Research Paper (25%)
The research paper will assess your ability to apply your research skills and knowledge to an
analysis of a topic of choice that expands the sociological knowledge of the study of gender and
First, select a theme, issue, debate, controversy or problem associated with the study of gender
and gender inequality. Next, take a position on your topic, and argue your point of view using
evidence from scholarly sociological research sources.
Your paper should expand upon the knowledge and information in the course materials by
drawing on at least five scholarly/academic SOCIOLOGICAL sources (i.e., peer reviewed
sociological journal articles, academic books) not used in this course. While you can use
sources from the course, they will not count as part of the required five scholarly sources.
I discourage the use of websites in an academic paper, however, if you do use a website be
selective and ensure the scholarly rigor and trustworthiness of the source. Examples of NONscholarly sources include the following:
newspaper articles (i.e., The Toronto Star, The Toronto Sun, The Globe and
Mail, The National Post, etc.)
magazine articles (Maclean’s, Newsweek, The Economist, etc.)
encyclopedia references (including Wikipedia)
dictionary references (including Oxford Dictionary and other dictionaries)
non-scholarly websites, blogs, etc.
Students should also note that government websites and statistical data are NOT scholarly
sources and will NOT count as one of the five scholarly sources required for this paper.
Government websites and statistical data provide information that is NOT scholarly and NOT
analytical. Statistics denote a social trend but can be interpreted in numerous and
contradictory ways. Statistics themselves are devoid of analysis. Simply stating a statistic does
not explain or explore any critical sociological analysis. Similarly, government websites state
government policy that is devoid of analysis, and usually reproduces mainstream stereotypes,
assumptions and misconceptions. Critical sociological analysis provides a critique of
mainstream stereotypes and assumptions. The use of government data requires critical
sociological analysis. Please note that these government websites and statistics include, but
are not limited to the following:
Ministry of Immigration and Citizenship
Government of Canada website
Government of Ontario website
Examples of scholarly sociological sources that are ACCEPTABLE include the following:
Gender and Sex journals and books
Feminist and Women’s Studies journals and books
Queer Studies journals and books
Sociology journals and books
Mass Communications journals and books
Criminology journals and books
Sociology of Education journals and books
Sociology of the Family journals and books
Sociology of Work and Occupations journals and books
Political economy journals and books
Use APA formatting. Write in complete sentences. Proofread the copy before you submit it. Use
the Spell Checker and Grammar Checker on your word processor, but do not rely on them to
catch all errors.
The major reasons why previous students have lost marks on the essay include:
1. The paper is just the student’s opinion on the subject and is not supported by sufficient
(or sometimes any) scholarly evidence.
2. The paper is descriptive (describes a topic, issue or problem). Remember, your paper
should have a clearly stated position on the issue/topic/problem and build an argument
supported by evidence from scholarly/academic sociological research
3. The paper covers too many topics in too little detail.
4. Poor quality of writing – many grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes (Microsoft
Word, for example, underlines spelling mistakes in red, and grammatical mistakes in
blue, so there should at least be no red or blue underlines in your submitted essay!).
5. In a few cases, there has been plagiarism– any significant, unreferenced use of another
author’s ideas or text will result in a grade of zero on the paper, and potentially more
severe penalties depending on the amount of plagiarism).
Students will lose 5% on an assignment for each calendar day the paper is late. This includes
weekends. Papers will not be accepted if submitted later than two weeks from the due date.
NB: It is the responsibility of students to ensure that they retain a copy of all their work
Papers must be a minimum of 1500 words and not exceed 2000 words (12 pt Times Roman
font). This word count does not include the title page and works cited page. Use APA