To prepare for your Final Paper (due in Week Five), complete the following assignment and submit it to your instructor for feedback.
Problem Statement: Describe the social problem you have selected for your paper.
Overview: Using the Final Paper instructions in Week Five as a guide, provide an overview of the topics you will discuss in your Final Paper. Your overview, just like your Final Paper, is expected to include a problem statement or description of the social problem you have selected, a discussion of the scope and consequences of the problem, and a discussion of society’s responses to the problem, including at least one alternative solution to the 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 evaluated carefully.
The overview of your Final Paper must be two to three double-spaced pages in length (not including the title page and reference page) and formatted according to the APA style guide. You must use a minimum of three scholarly sources (at least one of which must be found in the Ashford University Library) other than the textbook to support your claims and subclaims. Cite your sources in the text of your paper and on the reference page. For information regarding APA samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation menu.
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 paper:
- 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 data.
- 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 alternative response.
- Conclude with reflections and thoughts about your chosen social problem.
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 Center.
- Must include a title page with the following:
- Title of paper
- Student’s name
- Course name and number
- Instructor’s name
- Date submitted
- 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.