As a novice sociology writer and researcher, you are likely to encounter the question of how sociology differs from psychology. While it is true that both fields are closely related, psychology seeks to understand what drives and impacts human behavior. On the other hand, sociology focuses on studying social phenomena like institutions and groups of people using techniques like interviews, surveys, focus groups, and thorough analysis of written material.
Sociology is a broad field that covers several societal issues like poverty, gender inequality, public health and racism. As you advance as a researcher in this field, it is your work to present your readers with solutions to sociology’s conceptual ideas on economics and politics to influence policy changes that improve people’s everyday lives.
Writing a sociology paper requires a well-thought-out research plan and refined writing skills. Even though this can seem challenging at first, breaking down your work into manageable tasks can make writing a sociology paper easier.
Below are some pointers on writing an outstanding sociology paper
Table of Contents
- Understand the Expectations of Your Sociology Paper.
- Develop your Paper Outline.
- Select a Topic.
- Conduct a Literature Review..
- Do your Research
- Write an Introduction.
- Write the Body of your Paper.
- Conclude your Sociology Paper.
- Edit and Proofread.
The main objective of any sociology assignment is to find a solution for an unspecified problem in society. To write a high-quality sociology paper, you must first understand which issue you seek answers for and what supporting evidence is available. There are two significant areas of study in the field of sociology. The first area aims to establish the relationship between different societal variables, and the other studies the nature of a society, its structure and functions. Before you begin working on your paper, you must learn which study area your paper falls under.
If your sociology paper is a college assignment, talk to your instructor to understand the goal of the paper and other guidelines you need to follow when working on the paper. It is also essential to establish when the paper is due so that you have sufficient time to find sources, conduct research and develop your sociology paper.
Remember that taking time first to understand the direction of your paper can make all the difference in the resulting quality of work.
Even though this may not be your first sociology paper, it is critical not to dive right into writing the moment you start working on your sociology paper. Instead, create an outline to sub-divide tasks before beginning the actual writing. An outline will help you organize your thoughts in a logical order and give you an overview of your paper’s structure.
Sociology paper outlines are classified into three categories as shown below:
- Traditional outline
This is the most common outline format for term and research papers. Creating this type of outline begins by noting down the headings you intend to use in your paper. The primary headings include introduction, body and conclusion. Under each title, note the points you wish to have in each section of the actual paper in bullet-point format.
- Post-draft Outline
This type of outline notes half-baked ideas without any logical order. It mainly involves creating a trail of thought on the paper to get a bigger picture of how to achieve the paper’s objective. After writing your initial thoughts on the paper, review your notes, then select crucial points to build your paper around.
- Conceptual Outline
The conceptual outline would work for you if drawings help you visualize your work better. To create this outline, draw rectangles to represent work topics, circles to represent sources and triangles for the conclusions. After, link these shapes sequentially with arrows to see how your paper falls into place and which areas need more research.
Topic selection can seem like a straightforward process, but there is more to it than picking a theme from the available sociology literature. If you don’t select the appropriate topic, you might struggle to find sources to back up your information or settle on a topic too broad to cover conclusively in a single research paper.
Here are some strategies to develop the best sociology topic for your paper.
- Choose sociology fields that are of great interest to you. Writing is much easier and more enjoyable when writing about something important to you.
- Select a topic in a sociology area under-researched to give your readers new and innovative perspectives. Ensure that you have sufficient sources to back your evidence before deciding on settling on such a topic
- Chose a topic that addresses the issues facing your society
- Write down your main sociology ideas and note the critical keywords to develop an original topic for your paper.
- Consult your instructor for guidelines if you cannot develop a relevant topic for your sociology paper.
- Brainstorm with peers and colleagues on current societal issues that make unique sociology topics
The first step of researching a sociology paper is to do a literature review. Even though a literature review can be time-consuming, it is a fundamental step in enhancing your knowledge on the topic and getting fresh ideas for your paper.
Below are some vital goals that a literature review will help you achieve.
- It will help you define the parameters of your research by learning what is already available on the topic.
- It will help you identify gaps in the theories of other researchers that you may address in your paper.
- It will help you understand which methods researchers used for the previous studies in your field and the deficiencies of their methods.
The research stage can be overwhelming for any writer, especially in a field like sociology, where there are many variables to consider before concluding your research. For this reason, it is best to begin this step by creating a research design.
A good research design will help you divide all the necessary research tasks into subcategories like the type of study, research questions, data collection methods and results. Remember to utilize the sociology research method that is relevant to your research. Use quantitative methods when trying to establish behavior patterns for large groups of people and qualitative methods when dealing with individual relationships or interactions
The first thing you need to establish before writing the introduction to your paper is how to impact the reader. A good introduction states the initial facts of your paper and motivates the reader to keep reading. Beginning your introduction with a problem statement relevant to your research or with an interesting fact is one way to grab the readers’ attention. After, describe your thesis statement, then follow with an explanation of the methodology used to achieve the paper’s objective.
Remember to include a brief description of current situations that necessitate your study and the impact of your findings. Keep your introduction short.
In this section, maintain the reader’s attention as you did with the introduction by first presenting your most engaging theories. Organize these ideas in paragraphs and back important details with supporting evidence. To structure your paragraphs in this section, begin with a thesis statement, followed by your argument, and then conclude the paragraph with data that verifies your claims.
Remember that each paragraph should present a different idea related to the main topic. If a paragraph fails to emphasize the main subject, it is irrelevant. Additionally, remember to keep sentences short to avoid confusing the reader.
Even though a conclusion marks the end of a paper, there is still an excellent chance to make your final impression on the reader. Here are some tips to utilize to write an outstanding conclusion for your sociology paper.
- Summarize your main arguments and give conclusions – give a brief overview of how your research achieved the paper’s objective.
- Describe the significance of your paper – mention how your findings impact society in general and your paper’s contribution to that particular field of sociology.
- Mention the limitations of your study- please note that explaining these limitations does not affect the value of your work. Instead, it offers helpful insights for other researchers looking to study similar sociology fields.
- Detail any controversial issues in your paper- if the reader can draw different conclusions from the arguments made in the paper, explain why yours is the most appropriate conclusion. Remember to back up this information with clear evidence
- Explain opportunities for further research- indicate topics in sociology that other researchers can consider for further studies.
One of the major mistakes that many novice writers commit is underestimating the value of proper revision before submitting your paper. Leaving your paper with obvious grammatical errors and poor sentence structure paints a picture of low-quality writing even when your research is thorough and your arguments well-founded.
To avoid this, edit your paper by rectifying poor paragraph structure, ambiguity and tone. Additionally, ensure that ideas follow logically by correcting grammatical errors and inconsistencies in referencing style, formatting, spacing and margins, and numbering.
Go over your paper several times or read it aloud if that helps. If you are satisfied with the final results, you may submit your sociology paper.