Barriers same-sex couples encounter to health care, adoption and the workplace

The final step in the completion of your research project is to write a 12- to 20-page paper (including all the elements listed below, excluding any appendices). It should incorporate revisedversions of the draft literature review and methodology that you have already submitted.

Your paper should include the sections listed here. Please refer to the ASA or APA guidelines (depending on your major) for more details on the formatting of page numbers, titles, etc. Use this set of instructions mostly for what to write about, and how to write it.

Title Page

Page 1 of your paper (but it’s NOT numbered)

Be descriptive; possibly include a subtitle; your title should be a direct description of what your paper is about.


On page 2

Provide a short summary of your topic, method, and main finding(s).

Check your peer-reviewed sources for examples of how to write an abstract.

Introduction(1 page)

Write it last!

The introduction announces to your readers what you are going to cover in your paper.

Start at the top of page 3 (don’t leave blank lines at the top of the page).

May start with a vignette: a short story that grabs the reader’s attention. It can be a news story, a personal story, or something from your research. It should not be longer than half-a-page.

The introduction serves as a statement of the problem:

Give the broad social context of the issue you are interested in

State your research questions or the key focuses or issues

Justify the research statement or question (why is it relevant?)

Briefly explain, in a few sentences, how you conducted your research (data collection method, number of participants, where you did your study).

Literature Review(3 to 4 pages)

A literature review is about what others have written, not what you are finding or how you are conducting your research.

Make sure your sources fit with your topic!

DO NOT write an annotated bibliography

DO present a thematic summary: Group your references according to the aspect of your topic they cover, summarize them, compare and contrast them; You will need to use more than one source in each theme; you may use some sources for several themes, and others just for one.

Focus on presenting the topic and findings from these sources, not their lit review or their methodology. You should cover the methodology in one or two sentences.

DO NOT try to relate them to you or your past experience. In the literature review, you are invisible. Avoid agreeing or disagreeing with research findings (agreeing or disagreeing with a fact is of little use).

DO compare them to one another. You may criticize them on their methodology, or assumptions, or conclusions, from the perspective of your discipline and your training. You may talk about some limitations they have.

Check out the lit review in your sources for examples of how to write, and use the same writing style as these authors.

Avoid direct quotes from your references; rephrase and paraphrase them, don’t plagiarize them No more than half-a-page of your whole lit review can be made up of direct quotes. That’s combining ALL direct quotes.

Use ASA for your in-text citations, and make sure that you format your quotes properly. Your writer’s manual has detailed explanations of how to cite sources in the text

As a concluding paragraph, summarize the main findings you have gathered from this lit review, as they relate to your own research question.

Findings/Discussion (4 to 5 pages)

Arrange your findings in several subsections according to the themes, patterns, steps, or types (depending on how you organize your analysis) that you found in your analysis, in a way that addresses your research question or statement.

In each section, summarize what was said about the theme in your interviews, or what you observed that is related to this theme.

Give specific examples that illustrate what you are saying (direct quotes), then link your theme to the literature you have reviewed in your literature review (do NOT introduce new sources in your findings).

After a long quote, offer a short analysis that explains how it relates to the theme, and what conclusions you draw from it; rephrase and paraphrase, but don’t plagiarize.

Be detailed! Never assume that your reader knows what you’re referring to, explain, provide numerous examples to back up your claims.

You don’t have to refer to every interview/observation session in every section, and you may not refer to all your interviews/observation sessions in your paper; choose the examples that are most representative.

Use pseudonyms or descriptors to refer to participants in your research. NO REAL NAMES!

A typical structure for a section would be:

• An introductory paragraph explaining what the focus of the subsection is and what you found

• A series of examples detailing the findings, with quotes from your notes and interviews, and explanations of the quotes

• Link(s) of your findings to the literature

Conclusion (1 to 1.5 pages)

Remind the reader of your research question or statement.

Summarize your main findings.

Relate your findings to the literature, citing the literature again.

Explain how your findings concur with or contradict the literature.

Mention some limitations of your research and findings, and what could be done in further research to address them.

If applicable, make suggestions to policy makers regarding changes in policies, procedures or practices.

Suggest directions for future research: studies that would consolidate your findings or shed light on some findings that you can’t explain (go beyond suggesting a larger sample).

Reference List

Other than your interviews, everything that is cited in your paper should be in your reference list, and every source that is listed in your reference list should be cited in your paper.

Your list needs to include a minimum of 10 academic sources, in ASA format