Police brutality;The paper should identify the Social Problem; Causes, and Solutions. Be sure to identify alternative views and solutions to the social problem selected. I would be glad to accept rough drafts up until a week before the paper is due in ord


This course is intended to give students a broad understanding of social problems from a sociological perspective, and how they are often interrelated. To this end, students are expected to write a 6–10 page final paper that illustrates their cumulative knowledge gained. The goal of the assignment is to explain why/how a particular social issue has become a social problem. The paper should be a major, in-depth examination of some major social problem. It should demonstrate that you are familiar with the relevant research, and that you understand the issues and controversies involved. Possible topical ideas include; race and ethnicity, social class/poverty, gender inequality, sexual orientation, alcohol and drug abuse, prostitution, crime and criminal justice system etc.

The paper should identify the Social Problem; Causes, and Solutions. Be sure to identify alternative views and solutions to the social problem selected. I would be glad to accept rough drafts up until a week before the paper is due in order to offer feedback, although a draft is not required. The papers must be handed in on time, except again in case of an extreme circumstance, in which case I should be contacted prior to the due date. I must approve your topic by September 27. By October 11, you should give me a one-page typed summary briefly describing your proposed topic and any sources you have already identified. I encourage you to schedule meetings with me to talk about your ideas. Note that there is nothing that stops you from starting or even completing your paper well in advance of the due date; if you get a lot of the work done early the end of the semester will be a lot less hectic for you. The paper should include a bibliography and all sources for material should be clearly cited. I want both an electronic and printed version of your paper. Papers are due November 29 (although you are welcome and encouraged to hand them in well before that.). More information will be given shortly regarding this assignment

The Literature Review should answer the following questions:

  1. What have others said about this topic?
  2. What theories address it and what do they say?
  3. What research has been done previously?
  4. Are there consistent findings, or do past studies disagree?
  5. Are there flaws in the body of existing research that you feel you can remedy?
  6. How will your research draw on (or draw off of, or relate to) the existing research that you are citing?


As you begin reading the articles, think about whether and how they address your interest. Then re-answer the five questions above. Your direction for your project may change slightly as you “get into the literature.”


You must cite at least five sources. Each of the five sources should directly touch upon your research and you should directly write about how your research will address the literature you cite. Here are some ways to do it:


Hints for Writing the Literature Review:

When writing your Literature Review, try to use an academic language style.

Here’s are two examples of what you DON’T want to do:

Carlos Dominquez, in his article, The Effects of Usage on Marijuana Attitudes says that …

The Effects of Usage on Marijuana Attitudes: This article talks about …

Instead, try these types of four approaches:

Smith (2010) argues that …


Martinez (2011) takes issue with Smith’s conclusions …


Research shows that …………………………………… (Smith 2010, Jones 2004).


Recent research demonstrates …………………………. (Martinez 2002, Mondragon 2006)

In order to make clear how your research project is related to the literature you find, you should clearly explain to the reader the relationship(s). Here are some examples:

Based on __________’s research (2005), I expect to find that respondents of the ________________ survey will hold similar views about ______________. 


_________’s research (2000) suggests that respondents of the ______________ survey will ______________, and I intend to test whether these relationships hold true among these respondents.


Following ________________‘s research (2010), I intend to investigate whether similar attitudes can be found among the respondents of the _________ survey.


I intend to further __________’s research (2009) by investigating this relationship with more current data from the _______________ survey.

The Literature Review of your paper should cite at least five bibliographic sources. They should relate directly to your research question, and they should be cited properly in the body of your paper and at the end in a Bibliography section.

REMEMBER: You are looking for articles in REFEREED journals only. This means that someone sends in a research paper that is then submitted to a committee of sociologists who reviews it and decides whether it is sociologically significant and sociologically sound. If it is, then it is published. Or, it may go through a series of revisions and then be published. Many submitted research papers, if not most, are rejected. This process helps to ensure that the research that is published is good.

FINALLY, don’t forget the transitional sentences between sections of your research project. At the end of the Introduction, you should have:










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