The paper must have 8 sections:
Title Page, Introduction, Literature Review, Methods, Analysis of Data, Conclusion, Bibliography, Raw data analyses
Sections of the final paper
1. Title Page (Abstract included on this page)
3. Literature Review
5. Analysis of Data
7. Bibliography/Works Cited
8. Raw data analyses
First is the title page
Title Page: This is the very first page of the entire assignment. Most importantly, it includes a word count on the title page. The word count is only for the main body of your paper (Introduction section through Conclusions section) and is not to include any other sections, i.e. Bibliography, raw data analysis, abstract, etc. In addition, the title page includes the title of your paper/study, abstract (summary of the paper), date,
Then the Abstract:
Abstract: The abstract is a one-paragraph summary of your entire paper. In a nutshell, it’s a short summary of the entire paper/study. One full paragraph (100-200 words).
Introduction: Introduce readers to your topic. Catch the reader’s attention! Explain the topic and explain why it is an important topic that the reader should care about. You may include a brief history of your topic in this section, too.
Then Literature Review:
Literature Review: Pick ten to fifteen articles written by other sociologists on your research topic. Identify any important findings from each of those articles that relate to and/or strengthen an idea you are trying to express in your paper. Findings are most often found in the Conclusion section of an academic article. Use your own words when explaining other sociologists’ ideas
Methods: In this section, you describe the methods you used to conduct your study. The purpose of this section is to explain to the reader how you collected your data for this research study. The reader wants to know if you conducted a legitimate study (one based on a thorough and competent scientific investigation) or if you did a crappy study. In addition, you must be very clear and detailed in explaining each method you used so that future researchers can replicate your study if it inspires them to do so. The primary two methods of this research study are: observations and interviews. If you have performed any additional methods (historical research, online ethnography), then explain how you conducted those methods here as well. But only two methods are required: observations and interviewing. You will explain the setting and details of the research conducted. For interviews, for example, you will say where you conducted interviews (“from my home office over Zoom”); when you conducted interviews (date and time); how long they lasted; whether or not they were structured or semi-structured interviews; information about the interviewee that is relevant to your research (i.e. job title, family role [i.e. husband, wife, son, daughter] any other role of relevance [i.e. whether or not they are a former prisoner, student, etc.]); tell the reader the interviewee’s sex, age, and race; and tell the reader how many people were interviewed.
Analysis of Data: (most important section of paper):
a. For interviews: Listen to interview all the way through at least once (twice is better).
i. For observations: Read all of your notes at least 2-3 times.
b. For interviews: Now, listen to the interview again, but this time, you are going to take notes. What
is the person telling you? Take notes answering this question as you listen to the interview
(stopping interview as necessary to take notes; rewinding as necessary).
i. For observations: Now, read your field notes one more time, but this time, you are going
to organize your field notes into categories (a.k.a. “themes”). Depending on how many
notes you have taken, you may have anywhere between 3-7 different categories. In
addition to placing notes into thematic categories, make sure to also remove all poorly
taken (“BS”) notes from your main document. What is left over are you well-taken notes
in your newly created thematic categories.
c. For interviews: After taking notes on each interview, ask (and answer) this important question:
What is your emerging research topic? In other words, what do all your interviews have in
common? What single topic, based on your interview data, connects the interviews together?
i. For observations: Look through your thematic categories and the notes in each, and make
sure your thematic category titles are consistent with/correspond to the field notes in each
category. In simple terms, do the field notes in each category correspond to the name of
d. For interviews: Now go through your interview notes from step “b”, and decide what notes are
relevant to your research topic and which notes are not (i.e. which interviewees’
• Restate the purpose of your research (i.e. your research question).
• Summarize the main findings of your study (i.e. the answers to your research question).
• Summarize how your study/findings relate to and/or fill a hole in the academic research on your
topic. How does your research help advance the scholarship on your topic?
• Remind the reader why they should care about your research. What is the meaning/importance of
your study to society?
• Lastly, tell the reader what future study (or studies) should be done on this topic in order to build
on the research you have done.
Bibliography/Works Cited: You are to have a References/Bibliography/Works Cited section using ASA
format (see: https://owl.english.purdue.ed
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