How to Write a Good Sociology Term Paper

How complex a topic can sociology be? Well, it includes literally every aspect of human society as legitimate subjects of study and research. With such a vast area of study, it can be incredibly intimidating to write a sociology term paper, especially for undergraduate students. On top of that, sociology requires analytical and interpretive skills that are fundamentally different from natural sciences like physics or biology, but requires evidence based in real-world facts and statistics, unlike the humanities. The good news is that the keys to writing a good sociology papers are the same as any other kind. Here are some tips to help you write a great term paper:

Write about something you care about. Even if you have a general topic assigned to you, you should be able to find some specific issue or problem that you find interesting.

Take good notes while you are researching. Note your own reactions to the material and write them down. This will help you to read more closely and actively, as well as to generate ideas for your essay. Your notes will help you refine your thoughts and develop a thesis.

Don’t be afraid of controversy. A good thesis is often one that presents a strong opinion or an original idea, and a controversial idea is bound to be both. Look at the literature on the topic, and see if there is a perspective that isn’t being expressed. You can also develop a thesis in reaction to an argument that you find flawed or simply wrong. Remember, however, that you need to provide solid evidence for your thesis.

Make your thesis narrow enough for the scope of your paper. A term paper gives you a wider scope than most assignments, but less than a dissertation. The issue you address should be specific enough for you to address all aspects of it within the space of the assignment.

Understand what kind of research your paper will require. Some research in sociology requires reading in the library, and some requires work in “the field,” observing and speaking to people. How you go about doing your research is called “methodology,” and most sociology term papers will require you to give some kind of account of your research method.

Be thoroughly familiar with the required citation format (MLA, APA, etc.) Cite all sources.