How To Write A Sociology Research Paper Outline: Easy Guide With Template

When we think of research papers we may imagine a group scientists geared up in their lab coats and pocket protectors. They conduct experiments and document their findings to bring new discoveries to the world. But there is another aspect – social sciences, particularly sociology. The study of our society is fascinating and the facts you come across in your sociology term papers can have several interpretations. In hard sciences, data is often concrete without much wiggle room. But in social sciences, when we think of a sum of 4, should we consider 3+1 to be the same as 2+2?

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What Is A Sociology Research Paper?

Writing in sociology for research requires many well thought out methods detailed in your sociology research paper outline. How you approach your data in your sociology papers can greatly impact whether you are able to validate your hypothesis. If another peer attempts your case studies or experiments, they should be able come up with similar conclusions given similar samples. So if you’re asking how you can keep your research on track to give more concrete results, we’ve prepared some tips to keep you on course and improve the quality of your research.

Sociology Paper Format

When writing a sociology paper it’s important to know which citation style to use. Many professors use the widely used APA style guide but some lecturers may prefer to use ASA specific guidelines. Don’t worry if you’ve never encountered ASA before. If you’re familiar with APA, it will come easy as the main differences are in how you format the author’s name etc. But you’ll find they are consistent with requiring 1 inch margins on all sides, a 12pt Times New Roman font double spaced, and a title page. Take note to properly number your tables consecutively through the text. Include sub-headings where necessary and to add footnotes for supplemental data – particularly if you make use of an appendix. You’ll also find the research paper outline will have the same format and contain the same sections we’ve detailed below.

Writing a Great Sociology Research Paper Outline

Did you know you have a few options for a sociological papers outline at your disposal? Let’s take a look at three popular choices for writing a social science paper.

  1. First is the traditional outline you are probably familiar with. This format is the standard top down approach that itemizes your sections with Roman numerals and has sub-headings with capital letters and the next layer using Arabic numerals. This structure is easy to use and a good format if you already know what you plan to write about.
  2. Second is the post-draft method. Here you combine a bit of the brainstorming phase with your sociology paper outline. If you have some ideas what you want to write about, but they are half-baked, you simply start writing out a few paragraphs focused around the main idea and see which other concepts fall into place as you write. When you go through the process, the idea is to get your thoughts down to give a direction of where your research will take you. From here you select a few key ideas and build your outline around those.
  3. Last is the conceptual outline. This unique outline style is great to get a visual for your text. It works like a flow chart. Draw up some rectangles representing the key topics of your work. Then draw circles to represent sources to support each theme. With this style you’ll see how your research falls into place and which topics need to be further developed. You’ll also find your literature review a lot easier manage using this style.

No matter the method you choose to plan out your sociological papers, you’ll need to cover a few bases of how to assemble your final draft. If you’re stuck on where to begin your work, you can always buy sociology research paper from professional writers. Many students go to the pros to shore up their grades and make time when deadlines become overwhelming. If you do it on your own, be sure to double check your assignment’s requirements and fit them into the following sections.  

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Impact – start your text with an interesting fact or problem that is relevant. The most successful students aren’t only good scientists, but also know how to present their information that drives the reader’s interest to know more. This starts with a great research question of sociology. Follow up your question with the current state of knowledge. Present situations that describe why your topic needs to be developed. What are the burning questions that inquiring minds need to know? Then finish with a powerful thesis statement that is the guiding light of all that will follow in your work.

Body paragraphs

In the body of your research, start strong and lay out your most engaging arguments. Try to wow the reader with your most interesting findings. With writing in sociology it is important to detail theories backed up with supporting evidence. Even with presenting ideas many consider to be truths. Such as the gentrification of urban areas, backup these claims with empirical data. For example you may include statistics related to population changes among different demographics or income brackets. What are the results of these changes?

In the structure of your assignment, design your paragraphs with a claim and follow up with data that validates your claims. You can close each paragraph with the results of what these findings mean for your research. Particularly, illustrate how information correlates to your thesis statement.

Conclusions (write about the further analysis and conclusions from your research and literature)

When concluding your text wrap up with the main points you set to explore and whether your thesis statement is proven. Do not introduce new concepts or leave open ended questions. However, you may indicate any knowledge gaps you have uncovered to promote where future research may be beneficial for your topic. When reading your conclusion focus the reader’s attention to what has been learned from your work and how they may benefit from it.

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Editors on PapersOwl can edit your paper and give recommendations on how to improve your writing:

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Sociology Research Paper Outline Example

So if you’re ready to get started on your text, here is an example of the material we have discussed. Feel free to use it as a reference and customize it to the requirements of your assignment. In post graduate assignments you may need to add additional sections per your course requirements.

I. Introduction

A. Topic: Acceptance of transgender individuals in the workplace

B. Knowledge gaps of A. Larson’s analysis

C. Thesis statement on the effectiveness of company inclusion training

II. Body

A. High-level case studies of sample companies employing transgender individuals

B. Perception of transgender discrimination in the work place

C. Challenges companies face with inclusion policies

III. Conclusion

A. The results of company inclusion training

B. Areas of improvement

C. Steps companies should take to be more inclusive

Sociology research papers can be a tough nut to crack but with the right planning you’ll be well on your way to crafting high quality work that will grab the attention of your peers. Consider the outline examples that best suit your work to best organize your ideas. With the right plan you’ll be able to focus on your passions and enjoy the academic process much better.

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