluate their performance and develop their understanding of a topic. You should approach these assignments seriously because when you practice writing, you also practice thinking in a more rigorous and profound way. You will learn not only to summarize a text but perform such complicated tasks as analyzing the text as well as evaluating and applying it.
Are you thinking that sociology term paper writing is too challenging for you? Writing is just a skill and, like any other skills, it can be learned through hard work and practice. In this easy writing guide on how to write a sociology term paper, you will find effective tricks and tips that will help you organize the writing process. We will also provide details on planning, outlining, editing, rewriting etc. Be patient, use our guide to practice a lot, and you are sure to notice improvements in your work.
A sociology term paper is actually an extended essay based on the argument for your thesis. There are 4 types of sociology term papers that are typically assigned to college students:
The sociology term paper is typically written in a form of a research report that consists of the following sections:
Sociology term papers are typically formatted using APA or ASA citation styles.
You can use a variety of resources from:
Since sociology is actually an empirical discipline, you have to base conclusions of your term paper on the relevant evidence that is documented and gathered from collected experiences and cases. To make your claims convincing, you need systematic evidence.
When doing research and reading, you can use different types of evidence from primary and secondary sources to support your thesis, for example, newspapers, scholarly journals, books, observations, interviews, surveys, questionnaires etc. All evidence can be subdivided into 2 groups:
The first step in writing a sociology term paper is to choose a topic. You are likely to have some broad interests in sociology but your task is to develop a specific research question. Here are some tips for choosing a successful sociology research paper topic.
After you have chosen a topic for your research, you have to turn it into a narrower research question. It is a specific problem that can be addressed with empirical data. You should use brainstorming techniques to find some narrow slices in your broad topic. After you’ve found some narrower topics, you should start developing to your research question which should be very specific.
Here is an example of how you can do that. If your topic is “Media and Beauty”, you can brainstorm such sub-topics as Asian, white, and black portrayals of ideal body types; Why are media using super-skinny models? Your research question can be formulated like this: Can ethnic differences in women’s conceptions of “ideal body types” be influenced by the ways they are marketed in the media targeted to certain racial/ethnic groups?
If you are new to sociology studies, you may be at a loss how to choose a good research paper topic. Have a look at a short list of interesting sociology research paper topics ideas.
When you have chosen your research question, you need to decide how you will answer it. The choice of the right sociology research methods will depend on what you want to say. All sociology methods are divided into qualitative (ethnography, interview, participant observation) and quantitative (statistical analysis of some numeric data). Besides, sociologists use historical or archival methods and content analysis and, in some cases, experimental approaches.
When choosing your methods, you should keep in mind that certain sociological phenomena can’t be easily measured with just numbers. In some cases, it is necessary to use multiple methodologies to get an answer to a research question.
The first thing you should do is to perform a research of the relevant literature on your topic and work on your literature review. You need to give an analytical summary of the previous works on your topic. Remember that it’s not just writing some paragraphs that summarize the content of every article you read.
Your task is to link together the main points that you have read to make a story of what has been done by previous researchers and what has to be done. You should determine several key empirical or theoretical categories and link them together. And you need to determine the key debates on your topic. In the literature review, you need to provide the background information that will help your reader understand your research question.
Use brainstorming techniques to identify several key empirical and theoretical issues for an investigation and start locating your sources. You should start with influential scholarly books and recent articles in the journals, and then use other library resources and Google Scholar. You should make a working list of relevant sources in a form of Word document and copy there their titles, sources, and abstracts. Then, you should read your sources, paying attention to all the keywords on your research question, and make notes of the key points. After you finish reading about 70% of the sources on your list, you may start to draft your literature review.
An outline is an organizational plan for your sociology term paper. It helps you present what you plan to say and develop supporting paragraphs to move to your conclusions. Making a good outline can save you tons of time during the revision process because you will not need to rearrange your ideas after you have written them.
Need advice on how you can create a good outline? Here are some tips:
Now that you have an outline, you have to start writing your sociology term paper sections. You should stick to the point and focus on your thesis statement or research question. Your task is to provide a convincing argument and relevant evidence to support your argument and persuade your readers that your ideas are correct.
Make sure that your thesis statement is strong and do your best to write clearly and concisely. Avoid padding and digressions. Be ready that you’ll need to make more than one draft. Typically, all first drafts are vague, confusing, they feature bad writing and are full of omissions and other errors. Second drafts are better but they are not perfect. So you’ll need to revise your drafts and make improvements in the content and in their logic. Remember that the best term papers are commonly rewritten several times.
In the process of revising, your task is to push your analysis further, to improve and expand your original argument, and make connections between your key points. There are different kinds of revising: large-scale and small-scale revising, editing, and proofreading.
When making a large-scale revision, you need to look at the entire paper and find places where your logic is not clear. You may need to provide additional evidence, to define certain terms or even offer an entirely new aspect to your initial reasoning. If you discover a new interesting idea, you might even decide to rewrite the entire paper or at least certain sections. You can change the structure of your sociology term paper to make it more effective.
If you notice that a certain part of your paper is not good enough, you may need to perform a small-scale revision. You should revise this section and after that, you will need to review the whole paper to make sure that the part you have revised works well in the context of the entire sociology term paper.
When editing, your task is to find some minor problems with the text and improve readability – cut and paste paragraphs, delete some sentences or words. At this stage, you need to make your project clear and interesting to your readers.
When proofreading, you will need to find and fix some small punctuation, spelling, and grammar errors.
You should go through all these levels of revision to ensure that your sociology term paper is powerful and flawless.