Research Paper Guidelines
You are selected to conduct a sociological research project which includes researching, learning, conducting a community service component and writing a 8-10 page academic paper. The goal of this paper is to inform your classmates on the details of your researched theory in practice so that they can learn how sociological concepts are present in their daily lives. Think: Theory/Experience/Student’s Lives.
The following 5 steps will help you stay on track and earn the highest grade you can on this project.
Step 1: Make a Decision
Select a broad topic below and narrow your topic to a specific concept to decide on your thesis. Make sure to pick a theory!!!!
- How is/are _______________ present in a student’s daily life and how does that affect her/him?
- Gender Performance Theory
- Double Consciousness
- Values and Beliefs
Find and read at least 4 Peer Reviewed/Authoritative Articles/Scholarly Journals about your topic
For Submission in Class: First page of each of the 4 resources you will be using with your name and topic on it.
Step 2: First Draft – Submit to me whenever you want feedback via
Write your paper based on what you learned in your research and add your own analysis and transitions. Use the research to support your claims and thesis. Be sure to cite in the paper as well as include a works cited page.
Format your paper using MS Word APA Format, which can be found in MS Word under File/New/Search for APA.
Note: Plagiarism is not acceptable. Any words or concepts borrowed must be cited in-text and referenced.
Step 3: Community Service (Experiential Learning) Component:
Considering your theory, visit an organization or conduct a community service project that incorporates your theory. Submit a “Second Draft” proposal to Prof. Young for approval.
Example 1: Movie
Theory – Gerhard Lenski’s Sociocultural Evolution – changes that come as society gains new technology.
Proposal – Watch “I am Mother” (2019) – consider the various technology used in the film to showcase the construction and deconstruction of societies. Discuss what technologies in the film essentially assisted in the further development of human kind.
Note: Other films can be options too, just approve them with Prof. Young.
Example 2: Zoom
Theory – Sapir-Whorf Thesis – people see and understand the world through the cultural lens of language
Proposal – Join a Zoom or other virtual meeting. Join a public 12-step meeting or other virtual meeting of a group that you don’t belong to. Consider the language used in the group, how those words are defined/used, and what is discussed or not discussed. How does that impact the culture of that group?
Note: Please approve the meeting with Prof. Young.
Example 3: Voluntary Observation
Theory – Alienation – the experience of isolation and misery resulting from powerlessness.
Proposal – Volunteer time at an organization. Observe the needs of the participants and speak with the program director or volunteer director about the various ways in which people are alienated.
Locations to consider:
African Burial Ground
Anti-Violence Project (AVP)
American Museum of Natural History
CALM – The Loft
Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen
Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA)
NYC Service – www.nycservice.org
Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE)
The Center – The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Community Center
Step 4: Proofread
Review and edit your work at the Virtual Writing Center or with a partner you trust who will help you find corrections to make. Make sure to have incorporated all three sections of your paper. 1. Theory 2. Project 3. Student’s Daily Lives.
Step 5: Submit Final Draft–
Final paper needs to be submitted through SafeAssign on Blackboard, keeping the similarity report under 30%.
Research Grading Rubric:
__ APA Paper Format
__ Citations (4 or more peer reviewed)
__ Content: Theory/Experience/Students
__ total X 5 = Grade _____
4. Proficient (meets most requirements)
3. Partially Proficient (some requirements missing)
2. Not Yet Proficient (many requirements missing)
1. Limited (does not meet requirements)