In this research paper assignment, you choose a topic from the list below and conduct library research and write a short scholarly paper (5-page minimum, double-spaced, 20% of the course grade). Your goal is to demonstrate comprehension of relevant sociological concepts and theoretical ideas and apply them effectively to a sociological example. You must submit your paper using Blackboard. Your paper must meet the following requirements:
• Select a theory or concept from the list below. These concepts and theories correspond to specific sociological topics we covered in this course. Be sure to explain the theory or concept of your choice in detail.
1. Durkheim’s theory of suicide
2. Weber’s theory of social action
3. Marx’s class struggle
5. Strain theory
6. Labeling theory
7. Mead’s theory of self
8. Goffman’s dramaturgy
9. The strength of weak ties
10. The McDonaldization of society
11. Weber’s theory of authority (domination)
12. Functionalist and conflict views of social stratification and social inequality
13. Structural racism
14. Doing gender
15. Feminist theory
16. Durkheim’s theory of religion
• Find at least one specific example that you can use to further explicate the concept (or theory) of your choice. In other words, you must link the concept (or theory) with empirical reality. You may refer to outside sources for this example such as academic and journalistic sources.
• Find at least two scholarly supports for your analysis or discussion (not including Conly and the required course readings). You are encouraged to find more than two references. You are required to cite from scholarly journal articles and academic books.
• Write and submit a scholarly paper using the concept (or theory) of your choice as the central theme throughout your paper. Your goal is to demonstrate that you understand and use the concept (or theory) to explain an example.
• Please follow legitimate guidelines for style (APA). Style guides are readily available at
the library and on the Internet.
The paper must be typed, double-spaced, and use a 12-point font in Times New Roman.
• The minimum length should be about 5–6 pages, not including a title page, an abstract
page, and reference pages. The paper should be no more than 10 pages. Meeting the
minimum page requirement does not guarantee full points.
• Please make sure your name is on it and use page numbers.
• Please make sure that your paper is free of spelling and grammatical errors.
• You must submit your paper in doc, docx, or pdf format. I will not accept your paper if
you submit your file in other formats.
• ‘Corrupt’ file papers will not be accepted.
GRADING: Grading of this assignment is generally based on the following:
• Completion of the assignment in a timely manner
• Clarity and coherence of your writing and argument
• Demonstration of your understanding of the course materials
• Effective use of relevant concepts and theories from the readings
• Application of concepts to specific examples
• Originality of your argument
• Use of proper format, including citations and bibliographical information
• Please see the general grading rubric below.
Some important points to remember:
• This is NOT an opinion paper and your discussion/analysis should not be based on a psychological, religious, political, or moral argument.
• Be careful in making statements that are speculative, value judgmental, and nonscientific (untestable, unknowable) in nature. Ask yourself: How do I know this? Can I support this idea? Similarly, try not to be moralistic, religious, or preaching.
• Do not cite the lecture. Instead, cite the reading. If necessary, locate outside sources. Do not cite your instructor or your classmates in your paper.
• NO late papers will be accepted. Exceptions can only be made for a legitimate reason and with verifying documents. Start early and anticipate any problems you might encounter (save your work often, be aware of your schedule, etc.).
• Plagiarism is a serious offence. You will receive a failing grade (a zero for the paper and an F for the course) and face serious consequences if your paper shows evidence of plagiarism. Your papers go through a rigorous scrutinizing process to check for plagiarism. See the syllabus for more information.
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