Skip to Main Content

SOC 497: Sociology Senior Research Seminar

Research Guide for SOC 497

Writing Your Research Paper

For your Research Paper, you will use sources to build arguments and conclusions about your research study findings.


1. Introduction: summarizes your project and explains its importance

  • Start the introduction by defining the topic of your study and why it was important
  • Discuss the research questions you studied
  • Discuss your findings, with a brief summary of your arguments about what you found
  • Include your thesis statement

2. Literature Review: a review of the literature that you used to build your research study. Final draft of the Literature Review you submitted for the Literature Review assignment, revised according to the received.

4. Methods: provides detailed information about your research study design. Your Methods section should include details about:

  • the methodologies you used to conduct your research study and why they're appropriate for your research area
  • your sample, the procedures you used to gather data and how you analyzed your data 
  • reflection on any problems encountered in gathering your data and what you would do differently 

5. Findings: report the findings of your research study as well as interpret your findings by focusing on several themes. 

  • Explanation of results: whether or not the results were expected, explanations for the results, and trends and patterns that emerged from your results and their meanings
  • Explain your themes and use examples to back up your points, including quotes and texts from the interviews and/or tables from your data analysis

6. Conclusion: reflect on the significance of your findings and build arguments about your findings

  • Restate your research question from the introduction in different words
  • Analyze your data and examples to show how they link to your broader research question
  • Briefly summarize your main points or arguments and pull them together to answer your main research question
  • References to previous research: compare your results with findings from other studies 
  • Use evidence from research sources to build your arguments about what your study findings mean
  • End with a strong, final statement that ties the whole paper together and makes it clear the paper has come to an end
  • No new ideas should be introduced in the conclusion, it should only review and analyze the main points from the body of the paper (with the exception of suggestions for further research)

7. Bibliography: a list of the sources you cited in your research paper. 

  • Each of the sources you cited in your research paper (in-text) should lead to a citation in the Bibliography, and each citation in the Bibliography should come from an In-text citation.
  • Follow the instructions on Cite Your Sources to put your Bibliography together

For more writing help, contact the Writing Center and make an online appointment to meet with one of their consultants.

University of Michigan - Dearborn Logo
  • 4901 Evergreen Road
    Dearborn, MI 48128, USA
  • Phone: 313-593-5000
  • Contact us