Social Science Questions


As this course surveys various disciplines within the social sciences, your final paper is directly tied into navigating the varying ways one can approach a certain topic. Think about it similarly to the Eller text: he is regularly noting how certain questions are addressed differently by each discipline and does a special focus each chapter on terrorism. You are going to do the same thing, just on a topic of your own choosing.

Important note: you can not choose terrorism as your topic for the final project.

While you’re not needing to get into a polemical debate between the disciplines, you are going to need to choose a social science topic of interest to you to assemble a set of readings to help you adjudicate it.

To get things going, this assignment has you proposing a topic. This allows me to make sure that you’re on the right track in terms of choosing a project that is explicitly social in nature.

For this assignment, your document needs to be double-spaced, size 12 Times New Roman font, with 1-inch margins detailing the following the items. Please note that Canvas will only accept the following file types: .doc, .docx, or .pdf

Your document must contain the following elements

  • Topic:
    • The broad topic in which you’re interested. Also, why are you interested in this topic/area of study?
      • For example, you can look to something like, “The social factors that influence diet,” “Families and the Great Recession” or “Music and social life”
    • Give some pre-emptive insight into your thoughts: what do you think the is inherently social (regardless of discipline) about this topic?
    • What do you already know about this topic?
  • Two annotated bibliography entries.
    • Notice that the final paper has you choosing five different disciplines as well as interdisciplinarity as differing approaches to your final project. Right now you will be searching for two academic, peer reviewed articles and they need to be from two different disciplines. You can choose form the ones we will already have covered by the time this is due (history, economics, and politics) or from two of the later disciplines.
    • For this, OWL Purdue has a great entry on annotated bibliographies.
    • Note, that each entry should be at least 1/2 a page each!
    • Each entry must contain: a summary, an assessment, and a reflection.
    • Note: I am not concerned about which citation style you use (MLA, APA, etc.). Use which style of citing you do best and do that uniformly.


What is below are the parameters of the final project so you can see what you’re working toward. You are not doing this right now, this is just so you know what you’ll be doing with the topic you’re proposing.

Your final paper serves as a culmination of what we’ve been covering throughout this course. It is aimed at pushing you to position yourself as a social scientist, conceptualizing, approaching, and proposing a topic of interest to you.

To that end, the Research Paper contains the following, required items:

  1. Introduction
  2. Literature Review of differing perspectives on your topic
  3. Summative integration and reflection on the ways the disciplines can work together
  4. Conclusion
  5. References
  • Minimum of 6 full pages of text (note: this does not include your name/date of submission, references, etc.).

Each of these components break down as follows:

  1. Introduction (aim for 1/2 to 3/4 page)
    1. The introduction will serve to introduce the topic and idea to your audience. In this case, you need to construct an introduction that motivates an interest in the topic as well as introduces the basic necessities of understanding to your reader. To that end, your introduction should focus primarily on your issue of interest (the pay gap, for example).
      1. Your introduction can benefit from a strong, supporting claim. Maybe something that was recently in the news on your topic (so, if you were writing about social media’s effects on youth, incorporating something about coverage of the Facebook whistleblower’s claims would be good OR look up some basic data on the usage of social media by youth, like how much they use it and/or which platforms, etc.)
    2. Make sure there is a clear thesis of what your overall paper that situates your topic clearly and highlights that you’re presenting various viewpoints on this topic.
    3. It should give some insight into the components that underlie that issue (define it, give a bit of history on it, and also present basic statistics for it, which you can obtain through places like newspaper articles or research organizations like Pew).
      1. Remember: the introduction motivates the reader to want to know more, so it needs to stay focused on the issue that you want to address. If you have an annual review article, it can give you some great basic details for your introduction.
  2. Literature Review (aim for about two-thirds of a page for each discipline here, so about 4 pages total minimum)
    1. For your literature review, you must use a minimum of 6 peer-reviewed, academic research articles. The literature review serves to fine tune your point further and helps you to focus on where you are most specifically interested, namely the key concepts, factors, and variables that you think influence the problem you are trying to understand.
      1. Five of the article will come from the standalone disciplines. You can choose any of the five that you’d like. So, you’re picking five from: History, Political Science, Economics, Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, and Geography.
      2. One article must be explicitly interdisciplinary.
    2. For example, say you were interested in EDM festivals. For research articles, you can consider that the differing disciplines may look something like the following:
      1. Anthropologists would likely do an ethnography of festivals to build out an understanding of the cultural facets of attendance
      2. Economists could centralize a focus on the ways in which festivals are beneficial to local economies or the ways in which scalped festival tickets signal that base ticket prices can increase.
      3. Political scientists may focus on the ways local municipalities respond to and create rules and limits on festival growth/expansion.
      4. Psychologists could investigate the nature of euphoria and happiness that festival attendance induces.
      5. Sociologists may investigate issues of access to see who can and who can’t attend.
      6. The interdisciplinary approach is obviously more of a wild card depending upon what sorts of disciplines are being integrated.
    3. For this section, you’re welcome to break it down into subsections alongside the differing disciplines.
  3. Summative integration (aim for about 1 page here)
    1. This section is a space for you to address the ways in which these differing disciplines provide a more holistic vantage point on your topic. Because of this, you need to take what you’ve learned throughout the course, combined with the specific literature you’ve assembled, to explain how and why the differing vantages combined offer the best opportunity for understanding your given topic.
    2. Work to make sure they integrate cleanly, clearly, and
  4. Conclusion (aim for about .5 page here)
    1. The conclusion reiterates your main research question and really offers the moment that you can fully make sure that everything brought home, as it were. You’re not merely reiterating exactly what you just said. Rather, you’re using it to make sure your reader understands the full ideas and implications. You should also articulate what it doesn’t address and that future papers can integrate to understand the topic more fully.
    2. Do not take this section lightly as it is the section that signifies explicitly the purpose of this survey course.
  5. References
    1. In addition to using in-text citations, you must also have a references list. Use whichever citation method you want but it must be applied correctly and uniformly!

Social Science Questions

Tips in writing a perfect essay

Writing a perfect essay requires careful planning, research, and attention to detail. Here are some tips to help you craft a great essay:

Social Science Questions


  1. Start with a clear thesis statement that states your main argument.
  2. Use evidence and examples to support your thesis statement.
  3. Create an outline to organize your thoughts and ensure a logical flow of ideas.
  4. Use clear and concise language, avoiding unnecessary jargon or complex sentence structures.
  5. Edit and proofread your essay carefully for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.
  6. Take breaks and come back to your essay with fresh eyes to ensure you haven’t overlooked anything.

By following these tips, you can write a well-structured, well-researched, and compelling essay.

Social Science Questions