How to Write a Sociology Research Paper

Updated: June 13, 2023

All students of the Sociology department come across the task of writing a sociology research paper from time to time.

Sometimes the task appears easy and manageable, while at other times, it may become an insurmountable challenge. We have prepared a handy guide on the entire process for those experiencing trouble with research paper writing. It will help you develop a workable algorithm of sociology research paper completion, regardless of the assigned topic and word count.

Here you will find:

  • Valuable sociology research paper guidelines
  • A detailed sample outline
  • Structuring recommendations
  • Sample introduction and conclusion paragraphs
  • Suggestions for coherent structuring of the body of your sociology research paper
  • Pre-writing and post-writing recommendations.

But if you still feel unable to complete this task on your own, feel free to contact our managers and seek writing assistance from our experts. We’ll have your sociology research paper done in hours, perfectly structured, and well-researched, ensuring top grades and professor’s satisfaction with the result.

What Is a Sociology Research Paper

Starting from the very beginning, let’s define the concept. A sociology research paper is a type of academic assignment dedicated to sociological phenomena, theories, or processes. It may also research some social group or movement, depending on your course and area of interest.

The key difference between an essay and a research paper is the depth of insight. When writing an essay, you can cover the subject briefly, focusing only on several major arguments and offering solid evidence in their support. However, when approaching a research paper, you can immerse much deeper into the subject by studying available theoretical and empirical literature about it, comparing and contrasting the existing standpoints on it, and producing an analytical evaluation.

How to Start a Sociology Research Paper

Our writers typically begin a sociology research paper with the topic formulation and preliminary research. Let’s suppose you are interested in the sociology of groups, and your assignment is to complete a sociology research paper about some group or movement.

The task is too broad to perform insightful, analytical research, so you need to scan the Internet and find some interesting topics within the broad “sociology of groups” theme. Look at the hottest topics in this area, read some articles and book reviews to define the topic narrowly. After this is done, you’ll have all the available material for drafting your paper.

How to Structure a Sociology Research Paper

Now that you have some preliminary findings and are ready to go on with research, it’s time to produce a viable structure for a well-written sociology research paper.

Here are the main elements it should contain:

  • An introductory part with the broad introduction of the concept, phenomenon, or group you’re planning to analyze. An introduction typically ends with a thesis statement encapsulating all the key arguments and giving readers a roadmap of the entire work.
  • The body of the paper typically takes up to 90% of the paper’s word count and covers all major arguments and evidence you have collected on the subject.
  • The paper’s conclusion is a chance to revisit all arguments, to discuss them briefly in the light of how they support your central thesis statement, and to infer how your presented evidence contributes to the broader area of research.

This structure works well for all research papers, regardless of the assignment specifics. So, stick to it to be on the safe side and ensure that all integral components are present.

How to End a Sociology Research Paper

The post-writing stage is not to close the file and send it over to the tutor at lightning speed, but to revise and reread the paper attentively, with proper regard to coherence, cohesion, and flow of material.

After the structural alignment is checked and looks good to you, the final touch is to proofread the paper for mechanics – grammar and spelling. Always check the paper’s correspondence to the academic formatting requirements before submission, as tutors may deduct up to 5% of the grade for improper margins, indentation, or a wrong choice of font.

Sociology Research Paper Outline

How to write a sociology research paper in APA format? Here is a universal sociology research paper outline suitable for the APA, MLA, Harvard referencing styles, and other formatting approaches.

Let’s say we have chosen the topic “are terrorist groups social movements?” An outline for such a research paper may look as follows.


A definition of social movement or group. Examples of organized social movements. Introduction of the concept of terrorism. Description of social group features inherent in terrorist cells. Thesis statement: the paper will determine whether terrorist cells can be regarded as a distinct social movement or group.

Body of the Paper

Paragraph #1: characteristics of social groups.

Paragraph #2: characteristics of terrorist cells.

Paragraph #3: features that terrorist cells and social movements share (with examples).

Paragraph #4: features that terrorist cells and social movements don’t share (with examples).

Paragraph #5: the degree to which terrorist cells can be regarded as social groups (with a review of authoritative sociologists’ various opinions on the subject).


Social grouping characteristics of terrorist cells. Conditions under which such groupings can be regarded as social movements. The social movement approach is a distinct paradigm for researching and understanding terrorist organizations.

Sociology Research Paper Introduction

Now, let’s illustrate how we can open the sociology research paper on this topic.

“With people being inherently social creatures, social groups have been commonplace since times immemorial. Today, billions of people shape myriads of social groups – social units of people regularly interacting with each other, sharing a common identity, and having some mutual expectations toward each other. With the rise of terrorism, some sociologists have attributed the characteristics of social groups, or movements, to terrorist cells, though with certain reservations. On the one hand, terrorists form loosely structured, fragmented groupings with little to no central control. On the other hand, terrorists are united by common goals and act within command-and-control cells. Thus, the status of terrorist cells in sociological terms is still vague. This research paper analyzes the features of social groups and reviews research on the sociological conceptualization of terrorist organizations.”

Sociology Research Paper Body

For the sociology research paper on terrorism as a social group, we would recommend using the following sections:

  • Nature and features of social groups (an analytical discussion citing numerous sources and comparing sociologists’ views on what constitutes a social group).
  • Features of terrorist groups (shared with social groups).
  • The uniqueness of terrorist groups as polymorphic structures.
  • Different social manifestations of terrorist groupings (e.g., formal organizations, networks, and social movements).

Proceeding to the sociology research paper’s body, one should keep in mind that paragraphs, as they are presented here, may be extended to larger sections if your word count allows.

Sociology Research Paper Conclusion

Now that you have considered all features of terrorist groups and social groups, it’s time to wrap up your arguments and return to the introductory thesis statement. Point out the arguments you evaluated as the most persuasive, and formulate your vision of terrorist groups in the sociological understanding.

Also, it is beneficial to draw conclusions by referring to a broader context; in this case, it may be the importance of studying terrorist groups as social groupings as this perspective can give better insights into their activities and a tool for curbing their malicious impact.

Sociology Research Paper Help

Writing a sociology research paper can be a challenging endeavor for many students, as it requires a thorough understanding of complex sociological theories, perspectives, and research methods. It’s not uncommon for students to struggle with structuring their arguments, analyzing sociological data, or even pinpointing an appropriate research question. This difficulty can sometimes compromise the quality of the paper, adversely affecting academic performance.

In such cases, seeking professional help can be beneficial. Relying on the expertise of vetted writers who specialize in sociology can provide necessary guidance and support, ensuring a well-structured and cogent research paper.

George Lynch
George Lynch
Literature, Psychology, Religion
Experience: 3+ years
I’ve been enjoying academic writing since day one in college. Today, having a full-time job, I’m still looking forward to writing essays and research papers online for others.
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