Social problems

Assignment: Write a report focusing on a specific social problem. For example, anything that is an overarching topic of a whole chapter in our textbook, like Aging and Inequality or even ageism, is too broad for this assignment. Choose a more specific social problem such as ageism in the workplace or elder abuse (you cannot use theses examples). This assignment is intended to allow you to show your knowledge and skills by digging deeper on a topic of interest to you. Show you know what you are talking about, that you can meaningfully incorporate information from sources, and that you can concisely convey high level analysis.

Explain and analyze features of the social problem such as its history, its definition as a social problem, the past and present scope, who it affects and how, causes, consequences, pros and cons of proposed solutions, and anything else that seems directly relevant. You may discuss connections to other social problems, but one should clearly be your focus throughout.

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Imagine that you are writing this report for wide publication for both an academic audience and the general public. It should reflect precise, college level writing and academic writing conventions and citation, and it should also include explanations of any terms or jargon. You are taking part in the claims making here. For a wide and diverse audience, the most effective claims making has clear and broad appeal to people with different priorities and perspectives.

Avoid rants. Analysis is required, ranting is prohibited. Anchor your arguments in facts and your well informed analysis using information from the course and your sources.
No Fluff – Everything in your report should serve a purpose. There is no word minimum. Be concise. Go for quality, not quantity.
The Writing Studio is offering online writing consultations by appointment.
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Absolute maximum length: 700 words – Submissions exceeding this word count may earn a zero. There is no minimum but it is unlikely that you would be able to meet the requirements with less than 400 words. The reference list is NOT included in the word count. State the word count between the main text of the report and the reference list.

Required References/Sources, 4 total – What you site from the sources should be substantive, important information that adds value to your report. It should not be something minor just to work in another source. The textbook and any sources provided in Canvas cannot count toward your source requirements, but you may use them. You must correctly cite all uses of any sources of any kind in-text to avoid being sanctioned for plagiarism, to make your application of sources clear, and to show your mastery of citation skills. All sources must also appear in a reference list.

2 empirical journal articles from peer-reviewed journals – Ideally you would want to cite the findings/conclusions. As long as the article topic is appropriate it can be from any peer-reviewed journal, but here are some examples of peer reviewed journals: American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Social Problems, Social Forces
1 reputable news source – This must be reporting, not opinion (or op-ed) and not editorial.
1 additional source – This can be a reputable news source, academic paper/article or book (textbooks and encyclopedias or similar will not count towards this requirement), government document, or report from a non-partisan think tank.
More legitimate sources of any kind are welcome, but not required. Focus on quality use of sources, not just quantity.
Summary of your sources should be avoided. State just enough about or from them to make any points you are trying to make.

Formatting Requirements

Format: main text of report, then state the word count for the main body of the report, then reference list (does not need to be on new page)
Single spaced, no cover page
In-text and reference list citations must all be in ASA (American Sociological Association) style or must all be in APA (American Psychological Association) style. No others styles or mixing of styles allowed. Do not use their manuscript formats, only their citation formats. Here is information on ASA style citations.
ASA in-text citation
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ASA reference list citation

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