Your Final Paper should include a problem statement or description of
the social problem you have selected, a discussion of the scope and
consequences of the problem, and an assessment of society’s responses to
the problem (including public policies and other less formal
responses). Papers should also present a clearly reasoned alternative
that is supported by scholarly research.
While the following example can be modified to suit your needs, using
this outline as a guide will likely result in a high quality final
Describe the social problem.
Explain why this problem qualifies as a social problem.
Indicate the sociological theory or theories that may explain this social problem.
Discuss the individual and social implications of this problem.
Your discussion of implications should be supported by accurate research
Summarize what social science experts have to say about this social problem. Are their conclusions methodologically sound?
Explain what we, as a society, have done about this problem, considering public policies and other less formal responses.
Explain how well societal efforts to solve the social problem are working.
Describe an alternative.
Discuss why the alternative is, or can be, an effective response
to the problem. Remember to consider negative consequences of the
Conclude with reflections and thoughts about your chosen social problem.
Academic Research Reminder: Academic research papers
must meet university level standards of quality recognized by the
academic community. What constitutes quality, academic research?
Primary (original) sources written by experts in the field of study.
Secondary sources supported by research in primary sources.
Credible sources (experts in the field; well-known theorists;
sources which use primary and secondary sources to support claims).
Relevant research (materials are pertinent to the area of study).
In graduate work, the use of peer-reviewed journal articles
(journal articles reviewed by recognized experts in the relevant field
of study) is required.
Educational and government websites (those ending with a web URL
suffix of .edu or .gov) may be appropriate in some cases but should be
Writing the Final Paper
The Final Paper:
Must be five to seven double-spaced pages in length, and
formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing
Must include a title page with the following:
Title of paper
Course name and number
Must begin with an introductory paragraph that has a succinct thesis statement.
Must address the topic of the paper with critical thought.
Must end with a conclusion that reaffirms your thesis.
Must use at least five scholarly resources, including a minimum of three from the Ashford Online Library.
Must document all sources in APA style, as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
Must include a separate reference page, formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.