Social studies include such social sciences as anthropology, archeology, economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, and sociology. The purpose of social studies is to help students to develop the ability to make considered decisions as citizens of a world society.
Social studies help to shape the future of a democratic society. Studying these disciplines help students better understand and experience concepts through reading, thinking, discussing and writing papers. Social studies also help to understand the changing nature of knowledge and how to apply knowledge for building a future.
Writing social studies papers demands attention, carefulness and diligent work with sources. For this reason, you should keep in mind some important things. The main advice is to apply general principles of writing. The paper should be written as a single whole. The paragraphs should have logic and be connected with each other. Pay attention to transitions and think beforehand about the structure of the paper. Your sentences should be clear and readable. They have to express your ideas in an appropriate form.
Highlight your ideas and concentrate on the main point of the paper. Do not "beat the air". Remember that your readers are professionals, who have already read a great number of social studies papers. Be sure that your professor knows everything about social studies papers topics. Therefore, do not write in general, demonstrate your knowledge instead.
While writing the paper students face with many sources presented through diagrams, graphs, pictures and tables. Visual presentation of information is often the best way to express your ideas. Therefore, you should create supporting visuals (tables, graphs, etc.).
Use comparing and contrasting in the paper to show how ideas, facts and people are similar or different. Try to define the relation between the effect and cause. You need to pay attention at such words as «because», «thus», «therefore», etc.
Apply your analytical skills and use primary and secondary sources. You will have to look through a great number of different sources while preparing to write the paper. Your skill to make generalizations will help to summarize general sense.
Before you start writing, familiarize yourself with social studies papers format. It includes not only general recommendations about structure, but also concerns such aspects as citation, plagiarism, paraphrase and quotations.
Citing sources is necessary for academic papers. There are several different citation styles: MLA, APA, Chicago/Turabian and Harvard. In social studies papers, authors often use MLA (Modern Language Association). Clear up this question before you start. Each time you use some source (whether it is a book, an article or even a movie or an internet source), you must cite it in text and write it down to the reference list.
Plagiarism means using someone's work as your own. It is something that you need to avoid in your paper. Remember that it is unacceptable to copy and paste paragraphs, sentences and even phrases without citing the source. However, plagiarism may occur by accident. The reason is simple - we all use the same language, terms and often have similar thoughts. Therefore, use plagiarism checkers (find them in the internet) and properly cite all your sources.
Paraphrase is used when we want to take some ideas from somebody's work and put them into own paper. For example, you have found a very helpful source and need to use it in your paper. In this case you need to cite it and rewrite in your own words. Paraphrasing means that you take some ideas, summarize them and put into your own words. You do not need to use quotation marks.
Using direct quotes is more simple than paraphrasing. You choose the author's idea or phrase directly from his work, put it into quotation marks and insert it into your paper. At the same time, do not make excessive use of direct quotes. Most ideas taken from your sources should be paraphrased. Also remember that all your quotes must be properly cited.
Social studies papers usually have the same parts as other academic works —title page, the abstract, introduction and body of the paper, conclusion, reference page and appendices. The title should briefly describe the content of the paper. Do not make it complex or too long. After the title page goes the abstract, which briefly describes the content of the paper.
Introduction creates the first impression about your work, tells about its structure, and shows the issue in general. Then follows the body of the paper, where you should describe the research process in details. You should think over the parts of the body and their subheadings in advance. In the conclusion summarize the results of the research and formulate your final statements. This part of work should be a logical end of your research.
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