The Sociology Research Paper – Endless Possibilities
What do religion, inequality, crime, family, divorce, health care, education, social movements, cults, social media, mass media, and race/ethnicity all have in common? They are all facets of sociology, probably the most comprehensive field of study in existence. Everything that happens within a society is in some way related to sociology. So, when you are tasked with writing a sociology research paper, you have an endless supply of potential topics.
Selecting Topic Area and Specific Topic
This can be a difficult process, because it will depend on many things, not the least of which are the length requirement and your interests. Suppose, for example, that you have a keen interest in crime and you really want to do a research paper on that topic. Not so fast! Crime is a really complex subject, and you will need to narrow your topic considerably for a single research paper.
Narrowing the topic will require some initial research until you find something that piques your interest more than anything else. Going back to the topic of crime, for example. Are you interested in crime in schools, in poverty neighborhoods, in White collar crime, in cybercrime, or in juvenile delinquency? Of course there are many more topics than that, but you get the idea.
Now, let’s say that you have decided upon juvenile delinquency. Will you research the causes, the prevalence in different types of neighborhoods, the success/lack of success of the juvenile justice system, or prevalent types of juvenile offenses? Each of these sub-sub topics could be a research paper! The point is this: you have to keep narrowing until you have a very specific topic.
You have two choices for resource material – primary or secondary. If you are in high school or early years of undergrad work, secondary sources are probably acceptable. As you move into coursework at the upper undergrad level and absolutely at the grad level, however, you will be expected to use only primary sources. So, what are those?
- Published dissertations or articles in professional journals, written by individuals who have actually conducted research in your topic area and who are reporting the results of that research.
- Your own primary source material – it is certainly appropriate for you to conduct interviews and/or surveys to get data that you can use to support the thesis of your sociological research paper. In fact, consider this if you have the time – your instructor will be impressed!
The Synthesis of Research
Students who complain that they do not know how to write a sociology research paper are usually stuck at this phase. It’s hard to take all of the varying research and results and meld them all together into logical and coherent sub-topics for sections of your paper. But, in most instances, the sub-topics will almost define themselves. Going back to the topic of the causes of juvenile delinquency, for example, you are going to find research that relates to socio-economic environments, to dysfunctional families, to emotional disturbances, etc. Each of these causes, then, becomes a sub-topic, and you can pull the research that addresses each of these specifically and put it in logical order before you begin to write.
Follow the Writing Process as You Do for Any Research Paper
A research paper for sociology will be written the same was as a paper for any other course. You have your sub-topics organized, so you will begin with each of those in the order in which you want to present them. Each sub-topic, by the way should be introduced with a heading and a mini-introduction.
Write your introduction last, after you have had a chance to reflect on all of the information and points you have made – it’s much easier that way.
And be certain to begin your introduction with some surprising fact of anecdote, so that you engage your reader immediately.
If you are a truly skilled writer, you may be able to edit the paper yourself; if not, have someone else do it, even if you have to pay for the service – it’s worth it, if you want a paper that will merit a great grade!
ProCustomWriting.com is an excellent source for assistance with your sociology research paper. Whether you need research, writing, or editing, we can help you out!