Sociology in the real world

  • 5 pages (at least)
  • double spaced
  • no larger than 12 point font
  • no larger than one inch margins

You will be required to write a social issue paper about something that you have experienced.

Topic 2:  Your experience with stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination (based on race, gender, culture, sexual orientation, mental health, disability — including learning disability, and/or physical characteristics)

Paper Guidelines

Your paper should include the following headings (shown in bold).

I.  Introduction to Topic

  • Clearly identify your topic
  • Discuss how the issue has impacted your life

II.  Overcoming/Coping/Adapting

  • What have you done to overcome, adapt, or address the issue(s)? 

III.  Research

  • What does research say on the subject? 
    • What have researchers found about how the issue has impacted people in our society?  
    • What have researchers discovered about how our society has responded to such issues?

Use at least three sources to answer the questions above.  One reference may be your textbook.  The other sources should be scholarly articles.  When in doubt, ask a librarian or me.  

What is a scholarly article?  Please watch the brief video below;

Please be sure to cite, using text citations (commonly knowns as endnotes).  For quick tips on formatting in ASA style, please visit this webpage. (Links to an external site.) 

IV.  Theory

Which sociological theory could you apply to your experiences?  (Structural Functionalism, Conflict Theory, Symbolic Interactionism.)  Use your book for guidance.  For example, how did the chapter on gender socialization tie in theory? 

  • Choose one of the three theories and relate it in some way to your topic.  Use examples to further illustrate your understanding of the theory.   Please sure to cite your textbook on the references page.  

V.  Website/Organization and Critique

Research various websites of non-profits, political, or educational organizations that address your topic with the idea/goal of reducing the problem on a societal level (for example, an organization created to promote gender equity/reducing the pay gap, or organizations to improve health and/or education access based on income inequality, or organizations that promote racial equality/tolerance).  

  • Choose one website to research in-depth. Carefully explore the organization’s website.
  • Describe what the organization does.  What are its goals?
  • What is one way the organization could improve? What additional resources could they offer, or what new goals should they address?  Be specific.  Pretend you’ve been hired by the organization to improve upon what they do.  (Include the link to the website in your paper.)

VI.  Conclusion

  • Wrap up your ideas; include your final thoughts.
  • (Please go back and read your paper and check for any grammar, spelling, or punctuation mistakes.)

VII.  References

  • List your references alphabetically (by first author’s last name) in ASA format on a separate sheet of paper.   For quick tips on formatting in ASA style, visit this webpage. (Links to an external site.)
  • Your textbook should be cited as such:   Griffiths, Heather and Nathan Keirns. 2015.  Introduction to Sociology. 2nd ed. Houston, Texas: OpenStax. 
  • Please note, the reference page is not counted toward the 5 (or more) page requirement.
  • Please remember the hanging indent.  For tips on formatting a hanging indent, please visit this website (Links to an external site.).
  • For more information on formatting references, please view this video. (Links to an external site.)


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