Your Paper should include a problem statement or description of the social problem you have selected, a discussion of the scope and consequences of the problem, and an assessment of society’s responses to the problem (including public policies and other less formal responses). Papers should also present a clearly reasoned alternative that is supported by scholarly research.
While the following example can be modified to suit your needs, using this outline as a guide will likely result in a high quality final paper:
- Describe the social problem.
- Explain why this problem qualifies as a social problem.
- Indicate the sociological theory or theories that may explain this social problem.
- Discuss the individual and social implications of this problem. Your discussion of implications should be supported by accurate research data.
- Summarize what social science experts have to say about this social problem. Are their conclusions methodologically sound?
- Explain what we, as a society, have done about this problem, considering public policies and other less formal responses.
- Explain how well societal efforts to solve the social problem are working.
- Describe an alternative.
- Discuss why the alternative is, or can be, an effective response to the problem. Remember to consider negative consequences of the alternative response.
- Conclude with reflections and thoughts about your chosen social problem.
Writing the Final Paper