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SOC 3306: Deviance Research Guide

Fall 2018

Research Paper Fall 2017

Research Assignment
Select a behavior or activity that American culture deems deviant.

Examine how this behavior is portrayed in a particular element of popular culture (e.g., movies, literature, music, talk shows, soap operas, comic strips, etc.).

Topic Examples
Death-row inmates / financial crime / domestic violence / alcohol & drug abuse / suicide / gangs & mobs / dysfunctional Familes / serial killers / prostitution / cults / teen pregnancy / illegal or excessive gambling / murder

Use scholarly journals/books, at least 5 scholarly references are required. Include a bibliography using MLA or APA citation style.

Find Background Information

Once you have a basic idea of your topic, look for information to help you narrow down the topic, focus on a specific question, and generate keywords for your searches.

In this part of the process you're just browsing around to see what you find. If you find something you're sure you want to look at later, make sure you keep track of it!

You can start with a look at resources like Wikipedia or other encyclopedias to get some basic definitions and background info. Next you can read some popular sources such as newspapers or magazines to look at some current issues and discussions of the topic. Then, look for some scholarly articles or books to see how scholars think and write about the subject that you're interested in. This will help you formulate a question and become familiar with the kinds of scholarly articles you'll be able to use to do your research.

Student Resources in Context is a good place to start with this basic research. It includes reference content, full-text magazines, academic journals, news articles, primary source documents, images, videos, audio files and links to vetted websites.

CQ Researcher provides journalist reports on a wide variety of topics. Easy to browse, it's a good source to familiarize yourself with current issues.

Literature Review

What is a literature review?

A literature review is not just a list of the articles you have read. You will be reporting on and analyzing the information that you used to write your paper. The literature review is designed to:

  • Survey the scholarly literature on a given topic and describe, summarize, and evaluate this prior research.
  • Discuss the theoretical frameworks and methods that have been used by other scholars to address your topic.
  • Identify controversies and suggest opportunities for new research.