Analytic Position Paper


Analytic papers are designed to encourage you to think critically about the social problems discussed in class and connect real-world solutions to these problems. You will be required to select and analyze one social problem per paper.

 Each paper should be organized in the following way:

 1) Problem description. Choose one social problem you’ve learned about in the class. What is a/the specific problem? What is the history or background, the facts? (Use specific information from the Textbook and Course Readings to describe the social problem.)

 2) Causes of the problem. What is the source of this problem? What events, values, beliefs, norms contribute to its existence? What individuals, groups, organizations, social institutions are involved? (Use specific information from the Textbook and Course Readings to discuss the causes of the social problem.)

 3) Solutions to the problem. Find ONE newspaper article that discusses a Solution to the Social Problem you have selected. Questions to consider: What types of changes may be made to alleviate this problem? Who or what would you target and why (individual, group, organization, social institution)? Describe in detail the form of the intervention. Would there be any additional problems that arise from the proposed solution?

 4) Take a personal position. What conclusions can you draw about the problem? What are your own reactions now that you have analyzed it? How do the sociological perspectives contribute to your understanding of the problem?


  • Submission length 700-950 words (two to three pages double spaced)
  • Do not use headers
  • Do not use any outside sources (other than the newspaper article); stick to the course materials. 
  • You must use directly reference/discuss at LEAST FOUR concepts from course readings from the textbook.
  • You must include ONE newspaper article, which should be directly named and discussed in your essay.
  • Include a works cited or reference list. If you use the exact wording from any source, you must use quotation marks and provide a page number.  If it is not already clear who the source is, you must also provide the author’s name.  Provide in-text citations (with the author’s last name) for material you reference.  


This project is worth 100 points of your overall course grade.  Your paper will be evaluated based on how successfully you:

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