The Sociology Student Writer's Manual / Edition 1

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Pearson Education id dedicated to being a socially responsible company that has a positive impact on society-both in this country and throughout the world. Here are some ways Pearson Education is making a difference:

our environment

We were the first global publishing company to publicly disclose our policy with regard to the environmental characteristics of the paper we purchase.

We expect to be a climate-neutral company by the end of 2009. Our current reuse/recycle rate for unsold books is 99%.

We're investing in ways to deliver our content digitally to students and instructors to reduce costs and environmental impact.

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We offer a paid summer internship program that gives students an insider's view of the publishing process. We also invite college graduates who are passionate about education to begin their careers with us in any of our locations around the world.

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We were named one of the "2008 World's Most Ethical Companies" by Ethisphere™ magazine, one of the "Top 100 Companies for Working Mothers" by Working Mother magazine, and a media sector global leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

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Volunteers fromPearson companies across the U.S., Africa, and Latin America participate in Jumpstart's Read for the Record annual campaign to bring attention to the importance of early education.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780134629612
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 9/28/1997
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 6.98 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Table of Contents

To the Student
To the Instructor
Introduction 1
Ch. 1 Writing as Communication 13
Ch. 2 Writing Competently 38
Ch. 3 Formats 61
Ch. 4 Citing Sources 71
Ch. 5 Organizing the Research Process 100
Ch. 6 The Library and Other Sources of Information 112
Ch. 7 Sociology on the World Wide Web 146
Ch. 8 Conducting Quantitative Research 155
Ch. 9 Book Reviews 167
Ch. 10 Social Issue Analysis Papers 177
Ch. 11 Case Studies 189
Ch. 12 Sociological Survey Papers 206
Glossary 224
References 236
Index 243
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This newly revised, fourth edition of The Sociology Student Writer's Manual is written to help you become a successful student. Successful students, like successful social scientists, are competent writers. As sociology students, we observe social institutions and behavior. We write to record what we observe, to explain what we record, and to defend what we explain. As citizens, we write to take part in making decisions that direct our nation, our community, and our private lives. From the Declaration of Independence to the Emancipation Proclamation, from the United Nations Charter to President Kennedy's Inaugural Address, writing has brought us the freedom we enjoy today.

The Sociology Student Writer's Manual is designed to help you do two things: (1) learn how to research and write in sociology and (2) improve your writing ability. These objectives are addressed in the four major sections of this book. The Introduction explains what sociology is all about. Intended for both first-time and experienced sociology students, it offers a basic historical orientation and a challenging account of current theoretical perspectives in the field.

Part I, A Handbook of Style for Sociology, addresses fundamental concerns of all writers, exploring the reasons we write, describing the writing process itself, and examining those elements of grammar, style, and punctuation that most often cause confusion among writers. It also explains the importance of formatting the research paper properly—the title page, table of contents, and so on—along with citing and referencing sources using the American Sociological Association StyleGuide. A vital concern throughout Part I, and the rest of the book as well, is the three-way interrelationship among writer, topic, and audience. Our discussion of this relationship aims at building your self-confidence as you clarify your goals. Writing is not a magical process beyond the control of most people; it is a series of interconnected skills that any writer can improve with practice, and the end result of this practice is power. Part I of this manual treats the act of writing not as an empty exercise undertaken only to produce a grade, but as a powerful learning tool as well as the primary medium by which sociologists accomplish their goals.

Part II, Conducting Research in Sociology, focuses on the research process. The first chapter in this part, Chapter 5, describes the research process in detail, explaining how you can maintain self-confidence by establishing control over your project and assume the crucial responsibility of every writer to use source material ethically. Chapter 6 lists and describes traditional sources of information for sociology researchers, including libraries, government agencies, and private research organizations that may provide you with information not available in your library. Chapter 7 includes information available on the Internet and World Wide Web specific to sociology. It demonstrates how to find and obtain resources in this burgeoning new territory. It also deals with distance learning as it relates to the Internet. The final chapter in Part II, Chapter 8, explains the role of the scientific method in doing social research.

Part III, How to Write Different Types of Sociology Papers, has a new writing assignment in the fourth edition. It includes a variety of writing exercises that are commonly assigned in sociology classes. Each chapter begins by exploring the purposes and characteristics of the paper covered. Next, the steps for writing a successful paper are spelled out and typical formats provided. Each chapter encourages you to use your imagination and resourcefulness in confronting the paper's requirements. Your professor may give you a specific writing assignment from one of these chapters. If your assignment is not specific, you may want to select an assignment and discuss your selection with your instructor before proceeding.

This manual is designed to help you organize your thoughts and directions in order to write more clearly and accurately. To assist you in becoming a better writer within the discipline, a glossary of terms associated with sociology is included. If you learn to write well, you will be more valuable in whatever line of work you pursue. As you continue to use this manual throughout your college and professional career, we hope your writing skills evolve and aid you in attaining your professional goals and objectives.


How many times have you assigned papers in your sociology classes and found yourself teaching the class how to write the paper—not only content but form and grammar as well? This newly revised, fourth edition of The Sociology Student Writer's Manual may accompany the primary text you assign in any sociology class or may stand on its own. It allows you to assign one of the papers explained in Part III with the understanding that virtually everything the student needs to know-from grammar to sources of information to source citation-is within this book.

In addition to revisions throughout the text, including an updated chapter on the Internet and a new writing assignment on annotated bibliographies, the fourth edition of The Sociology Student Writer's Manual makes assigning papers easier than ever. For example, you might direct your students in courses on introductory sociology or social problems to write an issue reaction paper according to the directions in Chapter 9. Instruct them to follow the guidelines in Part I for formatting, grammar, and source citations, and in Part II for organization of the research process and use of available resources. Most questions a student could ask about the paper are answered in this book, but it also allows you to supplement your assignment with special instructions. Examples are included.

Assigning students to write an issue reaction paper, following the directions in Chapter 9, is an excellent exercise for beginning or advanced students, because reaction papers are exercises in logic and problem solving. Our directions help students do the following:

  1. Select a suitable reaction statement
  2. Clearly define the issue addressed in the statement
  3. Clearly state a position on the issue
  4. Defend the position
  5. Conclude concisely

By using the guidelines in this manual to complete an issue reaction paper—or any of the other assignments that are included—your students learn to define and focus clearly on issues or problems that are germane to their world. They will become more competent problem solvers and develop skills that are important in every profession.

As you know, writing skills are essential to professional success in sociology—or in any other profession. By combining the latest sociology research and writing techniques with a broad spectrum of writing activities-based on a total of over ninety years of experience teaching courses in sociology, criminal justice, political science, and English—we have written this book to assist you in leading students toward success.

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