Chances are, if you are a student in a sociology course, you will need to write several papers. If you learn the proper way to write a sociology essay, the rest of your semester should go smoothly. There are several steps to take to make sure you do a great job and earn the grade you want. The first thing you want to do is choose a topic. Sometimes your professor will explicitly assign a topic and other times you will be given a list of possible topics.
If you are in an upper-level class, the assignment might be more broad, and you will need to come up with your own subject for the essay. Whatever the case, start thinking about your topic right away. Your first step in writing a good essay is to figure out which question you are going to answer. If your professor did not assign a specific topic, make sure to get approval before you start researching the subject you have chosen. Visit your professor during her office hours to discuss the essay and ask questions.
For example, do you know how long the paper should be? Do you know how many sources you need to cite? Make sure you are clear on guidelines before starting your essay. Write this e-mail as if it is business. Be professional, courteous, and clear. To write a sociology essay, you will need to collect evidence.
All sociological arguments must be supported by facts and documentation. You will likely need to visit the library and do some online research, too. Ask your professor for suggestions if you do not know where to find sources. These statistics are based on sources such as surveys and censuses. These are generally numbers. An example of quantitative data could be: The other type of data you need is qualitative. This research is less concrete, and is based on sources such as interviews and the researcher's own impressions.
An example of qualitative data is: In a sociology course, you will be asked to read a lot of information. It's helpful to have a system to make sure that you can read the material quickly, while retaining the important points.
As you read the sources for your paper, make sure you are reading for specific information. Look for examples that relate to your thesis, and make note of them. Not only will this make it easier to find that specific information later, but the act of highlighting itself will help embed the information into your brain. Don't be afraid to skim over parts of books or articles that either do not relate to your paper topic or are not helpful.
You want your notes to be detailed, but not so lengthy that they are not easy to skim. Just note the most important piece of information, with a reminder of where you found that information. You can go back and expand later, but when you are taking notes, it is important to be efficient. Remember that sociology is largely about concepts. For example, you might need to explain the relationship between class and power in contemporary society. Therefore, your notes will be different from your chemistry notes, since you are memorizing ideas, not formulas or methods.
In your notes, make sure that you have been thorough enough that you will understand the concept when you review your notes. When you have completed your research, make sure you have it organized in a way that will help you to write efficiently.
As you sit down to write, make sure that you have all of your books, printouts, and notes nearby. This is also a great time to make sure you have anything else you need--computer, pencils, and the assignment guidelines.
Prepare your work area. Make sure that you have plenty of room to work. You might need to spread out your materials in order to be able to view multiple documents at once. You'll also want to make sure that you have a chair with good back support, and that the room is a comfortable temperature for you. Some people work well with music playing, while others work best in total silence. Figure out the right atmosphere for you. The thesis, or argument, is the most important part of your paper.
It tells your reader exactly what you are writing about, and lets them know the point of your paper. Without a strong thesis, the rest of your paper will be vague and general. Write your thesis before you structure the rest of your essay. For example, you can start by asking a series of questions.
Once you find a good one, turn it into a declarative statement. Another method is to use "free association". Write down all of the terms that come to mind when you think of your topic. An idea for a thesis might jump out at you. Your thesis must have two key parts: This means that your argument is not a basic statement of facts, but that it is open for critical debate.
Second, your thesis must be tightly focused enough that it can be clearly supported with evidence. Your thesis statement could be something like this: There are actually much fewer biological differences between men and women than previously thought; the divide between the sexes has actually been created by society. After you construct your thesis, outline the rest of your paper.
An outline is key for creating an organized and structured essay. Your outline should be thorough, indicating the topic for each paragraph or section, if this is a longer paper.
In all cases follow course-specific assignment instructions, and consult your TA or professor if you have questions. You must cite all sources you use—not only for direct quotations, but also for data, for facts that are not common knowledge, and very importantly for ideas that are not your own. The UW policy on academic honest explains what plagiarism is, but also the consequences for students found to have committed it: For theory application papers, this would include mention of the theory or argument you are applying and the case or empirical phenomenon to which you are applying it.
Introductions and conclusions are important: A good introduction summarizes what the author does in the paper, and sets up "motivates" the analytical problem or question. It is sometimes referred to as a "roadmap" for the paper.
Some writers find it effective to present an interesting or controversial statement or a quote in the introduction to gain the reader's attention. However, you should make certain that the quote or information is actually relevant to your thesis your main argument!
A good conclusion almost always restates the argument and the evidence brought to bear.
Writing Sociology Papers. Writing is one of the most difficult and most rewarding of all scholarly activities. Few of us, students or professors, find it easy to do. The pain of writing comes largely as a result of bad writing habits. No one can write a good paper in one draft on the night before the paper is due.
What this handout is about. This handout introduces you to the wonderful world of writing sociology. Before you can write a clear and coherent sociology paper, you need a firm understanding of the assumptions and expectations of the discipline.
Before choosing a topic of your sociology paper, look through sociology topics for a research paper. Try to state your argument in the first paragraphs. Make a sociology research paper outline before starting writing the first pages of your work. Sociology Term Paper. Well, there is no doubt that in the course of sociology, writing sociology term papers is the toughest part. Sociology is a huge subject and you need to be too attentive and careful when you choose sociology term papers topic.
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