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How to Write a  Good Social Science Paper

In the life of undergraduates and the students of the first two courses, tasks for essay writing is as usual as a complicated thing. As many subjects exist in the educational establishment as many types of essays should be written by the students. When it comes to the social sciences, you would also like to learn how to create a qualitative assignment.

What is Social Science?

The social sciences are the sciences which study society and social relations, interactions between people and the consequences of such interaction. It would be too difficult to study all spheres of society, which is why the powers of such sciences like anthropology, economics, demography, history, politics, psychology, sociology and cultural science have been joined together.

Social science is aimed to examine the way the society works, how humans react and adapt to changes, why some people succeed while others don't. Whether you cannot find a way out from a life situation or you simply look for clarification of any phenomena or behavior of a person - social science has an answer for you. The answers to every question connected with society can be found in social science, which will help you improve your life and become aware of many tips on how to solve problems.

Get ready!

Before starting writing an essay on a subject regarding any social matter you should schedule your time. Set out a due date even if it is specified by your tutor. Your own deadline will help you finish in advance and leave spare time for editing and proofreading. Make a definite plan on how you are going to proceed. The primary point of your plan should be a careful reading and understanding the task.

You have to catch the idea of the topic and obtain a complete understanding of what you are expected to examine, discuss or prove. The following steps are up to you, but never start gathering information should you feel uncertain about the task. Do not hesitate to ask your tutor for clarifications.

Having written a plan, or a schedule of your work, you need to take an obligation to follow it. Your future mark and reputation depend on self-organization and your ability to create a qualitative study.

The plan might look like this: 

1. Understanding the task; 

2. Gathering information; 

3. Making notes; 

4. First draft writing; 

5. Referencing; 

6. Editing; 

7. Proofreading; 

Gather Information

The humans of the XXI century are given an enormous amount of sources of information and possibilities to find anything they need. You are able to choose from this variety and use any place for working, any time for studying and any means of gathering information. When the first item of your schedule has been done (understanding the task), you need to find the proper information related to your topic.

In order not to be mistaken you can use the list of recommended literature, if any has been given by your tutor. Quite usually, this list will be sufficient for selecting the data and facts appropriate for your study. Should you have no list of recommended literature, you should rely on your own knowledge and skills of navigating on the Internet resources and the libraries.

As a starting point for searching, you can use Wikipedia, which gives you the summarized info on the issue. Later on, you should demonstrate your selectiveness and make more specific queries.

Making Notes

The purpose of the social science essay is finding evidence and support/disapproval to the arguments you write. Quite probably you will be expected to find and analyze the evidence of other research findings. You will have to find any evidence which would support or disagree with some claim and will have to give your own evaluation to that evidence. In order to find the right evidence and make the proper conclusions, you should make notes from the literature you look through.

During your research and gathering information on the matter, you will come across numerous articles, studies and books and you will need to make notes. Do not rewrite the whole chapters with the hope that you might need them. Write down only the most important data.

Write down briefly and make the thesis. Your notes should create a kind of structure of your essay. Notes are aimed to organize your thoughts and create a sequence of ideas and facts. Supporting on your notes you should be able to see the whole picture of your study and to detect what information is missed.

First Draft Writing

Having organized the notes made before, you will easily create the initial draft. You will be able to find the right place for every piece of information. In your mind, you should have the structure of social science essay:

- the Introduction. Presentation of the issue, main problems or a question and your plan on solving these problems or answering the question. Your reader should be informed about the main goal of your study and your steps towards reaching the goal.

- the Main Part. Providing the arguments related to the topic. Each paragraph should contain a separate argument confirmed by verified and valid examples and facts. The length of the Main Part depends on the number of arguments, supporting details, examples, quotes of scientists (or other people) and the specified range of research.

- the Conclusion. Rephrasing the arguments represented before and demonstrating whether the question or problem has been solved or not.

The first draft of your essay will not be perfect and this is natural. Should you follow your schedule you still have time for the next steps.


”Referencing” is an integral part of social science essay. If the reader desires to continue research on the topic, he should be able to find the original source you have used the information from. The distinctive feature of social science is that the facts, data, and researches always should be updated and approved.

When making a reference to the author of the work, to the book or to the research a scientist did, you demonstrate that your essay is full of reliable information and is trustworthy. You need to make a reference when you quote some words of another author or use another writer's ideas or material. When gathering the information and making notes, do not forget to write down the name of the authors and the sources you used.

Editing & Proofreading

Editing and proofreading are as important as understanding the task. You should obligatory read your work several times. Every time you read you will find misprints, mistakes, and uncertainties. You need to read it carefully in order to trace whether the logic of representation has been kept and whether your arguments are convincing.

When you feel tired, you are recommended to ask someone else to read your social science essay. Ask your classmate or a parent to look through it and check whether every part of your work and every paragraph complies with the topic.

The final step in writing a social science essay, as well as any other essays, is a formatting. Become aware of the demands on formatting and follow them.

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