How to Write a Social Science Paper or Assignment

author By Mary Boies

Writing a top-grade social science assignment or paper is challenging for most students. It is something that takes a lot of work and effort. Nevertheless, it is doable. You can create brilliant social science assignments and papers with the proper knowledge and effort. The sort that gets you excellent grades.

In this post, we will cover everything you need to know to write an exceptional social science assignment.

Let’s begin.

What Is So Different About Social Science Essays?

Social science essays and papers are generally similar to other essays and papers. The biggest similarity between them and other essays is the structure. They have the same structure as other essays and assignments. However, they are also different in some ways from other papers.

The biggest difference is that they have epistemological underpinnings. This means they must be based on credible social science knowledge or theory. The knowledge must be a product of thorough research and must be delivered in a way that is logical and easy to understand.

The Basic Structure of a Social Science Essay

The following is the basic structure of a social science essay. It has all the elements to consider to create an outstanding social science assignment.

1. Title

Every social science essay must begin with a title. The title ought to be written in full to give the reader a hint at what the assignment or paper is all about. Sometimes the title is simply the assignment question. Avoid overthinking the title. Instead, write something that summarizes your paper in a few words. Make it clear, concise, and engaging because it is the first to create an impression in the mind of anyone reading your paper.

2. Introduction

Social science papers must all begin with an introduction. This is important to ensure the reader gets a good grasp of the paper they are about to read. The introduction typically includes three key parts – the hook statement to grab the reader's attention, the background information section, and the thesis statement (main argument).

3. Body Section

Every social science essay or paper must have a body section. This is where you provide the reader with arguments to support your main argument and answer the assignment or essay question. These arguments supporting the central argument are typically domiciled in its paragraph, and the arguments usually flow from the strongest to the weakest.

The arguments are points usually backed by evidence from journal articles, scholarly textbooks, and other credible sources. They can also be supported by theoretical evidence. Arguments not supported by evidence or examples usually lead to plain or unconvincing papers that do not get good grades.

4. Conclusion

Social science papers and assignments always end with a conclusion. In this concluding section of your paper, you wrap up everything. You show the reader that you’ve conclusively proven the thesis statement you wrote in the introduction.

The typical conclusion starts by restating your paper's central argument and supporting arguments. Then, it ends with a powerful closing statement to signal an end to the essay or paper.

5. List of References

Virtually all social science assignments, papers, and essays must have a list of references at the end. As mentioned, the paper will mostly have arguments that must be supported by evidence (scholarly sources). These sources must be cited appropriately in-text and also at the end of the paper to enable the reader to quickly find out more about any of them should they need to.

Steps To Write the Perfect Social Science Paper

Follow the steps below to create an excellent social science assignment paper.

1. Read and Re-Read the Question

To create an excellent social science paper, you first need to read and re-read the question given. Understanding the question you must answer is the biggest determinant of whether you will get a top grade. Understanding increases your likelihood of getting a good grade. Not understanding it reduces this likelihood significantly.

When reading an essay question, you should check out the following information: the key question, the scope of the question, and the directive term (e.g., evaluate, compare, discuss, etc.). Knowing these aspects of your assignment questions helps increase your understanding of what you must do to create an excellent paper.

2. Plan Your Essay

Once you have read and understood the question, you should plan your essay. You should do this by determining what you must argue to answer the assignment question entirely and satisfactorily.

If you don’t know much about the question, you should do some research to understand it and start formulating your main argument. The only way to write an excellent paper is to create a main argument from a position of knowledge.

Make sure your main argument is clear, comprehensive, and logical. It will be the overarching theme of your paper, providing you with direction when writing and the reader with direction on what you are talking about.

3. Conduct Rigorous Research

This is where you can make or break your essay. If you conduct thorough research on the assignment question, you should be able to create a brilliant social science essay or paper. You will find it difficult to create even an average paper if you conduct average research. Therefore, dive deep and discover everything you can about what you want to write about.

Rigorous research typically involves looking for information in credible places like college databases, professional/academic databases, etc. Once relevant information is discovered, it must be skimmed, and suitable sources must be selected to support the main argument.

The right way to support your arguments in a social science paper is to cite sources and evaluate them and their usefulness as evidence for your main point.

4. Create an Outline

You can never write an excellent essay, paper, or assignment without creating an outline. This is why after conducting rigorous research, you should proceed to create an outline.

Ensure your outline covers everything you need to discuss, from the introduction to the conclusion. Write all the main statements and points you will feature in each paragraph, then zoom out and see if the resulting paper will look and sound coherent.

If the outline looks coherent, you are on the right track. You should leave it as it is. If the outline doesn’t look coherent, revise it until it does. A clear and logical outline will help you write a good essay or paper.

5. Start Writing

After coming up with an outline, you should start writing. Make sure you write using words that are simple and easy to understand. This will make your points and arguments easy to understand. It will also make what you are trying to convey clear and transparent.

Remember to write your paragraphs using the sandwich paragraph writing method. This will ensure there is good organization of information within your paragraphs. Also, remember to use transition words between your paragraphs. They will add to the flow of your work and ensure the reader doesn’t get frustrated with your paper.

Sometimes it is advisable to write the introduction last because it is much easier to introduce your work once you have completed it. However, there is no problem with starting to write your paper with the introduction. You can always edit it to make it cleaner and better after writing.

6. Cite Your Sources Correctly

Once you are done writing your social science assignment or paper, you should cite your sources correctly. Make sure every source you’ve used is clearly and correctly cited. If it is not, it is up to you to make sure it is. You have to work hard at it.

You should add a references list at the end of your paper containing all the in-text citations you just added. This will enable the reader to find the evidence you’ve used quickly and easily. It will also ensure you do not lose any points in your quest to get an excellent grade for your paper.

Once you’ve cited your sources, you should check to ensure you’ve done it correctly according to the stylebook recommended by your professor.

7. Proofread Your Work

Once you are done checking your sources, you should proofread your work. This will take some time, so be prepared mentally for it. Proofreading is what will set your work apart. Doing it correctly will transform your work from ordinary to extraordinary and your grade from average to excellent.

You should proofread your work at least two times. The first time you should do it should be using a grammar checker like It will help you quickly catch grammar errors in your assignment or essay. It will also help you to identify and eliminate long sentences. When you are done using a grammar checker, your work will be almost ready to submit.

Your work should be done manually and aloud the second time you proofread. This will help you to catch all the errors you may not have caught using or a similar tool. Rewrite parts of your work that do not sound good enough and delete filler words and sentences. Once you finish this round of proofreading, your work will be ready for submission.

Errors to Avoid When Writing Social Science Essays

Now that you know the basic structure of social science essays and papers and how to write them, it is time to discover the common errors to avoid when writing one.

  1. Not answering the question. When given a social science assignment or any other type of assignment, you should ensure you research and answer the question correctly and fully. Students sometimes do light research and do not precisely answer the assigned question. This doesn't seem right and often results in a poor grade. You need to answer your question in the best way possible to get a high grade.
  2. Being lazy. When given an assignment, your paper should be as academic as possible. In other words, you should express your answer in straightforward and scholarly language. Being lazy and generating a paper written in casual language is not the way to go. Copying information directly from scholarly sources is not the way to go. Make sure you write everything in a very professional and understandable way to get a fantastic grade.
  3. Inadequate use of theories and evidence. When your social science professor gives you an assignment, they almost always expect you to use social science theories and evidence to back your points. Unfortunately, some students do not do this enough or correctly throughout their social science papers. They state their arguments or points and use evidence sparingly, or sometimes they do not even include the evidence. This is not acceptable. You should use the theories you have learned plus evidence very generously throughout your essay. Explain the link between point and theory/evidence to get a good score in your essay.
  4. General writing errors. You should avoid submitting any assignment that you have not thoroughly proofread. This is because it is almost certain it will have uncountable errors that will make your paper look unserious and unprofessional to your professor. Show your professor you are a serious student by thoroughly proofreading your social science essay before submission. Proofread it two to three times to ensure it is polished and 100% error-free.
  5. Not observing the word limit. Almost 100% of the time, you will be given an assignment and a word limit to observe. Make sure your work is always within the word limit. Do not write an essay or paper that is shorter or longer than the given word limit; expect your professor to understand and give you a good grade. They will not understand, and they will penalize you. So always observe the word limit. If you’ve completed an assignment and it is over the word limit, rewrite and eliminate sentences until your word count is within the limit.
  6. Poor structuring of the essay. If you are writing a social science essay or paper and do not structure it correctly, you will be in big trouble. There is no way you will get good marks with this. Your professor needs to see an unambiguous structure throughout your assignment. This is the only way they will know what you are talking about. The best way to ensure your essay has structure is to create an outline and strictly follow it.
  7. Lack of confidence in social scientific skills. When writing a social science paper, your professor expects you to show your social scientific skills. In other words, they expect you to show you understand major social science concepts, vocabularies, debates, and arguments. They also want you to talk or discuss concepts like a budding expert in the field. Arguing your points like a layman is unacceptable for most professors. Thus, you should always discuss points like a professional.

Get Help with Writing Social Sciences

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