The final research paper will be on a social problems topic of your choice.
The paper should include at least 6 sources, 4 of which must be academic, peer-reviewed sources. The other two can be news, governmental, organizational, or otherwise trustworthy sources. All 6 sources can be academic if you so choose.
The paper should take the form of a literature review – summarize/synthesize your sources, include an argument about the state of the field, the limitations of the research, and what should be done next in terms of research, but also in terms of social action and/or public policy creation.
You might structure your paper as follows:
1. Introduction (1/2 – 1 page)
A. Include a justification for why the topic is sociologically important and why it is a social problem
B. Define any terms that need to be defined, up front (don’t list out terms and definitions, but if you use jargon, define it early on)
2. Summary/synthesis of sources (about 2 pages)
A. Summarize your academic sources in a way that brings the research into dialogue with each other, even if they aren’t speaking directly to each other; focus on summarizing their findings and their contribution to the wider body of literature
B. Define jargon/specialized terms as you use them
3. Limitations (about 1 page)
A. What did the research do well? What could it have done better?
B. Are there any serious limitations to the sub-field of research on this topic as a whole?
4. Argument/Discussion (1 – 2 pages)
A. Make an argument about how this social problem might be solved or made better
B. Discuss possible future research, social action, and public policy
5. Conclusion (1/2 – 1 page)
A. Recap/summarize what you have discussed throughout the paper
B. Restate your final argument and justification for why the topic is sociologically important
C. Wrap things up by asking further questions or mentioning the possibilities for the future
6. References (must include, but is not part of final page count)
FORMATTING AND STYLE
The paper should be 5-7 pages, 12pt font (Times New Roman or other “normal” font), with 1-inch margins.
You should include in-text citations as well as a reference page/works cited/bibliography. You can use any citation style you want, as long as you are consistent throughout the paper.
Literature Review Guides and Resources from the DU library:
Literature Reviews for the Humanities, Social Sciences, & Sciences
<a href=”https://libguides.du.edu/c.php?g=90453&p=581891″ rel=”nofollow” target=”_blan
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