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WAC Paper Guidelines

General Guidelines

Present and defend a sociological/ political issue

You are heavily encouraged to choose a less covered topic. The following topics are VERY common:


Gun control

Death penalty

Gay marriage

4 FULL pages in length (NOT including the cover page or reference page)

Must use 6 scholarly sources from WSU databases

Sources should be no older than 10 years old (2012-current)

Write in size 12 font, Times New Roman, double spaced, APA format, one-inch margins

You may not use the following: direct quotes, contractions, rhetorical questions, casual/conversational language, 1st person

Paraphrasing only, write in the 3rd person/ academic tone


How the paper will be graded

Research: paper must display evidence that you have done a substantial amount of research regarding your topic

Thinking/Analysis: paper must display evidence that you have thought critically about what you have read and discovered during the course of your research rather than repeating what the articles and books said. This is imperative!!!!! An essential part of research is assessing the merit of the information you as the researcher are collecting. Your research should lead you to draw some conclusions about your topic by providing some analysis of why something changed, happened, or why it did not happen.

How the paper will be graded cont.

Theory Application: Clearly present the sociological perspectives – (structural-functionalism, conflict, symbolic interactionism) that apply to the thesis

Comparison: Paper should involve a clear compare/contrast to an opposing side of your argument or presentation. This becomes empiricism and not opinion by supporting your position with research and theory.

Writing Format: Papers should be clearly written and organized, as well as free of grammatical and spelling errors.

How to Lose Points

Not including a reference page or title page

Minimal to no in-text citations

Using sources that are not scholarly/peer reviewed

Not meeting 6 academic journal article minimum

Using outdated sources (older than 2012)

Not meeting the minimum 4-page requirement

Using a format other than APA

Not meeting content requirements

Point Deductions

Not including all references in your paper. Not listing all sources used in your paper, in your list of references.

There must be at LEAST 6 total academic journal articles (you may have more if you feel it is necessary). If you have less than 6 this will result in missing points

If you use an invalid source (from Google, Wikipedia, etc.) points will be deducted for each invalid source. Missing just one or

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