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SOCI 1301: Introduction to Sociology

Finding scholarly journals, evaluating sources, becoming familiar with library sources for the field.

Deviant Behavior Assignment - Section 1

The purpose of this assignment is to “wet you feet” in the area of being deviant and doing observational research. In completing this assignment, make sure you are being research oriented and using your sociological imagination.

Deviance is defined as “a violation of cultural norms”. We will discuss more about deviance in the coming weeks.

Think about five things or ideas you have learned about sociology this semester and integrate them into your 5 - 6 page typed double-spaced paper (using Times New Roman 12 cpi) This means a total written of 5 - 6 pages (actually written complete pages, not counting cover sheet or title). Underline or highlight the five concepts in your paper.

You need to also use at least 5 references from professional journal articles which you incorporate into the literature review section of your paper.

Project description:

Your project has to be something you do between now and when the assignment is due (11.03.15).Engage in any (legal) kind of deviant behavior, and observe the reactions of people around you. Example: Face the wall in an elevator; talk to yourself while walking through a crowd; walk backwards down the street; stand up while everyone is sitting; laugh at a sad story; intentionally miscommunicate with someone; dye your hair red, white, and blue; follow someone in the store. Use your social research creativity.

You need to write your paper using APA (American Psychological Association format). There are online sources which explain this format. The WT Library also has good sources which explain APA format.

You should also go to the WT Writing Center located in the Classroom Center 107 – Student Success Center to get help and feedback on your paper. Plan ahead and start your paper early.

Your paper needs to include the following parts:

Part one:

An introduction to the topic of deviance and literature review. What are the different ways that deviance is defined? What do sociologists say? Include at least 5 references from professional journal articles into your literature review section.

Part two:

Describe your deviant act. Include date, time location etc. Be specific.

Part three:

Observe! What is the attitude of those around you? What is their reaction etc? How does all of this make you feel? For example, what is your reaction to their reaction?

Part four:

Integrate at least five things or ideas you have learned about sociology during this semester. Use your books and notes to assist you. Underline, highlight or bold the five concepts in your paper.

Homelessness paper - Sections 4 & 5

This research project will provide you with the opportunity to conduct a sociological analysis on a topic of homeless of your choosing from one of the topics below. You will write a 5 -7 page paper. For this paper, you will need to do some outside research to explore your topic and use course concepts to analyze and organize your findings. You will need at least 5 sources. You will also need a reference page listing your sources. Three of your 5 sources should be from scholarly peer reviewed journal articles. The length of the paper requires you to condense a lot of material, be sure to narrow your topic down to a workable paper.


Choose from one of these topics of homelessness (be creative and have fun with it):

  • The Experience of Homeless and Popular Perceptions
  • Homelessness: History and Overview
  • Methods: Counting, Measuring, Investigating the Homeless
  • Deinstitutionalization and Mental Illness and Homelessness
  • Substance Abuse and the Homeless
  • Health Care & AIDS Prevention
  • Homeless Families, Children and Social Support
  • Income and Employment
  • Housing Issues
  • Shelters, Staff, Case Management, and Other Services
  • Service and Residential Preferences and Satisfaction
  • Social Policies Related Homeless


  • Papers must be turned in at the beginning of class on October November 3rd. You will turn in a hard copy of your paper to me NOT submitted on WTClass and not emailed.
  • Your paper must be double-spaced, one-inch margins, 12 point Times New Roman or Calibri font only.
  • Your paper should be between 5 – 7 pages in length
  • You must use scholarly peer reviewed journal articles for 3 of your 5 required sources, failure to do so will significantly lower your grade.
  • You must use and incorporate one of the major theories discussed in class (symbolic interactionist, conflict, and structural functional theory).
  • Format your citations and bibliography using APA (American Psychological Association) style. The bibliography does not count toward your page requirement. The WT Library Sociology Info Guide ( contains links for using APA format correctly.
  • You do not need an abstract.
  • You should be familiar with proper citation, as well as the appropriate use of quotations. Papers that excessively use quotations will lose points. Your paper should be in your own voice, which means using quotations selectively and only when necessary.
  • You need a cover page for the paper. Be sure to include your name, class and section.
  • Proofread your paper. It is recommended that you utilize the WT Writing Center (Classroom Center 107 – Student Success Center). However, you should not wait until the last minute.

Forming a Research Question

Once you have selected a topic for your research paper, you need to focus and narrow, it into a specific research question. Your question should be one that:

  • Lends itself to sociological analysis
  • Is not a “yes” or “no” question
  • Has more than one plausible answer
  • You can get information to answer
  • Is answerable in the page length allotted

Answering the Research Question

Questions to answer your topic selection and description

  • Name your topic: I am studying ________.
  • Imply your question: because I want to find out who/why/how ________.
  • State the rationale for the question and the project: in order to understand how/why what________.

Further Information

  • State how/which sociological theory provides insight to your topic.
  • Identify how each article and source contributes to addressing your topic.
  • Your paper should follow a general flow, give consideration to writing your introduction, body and conclusion. Keep in mind that you may have subtopics within each. Be sure to stay on topic and fully address your question.
  • It is important that you do not write your paper as just a summary of the articles, for example, do not organize your paper topic and talk about each article one by one.

In other words, your paper should include the following basics:

  1. Define your question
  2. Identify why your question is important
  3. Outline what others have found out about your topic (gathered from your articles)
  4. Which sociological theory applies to the topic and explain why
  5. What your conclusions are based upon what you have read