The research paper offers you an opportunity to explore a theme covered in class in a more in-depth and critical fashion. The topic is intentionally open to encourage you to dwell on a topic that is of interest to you. The aim of this assignment is to exercise how to carry out independent research. In the specific case you should demonstrate your ability to link urban sociology theories, learned in class, to real life urban matters around us.
An introduction introduces the reader to your research paper by:
• communicating what your research question is (not necessarily in a question form);
• explaining why that question is interesting and important to a general reader as well as to the audience you are writing for, i.e. by identifying the debates it will illuminate;
• provide a well thought out and clearly-written thesis (preferably in one sentence).
• providing a “road map” to the rest of the paper, i.e., your introduction contains at least one sentence summarizing each major section of your paper.
Articulate your thesis clearly by identifying the Research Question you seek to answer. You can certainly write dozens of pages on any topic and not make a single point. While your piece will be informative and interesting it may only be descriptive. To avoid this pitfall -I encourage each of you to think of a question you’d like to answer and then think of your thesis in this way: X because of Y. In answering your question you’ll be articulating your thesis.
Presentation of Data & Analysis
This is the “heart” of your paper (approximately five-six pages independent of your introduction and conclusion) that provides the data and analysis to demonstrate the validity of your interpretation. A summary of the articles you read or a presentation of the data you collected on your topic are NOT sociological analyses; as an urban sociologist, you must have something to say ABOUT the examples you cite – using relevant concepts and theories you have learnt in the class. (So, do not fill space with needless summary and repetition. Also, don’t forget that you have to have a clearly identifiable thesis for which everything else you say in the paper is support!)
Provide a separate paragraph for each step in your argument, with appropriate transitions between
them. Order paragraphs according to the logic of your argument (not the order in which the citations occur in the primary text). Provide one or two citations from class readings — carefully chosen theoretical evidence — per paragraph (i.e. in support of each step of your argument). Follow up on your citations with a line or two of interpretation before moving on to a new example or a new idea (i.e. opening a new paragraph). Be sure to explain the relevance of the material you quote to your argument — don’t just stick it in and expect it to speak for itself. Theoretical relevance must be clearly presented and interpreted for the reader.
What can you conclude from all your work? What did you learn? What are the implications of your findings on the larger concerns of the course and the research topic? For more information on Urban Poverty check out : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty
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