Most students encounter challenges when handling the subject. But handling the paper when you have a grasp of this discipline, you will certainly enjoy the process of writing it. Sociology papers are different. You tackle it differently as compared to other papers. The knowledge of this subject is vital before starting to work on it. You need to know the subject to help you cover the document appropriately. Although still a young discipline, sociology is a relatively stimulating subject. Below are some elements you need to know before writing a sociology paper:
What Is a Sociology Paper?
You might keep wondering what sociology paper is all about. Well, this is an interesting discipline that covers everything and anything, from politics, marriage, divorce, business, domestic abuse, child abuse, social movement. Usually, it's linked with other disciplines like the economy, religion, or even politics. Hence, when writing, depending on the topic you are covering, you are likely to refer to relevant disciplines and their relationship with sociology. Sociology explains the relationship between individuals and their interactions within a society. It balances individuals' agency and cultural constraints.
Characteristics and Assumptions of Sociological Writing
When tackling a sociology paper, there are several things you have to consider. These are part and parcel of a good sociology paper. Hence, you need to know how to use them or incorporate them for excellent results. They include:
Arguments are a considerable part of sociology writings. You have to argue yourself out well. When you present your ideas, you should be as clear as possible. You might tend to lean on one side rather than the other, which is typical in any argument. And of course, you need to have a stand. You can argue your points out from three perspectives:
- Individual argument-you base your scores on the facts that individuals tend to make choices based on circumstances given by society. Hence, it's not unusual for them to make choices based on what they feel or believe.
- Human nature argument- when using this angle, you would point your arguments towards because human beings are in nature; then, it's not a surprise for them to have a behavior.
- Society argument- here, you use society as the basis of your argument. The disadvantage of using society is that it's enormous. Hence it can be quiet challenging to come up with a strong case to argue your points out.
You need to support your claims. You have to produce evidence and support your points. Also, you should base your arguments on something that's collected and recorded. Your opinion alone is not enough when arguing; thus, there's a need to produce the evidence. You need to be logical when making the claims. Just because your friend tried something once, and it worked, is not reason enough that thing usually works. Thus, you need solid proof. You can use qualitative or quantitative data to produce evidence. But for excellent results, you should use both. Quantitative data comes from surveys, census, and statistics, while qualitative data comes from participants, observation, interviews, data, and texts.
Units of analysis
Which unit do you want to analyze in the society? It's usually a question of emphasis and focus. You can decide to focus on human factors, how people are affected by the topic you are covering. Or rather, you can use social structures or cultural objects as your unit of your analysis.
How to Come Up With an Excellent Sociology Paper
Understanding the discipline is key to coming up with a superb sociology paper. The following are a few things you should consider before you start writing.
Know Your Target Audience
Knowing your audience would help to tackle the paper, or which angle you should take. Is it a topic that they relate to? Is it something that would assist them? When you know what your audience wants, you will learn precisely how to navigate the paper.
Select a Topic Early
The earlier you choose the topic, the better. Most times, your professor is the one who will issue you the topic. But in case this doesn't happen, you have to come up with one. You need to choose an interesting and manageable topic. Selecting an area in which you have an interest is better. Once you choose a topic, go to your professor for approval. Your topic should be in the form of a question. You then provide the answers to your question in the main area of the paper. Give yourself enough time to conduct research and come up with enough evidence to support your claims.
Clarity is essential when you want to develop an excellent sociological paper. You need to clarify any issues or conflicts that you think may arise when writing the piece. How long do you want your writing to be? How many sources do you want to list in your bibliography? Once you have a clear mind map of what you exactly want, then you can move to the next step, which is research.
Conduct adequate research
There will be no sociology paper without research. You need all the relevant information to argue your points out. There are several places you can search for information. For instance, quantitative and qualitative data are good sources of information. Hence, that's why you should start your research early. You won't love the misfortunes that the last-minute rush brings. Your laptop may crash. You may fall sick, and the books which had has the best information could go missing.
Process the Literature
Although sociology is a young discipline, it has quite a lot of literature material. You can quickly dive into the content to find information. You need to read literature material to get enough insights. You can also compare the information from different sources. Sometimes the information in materials is too much, and you can be scared to read. But, grasping only the correct information relevant to your topic will put you a step forward during the writing process.
Take Your Notes Effectively
When doing your research, it's better to take down short notes. You don't want to leave out any relevant information. This will enable you to craft your paper easily. Your statements should be brief enough to allow skimming but detailed enough to enable you to cover the correct explanation. Sociology greatly depends on terminologies. Hence, the mastery of these terminologies is excellent when taking down your short notes.
Come Up With a Thesis
After you have everything in hand, then it's time to come up with a thesis statement. A thesis is what will give your essay the direction you need to follow. No matter which method you choose, try to ensure that you come up with something arguable. The thesis statement should be open to discussions.
Have an Outline
Creating an overview is essential when crafting your sociology paper. You need to have a road map. A sense of direction will show you where you are going while covering your sociology paper. List all the subtopics that you wish to cover up in your paper. The subtopics should reflect on your thesis statement. You can always change the outline, how you arrange your points in the manner which will suit your needs. You will keep referring to your outline to ensure that you have all your points in place. The outline needs to be clear.
Make several drafts
Make not one or two, but several drafts. Give yourself the space to make errors and correct your piece, for a final remarkable piece. With every draft you make, ensure you keep correcting any mistakes. When you make several drafts, then it's easier to add information, correct, and eliminate all the errors that your eyes may have missed. Creating several drafts is a great way to keep updating the information.
What to Do When Writing
There are specific guidelines you follow when crafting a sociology paper.
State the Problem in the Introduction
A person reading your work should know what you are discussing, once they go over your introduction. State clearly what you want to discuss in your writing and the results you are seeking to achieve.
Writing Introduction and Conclusions
The introduction and the conclusion of your paper speak a lot when it comes to writing your sociology paper. They are the most important part of the sociology paper. You should make them interesting and captivating as possible. You need to make them worth your reader's time. The introduction sets the mood of your whole paper. You should include the thesis statement in the introduction.
You can start with a real-life example of something that would capture your audience's attention. Tell your audience what you intend to cover, and the directions you are planning to take.
Your conclusion is the last paragraph. You capture all the information in a wrap. Here is where you summarise all your points and leave your audience with something to go home with.
You Can Then Proceed with Analyzed Use Literature
Incorporate the findings of other writers and include them in your research. Analyzing and using literature would make your case stronger.
Discuss the Outcomes and Your Findings
You need to tell what you discovered after conducting your research. Use graphs and tables to show your points clearly. You can also state if the study will be useful for further investigation
Editing is a chance to eliminate all thy error. Correct spelling and punctuation mistakes. Ensure that you have used transitions correctly, and your points run smoothly. Check if your vocabulary is on point, as sociology papers use a lot of terminologies.
Proofread Your Copy
Once you edit your piece, then it's time to proofread. Proofreading is vital before submitting your paper. Your final copy should be a masterpiece. Check if everything is on point. Apart from you, you should give another person to check your sociology paper. It's not that you are not competent enough, but you can miss some mistakes. You can either decide to pay a professional or give it to a friend to proofread. It's not good to submit work that contains errors. Your professor may think you are not serious enough. Correct any errors that your paper may incur. It will certainly show that you care enough. Although your professors can overlook some mistakes, you may not earn the marks that you truly deserve.
Referencing and Citing
It's a must you reference and cite correctly. You don't want to be blamed for plagiarizing somebody’s work. These two are important when it comes to sociology. Your references should appear on a separate page from what you are discussing. You might reference using ASA (American sociological association) formatting style guidelines. It follows (author, title, publication date) or the Harvard system of referencing. Although at times, your professor could give the correct style which you should use. Depending on the referencing style, make sure you follow the right format while writing.
What to Note
- Avoid plagiarism- at no cost should you try copying other people's work. The consequences can be severe and may even affect your academic life. Ensure you cite all your sources. Give credit where it's due.
- Use the correct structure- when you use the right structure, then your work becomes more pleasing and pleasant to reads. You need to give each section the same weight — every section of your sociology paper matters. You should stay relevant to the topic you are covering and not divert to something else or lose focus in the process of writing. Keep up with the flow of your argument, depending on the length of your paper, you should have at least 2 to 5 arguable points.
- Use active voice- avoid the passive voice at all costs. You need to keep your piece, and the only way to that is to use active voice.
Writing sociology papers is not hard when you take a keen interest in crafting them. With the right attitude and the correct information, you are sure to nail your paper in the long run.