Sociology Critical Thinking Assignment on Materialism in America

Introduction to Sociology Final Paper:
This writing assignment is designed to require students to think critically, communicate,
demonstrate empirical and quantitative skills and assess social responsibility.
Technical Requirements:
 5-7 typed pages
 Double spaced
 12 point font
 Standard margins
 5-7 different citations in the body of the text as well as at the end of the paper (APA
or MLA). If you are unclear about APA format, do a simple Google search and you will
find an abundance of information.
 Edited for proper spelling and grammar
The paper requires you to specify a social issue to study related to Sociology, identify a
theoretical explanation of that issue, collect data on the current state of the issue, and critically assess
the theory in light of the data. You are free to choose any social issue you would like as long as it
pertains to sociology (immigration, healthcare, Native American mascots, etc).
The choice of topic is yours to make, so please make it something you have an interest in. This
assignment is a research paper designed to provide an opportunity for you to demonstrate each of
these core objective skills in one project. You will communicate your skill level in the interpretation and
use of data and report its impact on your personal conclusions about a topic within the field of study.
This paper will require thinking critically about theory in the context of the data as you discover and
answer questions such as these:
 Does the theory still appear to be a valid explanation of the phenomenon?
 Does the data make an alternate explanation more likely?
 Finally, the paper will give you an opportunity to express the impact of conclusions
drawn within this paper on your perception of your own social responsibility.
Specifically, you should consider the impact of your choices on the rest of society and
the proper placement of group boundaries around and influence upon your choices.
Your paper should be laid out following these guidelines:
Introduction to the theory and statement of the problem (Introduction)
In this section of the paper, you will explain the problem identified and identify a theory that
purports to explain the causes and/or effects of the problem. This section should contain reference
citations as needed to authors whose theories or statements of the problem have informed your
Current Trends in the Data (Body)
In this section of the paper, you must gather a minimum of three current (no more than 10
years old) empirical sources of information that inform your understanding of the link between the
theory and problem discussed above. It is acceptable to also include graphs of data as long as you also
provide an analysis of that data.
Thinking Critically (Body)
In this section of the data, reexamine your theory in light of the newly acquired data. Is it still a
rational explanation or does it lack ability to explain some aspect of the problem. Are there alternative
explanations or alterations in the theory that would better fit the data?
Social Responsibility (Conclusion)
In this final section of the paper, relate the theory and the data to individual responsibility
within our society. Is this just a personal choice or does it have consequences for the society at large?
What interest does society have and what boundary should there be on its influence? Support your
argument rationally with what you have learned.
A complete listing of references cited within the paper must be included in APA format at the
end of the paper.
This paper will be uploaded to the course site by the due date. the course site by the due date.