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SOC2000 – VARHOLA WRITING PROJECT Constructing a Sociological Research Paper EVALUATION: This collection of graded projects is worth 40% of your overall course grade. In order to receive maximum credit for this project, all requirements listed below must be met. Annotated bibliographies, formal outlines, and final research papers will all be evaluated using rubrics (available in Pilot) designed to specify the student’s writing strengths and weaknesses. PART 1: SOCIAL PROBLEM SELECTION. By the beginning of the third week, each student will have selected a social problem of interest that will be used as a point of focus for the remainder of the writing project. Selections will be peer reviewed in class, and together we will collaborate to cement your social problem selection into a working research question. PART 2: ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHIES. Each student will submit annotated bibliographies for three (3) sources in one Microsoft Word document, all in APA format. All three sources will be relevant to your selected social problem and research question. Annotated bibliographies are due in Pilot on MONDAY FEBRAURY 17 th . PART 3: FORMAL OUTLINE. Your formal outline will include substantive subject matter for all of the items listed in Part 4 below. Each main bullet point in your outline (introduction, literature review, data and methods, theory, conclusion) shall have multiple subsections below it. The last subsection of your introduction will be your research question. Outlines will be 2-3 pages of content in length (not counting the cover or references pages), and will include five (5) academic peer-reviewed sources. Individual formal outlines are due in Pilot on MONDAY MARCH 10 th . PART 4: FINAL RESEARCH PAPER. Introduction: Provide general background on your social problem. Explain why you consider it to be a social rather personal problem. Use one citation that highlights the nature of your social problem, and explain how it will be used as a connecting thread between the remaining sections of your paper. Define the terms “sociology” and “sociological imagination” and apply them to your social problem. Explain the value of using sociology and your sociological imagination to understand social life as it relates to your social problem. Cite any sources you use (direct quotes or paraphrases) in APA format. The last sentence of your introduction will be your research question. Research Question: Your research question will be a concise and narrow (one sentence, in the general form of IV->DV) explanation of the relationship that you will be exploring in the rest of your paper. Remember, your research question will be included in your paper as the last sentence of your introduction. Literature Review: Conduct a review of relevant academic literature pertaining to your social problem. Compare and contrast key arguments and theories from similar sources, and analyze and explain key differences/conflicts between dissimilar sources. Cite any sources you use (direct quotes or paraphrases) in APA format. Data and Methods: Show how relevant, widespread or significant your selected social problem is by reviewing the data and method of data collection in your academically relevant sources. Include information about, and your analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of, each of the following from all of your relevant sources: sample size, choice of methodological approach, and important findings. Cite any sources you use (direct quotes or paraphrases) in APA format. Theory: Consider your social problem through the lenses of the three central sociological theoretical paradigms – functionalism, social conflict, and symbolic interactionism. Which one best explains your social problem? Discuss the best fit, then compare and contrast this perspective to the other two paradigms. Remember that a well-argued theory section not only advances one position, it also argues against the other core theoretical perspectives. Conclusion: Restate your thesis statement, and express any conclusions you have reached throughout the course of preparing your research paper. This is the section in which you can express your opinions about the subject. Include ideas for how future research into this social problem may be conducted. Discuss potential applications to policy that may impact the social problem of focus (e.g. changes in law, institutional procedures). Final research papers will be 4-5 pages of content in length (not counting the cover or references pages), and will include seven (7) academic peer-reviewed sources. Final research papers are due in Pilot on MONDAY APRIL 14 th . MECHANICS: In constructing your project, be sure to follow these instructions: 1. Use APA format. That means proper punctuation and style for in-text citations, and appropriately formatted references pages noting all sources of information contained in your project (text, books, the internet, class notes, or other sources), whether directly quoted or indirectly paraphrased. Running headers and abstract pages are encouraged, but not required, for this project. 2. Cover page. You MUST always include a cover page with the following items: a creative/informative title, your name, instructor name, course name and section number (SOC2000-xx), and project due date. 3. Format. This project is to be typewritten, with one inch margins, page numbering (except the cover page), font size 12, and double line spacing. Appropriate spelling, punctuation, and grammar are considered in the grading of this project. ASSISTANCE: The instructor and graduate teaching assistant are available to students for a general review of assignments for completeness and satisfying project requirements prior to the due date of the project. HOWEVER… Questions about the use of APA format and other technical writing issues are to be directed to the WSU Writing Center (775-4186), WSU Writers Hotline (775-2158), and/or style manuals (available on-line on the WSU library homepage, and available in hard copy in the reference area of the WSU library). THIS PROJECT REQUIRES APA FORMATTING AND CITATION STYLE. A link to the Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University, one of the most up-to-date APA style guides available, can be found in Pilot. WARNING: The use or copying of another student’s work, or of work that is not your own, is a form of plagiarism and may be subject to academic disciplinary action. Cite the sources of your information throughout your paper for both paraphrased and directly quoted material. All student submissions may be processed through TurnItIn.com at the sole discretion of the instructor.
























  1. Introduction
  1. Meaning of Poverty
    1. Poverty refers to deficiency in financial resources to afford basic human needs such as health, clothing, food, education, shelter, clean water and security.
    2. Poverty encompasses low earnings as well as the incapability to obtain the basic goods and services essential for endurance with self-worth (Karen, 2001).
  2. Effects of Poverty
    1. Low levels of health and education, lack of access to clean water, poor sanitation, insufficient physical safety, and lack of expression.
    2. Inadequate capability and a chance to improve individual`s life.
  • Increase in social ills such as prostitution, crime, drug peddling and violence.
  1. Division of Poverty
    1. Absolute poverty: categorized by severe deficiency of basic human essentials
    2. Relative poverty: perceives poverty as socially well-defined and reliant on social background.
  2. Poverty as a Social Problem
    1. Poverty is a social problem because its impacts are recognized in society as a whole
    2. Impacts are across all groups even though women and children are the most affected.
  • Poverty divides and stratifies society into social groups and classes.
  1. Meaning of sociology in relation to poverty
    1. Sociology refers to the study of human behaviors and backgrounds, expansion, and establishments
    2. It also involves associations.
  2. Sociological Imagination
    1. The vibrant awareness of the relationship between experience and the wider society.
    2. The understanding that social results are based on what people do
  3. General perception
    1. It is to understand that some stuffs in the world may lead to a definite result.
    2. Relating sociological imagination with poverty, it is vital that people view elements of poverty in a social way, how they interact and influence each other
  4. Lesson and focus of the paper
    1. It is important that people pull away from the problem of poverty and think from an alternative point of view.
    2. In general, correlation between individual experience of poverty and its effect as the results is partly influenced by society.
  5. Thesis statement
    1. Poverty affects millions of people and condemns them to despicable lifestyles whereby they cannot afford the basic universal needs such as health, clothing, food, education, shelter, clean water and security
  6. Effects of poverty on life quality
    1. Begin before birth and accumulate across a lifetime and passes onto the next generation (Scottish Government, 2008).
    2. It interferes with overall health, cognitive growth, social and emotional wellbeing, as well as behavioral advancement and education
  1. Literature Review
  • The most affected people are the children and women.
  1. Effects on parents and children
    1. Parents of poor children are more vulnerable to mental health problems, relationship problems, as well as financial issues and drug abuse (Scottish Government 2008).
    2. As a result, poverty can affect their parenting behaviors, which can have a negative influence on children`s outcomes in school and life.
  • The impacts of poverty are not just imperative for children`s future results; it has a detrimental impact on their childhood particularly as they grow older.
  1. In general, poverty cost lives and money; it people, communities, and the entire nation (Simmel, 2009).
  1. Data and Methods
  1. Quantitative methods are frequently used to get answers concerning a population that is very large by making a full enumeration of all the members in that area infeasible.
    1. Sample creates a manageable pattern of a population (Urry, 2000).
    2. From a sample of 50 white people and 65 black and Hispanic families.
  2. It was found that Black and Hispanic families experience great poverty than White and other groups.
  3. Functionalism theory deals with issues concerning the social framework as a whole and in terms of the necessary function of its constituent components.
    1. Functionalism strongly emphasizes the pre-importance of the social world over its personal part implying human creatures.
    2. On the contrary, conflict theory tends to critique the overarching social and political systems or emphasize the inequality of particular groups (Ashley, 2005).
  4. Sociological theory accounts for social framework and the micro-scale structural models of social interactions.
    • The best theory chosen is the functionalism because it discusses issues concerning the general issues in regard to social structure.
  1. Theory
  1. Functionalism demonstrates that issues affecting an individual can be dealt with as a society rather than as an individual.
  1. Comparison of these theories
    1. This theory is preferred than the other two because the other two tend to build or critique functionalism theory.
    2. This means that they do not provide a way that the issue of poverty can be solved.
  2. Functionalism requires people to come together and share opinions on how to eradicate poverty.
  3. This paper discussed the effects of poverty on the quality of people`s lives.
    1. However, it is vital that future studies expound more on the area of people in danger of facing poverty in the future.
    2. This will enable plans to be put in place so that prevention measures may be implemented.
  4. Additionally, future research should use both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies to find the best and accurate information.
  5. The government and other relevant agencies should work collectively to ensure that right measures to eradicate poverty are in place.
    1. Most importantly, people should be educated on how to overcome poverty.
    2. This will help them have positive attitudes towards life.
  1. Conclusion

















Ashley, D. (2005). Sociological theory: Classical statements (6th Ed.). Massachusetts, CA: Pearson.

Karen, S. (2001). “Sociological miniaturism: seeing the big through the small in social psychology.” Annual Review of Sociology 27, 387–413.

Scottish Government. (2008). Achieving Our Potential: A Framework to tackle poverty and income inequality in Scotland. Edinburgh: The Scottish Government.

Simmel, D. (2009). On individuality and social forms’. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

Urry, J. (2000). Sociology beyond societies: mobilities for the twenty-first century. New York, NY: Routledge.