Sociology 385: Medical Sociology, Fall 2016
Format for writing the final paper for Medical Sociology and Final Presentation
Final paper: 1000 to 1500 words (approx. 4-6 pages) Please double-space and include your word count on a cover page.
Details of the assignment:
The final paper will be an expansion of an earlier discussion question essay, including further bibliographic material, that synthesizes findings from other research. The paper should contain a minimum of two additional peer-reviewed journal articles in addition to articles assigned in the readings and used in the earlier DQE. The paper should follow proper format for citation and references and be carefully edited.
Follow the structure used in empirical research articles, but instead of having empirical data, you are synthesizing ideas from other papers. You won’t use headings in a short paper, but this should give you an idea of the ground to be covered.
Introduction. This is re-written last because you want to fine-tune it. It states your thesis and where this paper is going and how. An early proposal states what you are intending to do, but the introduction to a paper states the thesis that you have developed in the course of the analysis. Be sure to write a clear thesis sentence at the end of your introduction.
Methods. The only brief mention of “method” may be in noting what kind of literature you are reviewing for this analysis, or perhaps in addition, observations that contribute to our understanding of the topic. –In many of our readings the methods had important implications for how we interpret the findings. Think about the observational studies of ER physicians or interviews. You can comment on things like that where relevant.
What Others Have Found. This is quite central to the paper because it is totally in the literature that you will find the evidence for your point. This is your Data section in a library research paper. You’ll use assigned readings from the course but also two or more outside sources that bear on your topic. And don’t forget that there are other excellent articles collected in the book.
Discussion. This is a fun and very original part because you address the big question: “What does this mean?” You tell what you make of the findings. Given the findings, what critical analysis can you now make that you couldn’t make previously? For example, what aspect of health care should be changed, or how could a prevailing attitude be changed, or what are the future implications for you as a health professional?
Conclusion. This is a briefer section than the discussion and sums up the findings and the analysis to show that you made your point. It may give a direction for further investigation.
Tips for Papers:
It is better to write less and be focused rather than write more but lack coherence. Also, do not include irrelevant details that do not advance your argument, but do include necessary evidence to adequately support your argument.
It will be helpful to first identify your argument. (In other words, what’s your point?) This will be your thesis, and should be clearly stated in the introduction paragraph. Then brainstorm some key points that are necessary to justify and support your argument. Doing this ahead of time before you write will keep your paper focused. Have someone else read your paper, and let you know if something is unclear to them. Discussing a paper with others is important for developing a good paper and an integral part of the writing process.
Final Presentation Details
Please include the following both in your narrative (what you want to say) and in some visual format for the class to follow (e.g. powerpoint).
Original DQE that you responded to
Your thesis statement
Summary of supporting argument (you can focus on the new peer-reviewed articles)
Final thought (conclusion)
Please aim for a 5 min. presentations.
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