Skip to Main Content

SOC 320: Sociological Theory (Spring 2021) (Professor Ali)

SOC 320 Paper Proposal Assignment Guidelines (Professor Ali)

Paper Proposal Guidelines

The proposal must be two (2) double-spaced pages in length and specify a social issue or social problem. Consider the following questions when writing your proposal: a) What are you specifically interested in exploring on this topic? b) Why is this topic a significant social issue? c) What question/s do you have that are unanswered regarding this topic? This can be a historical issue where we see changes in society’s perception of the issue; or engage discussions/debates on a contemporary issue in the United States and/or globally. The more detail, the better.

Picking a Topic

Consider a topic you could develop in a later study (thesis or upper level courses). Here are some topic suggestions (feel free to alter elements of these suggestions):

  • Academic industrial complex
  • Lack of resources for veterans
  • Redlining
  • Climate change
  • Diversity in higher education
  • Media representation of crime and criminality
  • Restorative or transformative justice
  • Privatized/for-profit healthcare
  • Drag culture
  • School-to-prison pipeline
  • Medical racism
  • Access/lack of access to abortions
  • Food deserts / food apartheid
  • Push-out rates in secondary education
  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA/Dreamers)
  • Family separation at the Mexico-U.S. border
  • Bathroom bans

Your proposal must include:

  1. Background on the social issue / social problem – use citations (reference articles from your annotated bibliography or class discussions)
  2. One clear research question – supporting questions can follow the original question
  3. Objectives of this research – What’s the purpose of your research? Why are you asking these questions? Why is it significant?
  4.  Theoretical frameworks – Outline and explain 2 to 3 theoretical frameworks (from the course) that can be used to understand your research topic. These can be frameworks we have not yet studied – to be studied later in the semester, such as postcolonial theory, queer theory, etc. These frameworks must be applied to your study. Consider: how can this theoretical framework help in understanding your social issue/problem? What is its relevance to your topic?

As always, please refer to Dr. Ali's full assignment guidelines in Cougar Courses. 

SOC 320 Annotated Bibliography (Professor Ali)

You will obtain and analyze six (6) peer-reviewed, academic journal articles. These sources will provide and deepen your research-based knowledge on a social issue/problem of your choosing. For each entry, you will write a bibliographic reference using APA format, followed by a specific six-sentence annotation.

Specific instructions for writing a six-sentence annotation

This annotation method is an adaptation of Margaret Woodworth’s (1988) rhetorical précis, which provides a condensed statement of the text’s main argument, followed by other statements about the text’s rhetorical elements, including the author’s purpose, methods, and intended audience. It also draws connections between texts, and the text’s relevance to the course focus.

Please refer to Dr. Ali's full assignment guidelines in Cougar Courses for examples of what the six-sentence annotation should look like.