How to Write a Good Sociology Essay
Writing a good sociology essay requires good writing skills, incisive research, sound reasoning, persuasive argumentation and critical thinking. Such an essay should avoid bias, superficiality and dogma, but instead, should be objective and clear, while basing its conclusions on compelling evidence.
Use Your Imagination
Every good sociology essay makes a point about something that matters. Choose a topic that you are interested in, even passionate about, and construct a clear, strong thesis statement after your introduction. Supportive evidence and argumentation need to go beyond the descriptive to the analytical. The depth and breadth of the analysis will vary with the assignment and subject matter, but some degree of analysis is necessary for the essay to be a good one. Think outside the box and use your imagination to connect the dots.
Interpret the Facts
A sociology essay should be factual since sociology is also an empirical science. Making sure that evidence used to support your thesis is factual and based on authoritative sources of information is the first step in the research process. The critical and creative part of writing a good sociology essay comes with the interpretation of the facts. You need to explain what they mean and why they matter. Your discussion of the research results should address interpretative questions clearly and comprehensively.
Simplify the Complex
Good sociology essays make the complexity of human behavior and social life simple to understand. That is not an easy task, but it is necessary for a good essay. Whether the research focus is on small-group behavior or mass social movements, it is essential to place the object of study into its social context during research and avoid unnecessary jargon during composition of the research results. Keep it simple and valid. Write as many drafts as necessary to achieve this result.
Value Quality over Quantity
Good sociology essays need not be lengthy. After all, you are not writing a dissertation. Compose an outline of your essay prior to writing it to give it structure. Stick to your thesis throughout the essay and make sure every paragraph coalesces around a single, main idea. Write a conclusion that links the last part of your essay to the first. Carefully proofread your final draft so that your good ideas are not marred by typos or poor grammar.
- The Sociological Imagination, C.Wright Mills
- Writing for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, Howard Becker
- Sociology Student Writer's Manual, William A. Johnson
Opa Lange has been writing about various issues for more than 20 years. His work has appeared in the "Chicago Tribune," "Cleveland Plain Dealer," "Christian Science Monitor" and several professional journals in the United States and abroad. Lange holds a Ph.D. in sociology.