May 22, 2017

How to Write Analytical Sociology Papers

Analytical sociology papers are written as additional resources for undergrad students who take sociology courses at UW. Often, students face difficulties while working on these documents. In any case you should follow specific assignment instructions and ask your professor or instructor for any clarifications. Here are several tips that will help you manage these tasks.

Never Plagiarize

This is the most important thing you should remember while writing any academic paper. You should always cite every source used. This relates not just direct citations, but data, facts, which are not common known, as well as ideas, which are not your own.

Write a Strong Thesis Statement

You should state the argument clearly in the first few statements of your introductory paragraph. If you are working on theory application paper, it has to describe the theory you are using and the empirical phenomenon to which you are applying this particular theory.

Work Hard on the Introduction and the Conclusion

These parts are the first and last impression that you give to the reader.

In the introduction, it is important to set up an analytical question or problem. Sometimes, this part is called a “roadmap” for the paper. You may like to present a controversial or intriguing statement or citation here to gain the attention of your reader. Ensure this statement is relevant to the thesis.

In the concluding part, you have to restate the argument and the evidence presented in the paper. You should not introduce any new information in this part, but you can address unresolved issues, why the reader should care about what is written in the paper, directions for further research, etc.

When the paper is completed, it is necessary to revisit the concluding and introductory parts and ensure they “match” each other and reflect the argument presented in the body part.

Several More Tips

  • You are allowed to use subject headers in the long analytical papers, which help organize your argument and makes it easier to guide the readers.
  • As a rule, assignments of such type should not be based on personal anecdotes, experiences, or points of view as “data” for making an argument. However, this can vary by assignment – some ask the writer to use personal opinions and experiences, as well. If you are uncertain and have any doubts, ask your professor for clarifications.
  • Unless you do not have other instructions, you can write an analytical paper in the first person (using “I” statements) as it can greatly help avoid “I statements”): this helps avoid passive constructions, wordiness, and confusions about voice. However, if your professor asks you to avoid the first person in such papers, it is preferred to write “This paper argues…” to discern your own voice from the voice of the articles, authors and theories you discuss in the paper.
  • These are just basic pieces of advice to use while working on an academic paper. However, by using them you will surely avoid most common mistakes that are made by students in analytical sociology papers.