Skip to main content

SOC 201: Contemporary Social Problems

Research Guide for SOC 201

Writing Your Analysis of A Social Problem Paper

Paper Structure

Your paper should be typed, double spaced, with a title and reference section. Cite your sources every time you use them in the paper.

Research papers should have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion:

1. Introduction: summarizes what you will write and puts it into context. Should consist of 3 parts:

  • "What You're Studying": start with a thesis statement about your social problem which includes background contextualizing it
  • "So What?": demonstrate why your social problem is important and why your reader should care about it
  • "Game Plan": outline the main points of your paper and the order in which you will address them

2. Body: presents the main points of the paper, with each paragraph representing one aspect of the paper's main focus. Prioritize and organize your main points and paragraphs to logically build your arguments to a compelling conclusion. Each paragraph should include a topic sentence, evidence, analysis, and a transition sentence:

  • The topic sentence summarizes the paragraph's main idea
  • Use evidence from your research sources to support or make the argument for your assertions about your main idea
  • Analyze your evidence to show how it links to your broader thesis
  • Include a transition sentence at the end of each paragraph to connect what you discussed in that paragraph with the main idea of the next paragraph

3. Conclusion: summarizes what you wrote and what you learned

  • Restate your thesis from the introduction in different words
  • Briefly summarize your main points or arguments and pull them together into the paper's main thesis
  • 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)
University of Michigan - Dearborn Logo
  • 4901 Evergreen Road
    Dearborn, MI 48128, USA
  • Phone: 313-593-5000
  • Contact us