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How to write a sociology paper?


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Illustration of a crowd of people in need of sociology homework help

Sociology is a science that studies social groups, their organization, history, development, norms, traditions, interaction and behavior of its members. It analyzes how people act and think when they are a part of a certain group, which changes the influence of the group brings to the life of an individual, and what aspects shape the group itself.

Pursuing a degree in the field or just taking the course at university, you will learn something new every day. In order to help you do it more effectively, professors will often assign you some assignments involving writing in sociology classes. How do you approach such tasks and what topics would be the most suitable ones to review? Let’s find it out from this brief article.

Topics for sociology term papers

  • Modern subcultures
  • Social status in ancient and medieval times
  • Society and globalization: main trends
  • Boomers, generation X, and millennials: generation gap problem
  • Racial intolerance in the 21st century
  • Body positivity in the modern world
  • Economic struggles of the millennial generation
  • Collective vs individual consciousness

Sociological research paper topics

  • Online communication: struggles and trends
  • The consequences of Internet anonymity
  • Cyberbullying in the US
  • Buying behavior of modern teenagers
  • Teenage suicide: alarming world trends
  • Mechanisms of stereotypes
  • The most common stereotypes about the Americans (or any other nationality)
  • Interracial marriage in the past and present
  • The impact of TV on children
  • Anorexia in teenage girls in the US

Sociology paper outline

The structure of your work will depend on the type of paper you are writing. However, there are a few common sections that you will need to include no matter what you write:

  • Introduction with a hook phrase, a thesis statement, and some explanatory background info.
  • Body paragraphs with the review of points presented in the thesis statement. If you are writing a research paper, this section will cover the methodology, lit review, and a discussion of your findings.
  • Conclusion that includes a restated thesis, an overview of what has been mentioned in the body, and a final sentence calling for further reflection.

Things to remember before writing a sociology essay

Think of an appropriate topic

If a teacher has given you a chance to choose a topic for paper yourself, make the most of it and pick something you like. The first step you need to take is to limit the area you will be searching for the topic in. Look through the last few lectures you had on the subject and limit your choice to those issues that have been discussed there. Afterward, think about current problems and pick two or three you suppose will make a good sociology essay or term paper. Get rid of cliché-like topics - the ones students keep using all over again for years, and you will get a few great options that can be narrowed down to a perfect topic.

Choose the research method

All papers on sociology require students to do qualitative research before writing, even if they are asked to include their personal opinion on the issue that is being discussed. Hence, if you are certain about the topic you have chosen, it is time to find a research method that will help you to cover the theme. Sociology offers numerous research methods, but, as some of them are too advanced, you will not need to look through them all.

The most popular method is, for sure, a survey. It requires designing the questionnaire and organizing a group of people who fit certain criteria. Observation and examination are other practical methods that are easy enough for students to use. Here, you need to look at a certain process and analyze it for some time, expecting to get one of the defined results. Another part of your research will involve a review of primary sources of information like interviews, books, sociology research articles, and a historical method that deals with secondary data like journals, biographies, etc.

Outline the paper

It is better to outline the sociology paper yourself relying on the topic, research method, and data you have gathered. Think about the body of essay first and what kind of points you want to cover there. Do not forget that a single body paragraph should comprise only one idea and have a transitional sentence in the end to smoothly move to another point. Thus, you will not confuse readers and make your paper look more coherent.

When you are done with the main section, you can move on to the introduction and its most important part - a thesis statement. It should not only show what question you will answer or what issue you are going to investigate, but also mention how you will do it. You will have to restate the thesis in a conclusion later, include a brief summary of body paragraphs, and, if you are asked to, add your opinion regarding the topic. When you are sure you have thought out every stage of the working plan, you can start writing a sociology paper.

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