Skip to Main Content

SOC2035 Social Problems

Profile Photo
Jessica Moore
Research/Instruction Librarian
Berntsen Library

About this Guide

Use this guide to help with your research for your article reviews, topic presentation, and final paper.

Recommended Research Strategy

1. Start your research with background reading on your topic.

2. Next, find books and articles related to your topic.

  • Search Library Search for books and e-books
    • Limit to "Books" to find books in print and electronic format
  • Search Article Databases and Library Search for articles
    • Limit to "Peer-Reviewed Journals" to find scholarly articles

3. Format your paper according to APA style.

Journal Article Reviews

 1. Name the article, title, and source
 2. Briefly summarize the articles (in your own words) and clearly state the theme and/or the purpose.
 3. Integrate classroom discussions, the text, and/or other sources while evaluating or analyzing the content.
 4. In closing, discuss your personal reaction, beliefs, and or concerns regarding the topic. 

Final Paper Requirements

Students will write an 8–10-page final paper that illustrates their cumulative knowledge gained. Students will choose one social problem topic discussed in class and write a paper discussing if the topic is social problem, why it is a social problem, and what steps need to be taken to help alleviate or solve this problem. Students will also address the issue of what Christians and the Church can do to address the social problem.

Your paper should address these central questions: 

What is the social problem? 

  • Who claims it is a problem, and why? Why is it not just a personal problem? 
  • How well does the evidence you have support the claim that it’s a social problem? 
  • What does the evidence/research tell you about who is affected by this problem? 
  • What are the causes of the social problem and the consequences of it? 

How to respond to the Social Problem: 

  • What steps need to be taken to help alleviate or solve the problem? 
  • What changes does this response require? 
  • Who would enact this response and why? 
  • What is the goal of the response? 
  • Does the response improve the negative consequences of the social problem, or could it make other social problems worse? 


  • What does the Bible say about this social problem? 
  • What can Christians and the Church do to help address this social problem? 
  • Are they currently doing anything? If so, how is it working? What could be done better? 

Guidelines for Topic Presentations

  •  Why is your topic considered a social problem?
  •  What are the basic issues? Pros and cons?
  •  Are there overlapping social problems?
  •  What are some of the myths, stereotypes, etc.?
  •  What does the Bible say about the issues?
  •  As Christians, do we have any responsibilities? If so, what?

Social Problems Topics

 Alcohol & Drugs
 Crime & Delinquency
 Health Care & Illness
 Sexual Deviance
 Sex Trafficking
 Gender/Sexual Orientation
 Illegal Immigration
 Race, Ethnic Groups, Racism
 Work & the Economy
 War & Terrorism
 The Environment

Library research instruction presentation