Theoretical Essay

The theoretical essay examines existing research and current thinking on a social topic to trace its development and to examine and make comparisons of information provided from technical and scholarly journals and from the statistical data of empirical studies. The theoretical essay has the following components:

  • Identifies a problem or hypothesis that has current as well as historical implications in the social science community. (Introduction)


  • Traces the development and history of the problem. Most of your information should be drawn from empirical studies and technical and scholarly journals. (Historical background)


  • Analyzes the articles to explore and identify varying components (pros and cons) of the problem. (Objective analysis of the current thinking of the pro and con ¬†positions, and the evidence that each side provides to support those positions)


  • Discusses the implications of the pro and con theories of the problem. (Your personal, critical thinking, about what you think the existing pro and con information means)


  • Arrives at a judgment that chooses one theory as more valid than another and provides evidence to support that judgment. (Your position, supported by evidence, on the theory that you think is most valid and why)


Your paper should be in the range of 10 pages. This includes your cover page and reference pages. You should have at least four (4) or more additional sources to add to the sources you summarized in your Annotated Bibliography. (Assignment worth 35 points)

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