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Writing for Sociology

Developing the Sociological Imagination

Types of papers

The Sociology Writing Group in their publication A Guide to Writing Sociology Papers (5th Ed.), identify four types of papers based on data sources, as the most typical writing assignments given to undergraduate sociology students:

(1) the textual analysis paper, in which the student is asked to analyze some text such as an essay or book; the text itself provides the data in that the student is asked to explicate the text, not analyze the content.

(2) the ethnographic field research paper, in which the data is generated from observing and interacting with people in their normal social environments.

(3) the quantitative research paper, in which data is collected according to specific techniques of data collection and analysis in order to answer a sociological question.

(4) the general research paper, in which data is collected through library research in order to refine a research question, and to gather information in support of the paper's thesis,

  The 3-point essay The journal format
The Two Major Paper Formats 
Introduction     Literature review / statement of hypothesis
Methods     Research procedure (data collection,     measurement of variables, data analysis)
Results     Study results
Discussion     Conclusions / reflections
Conclusion Argument summary / reflections