Sociology Semester Research Project

Select a topic in which you are genuinely interested within the scope of our studies. You may choose to begin by looking through the table of contents of our textbook.

You will be expected to produce the following:
  • A multi-page wiki that will serve as a pathfinder to future researchers. Resources included on your pathfinder will be critically annotated. Think quality of resource, rather than quantity! The pages of your wiki should resemble the list found below.
  • A video essay reflection (in VoiceThreador another appropriate tool for digital storytelling) that expresses your thesis supported by evidence, as well as your learning.
  • A script posted for approval prior to filming your video reflection.

  • Begin by exploring a topic and reading extensively. Narrow your topic to one that is researchableAs you read, look for related issues, positions, and controversies. Ask questions of what you read. List at least three essential questions relating to your narrowed topic.As you read and question, begin to develop a tentative thesis. As your research progresses, you are to develop an appropriate and acceptable thesis in line with our Research Standards. You may consult Thesis Development for ideas or consult Mr. Eickhoff and Dr. Valenza for help.

Video essay and script:
You will demonstrate your understanding and mastery of topic knowledge and your thesis, as well as your ability to synthesize the materials you've examined in the script you prepare and in your video reflection. The script and/or video should clearly express your thesis, supported by the best evidence you discovered. It should also describe your reflection on your research journey.

In addition to expressing your thesis, use your script and/or video essay to offer general advice to student researchers. Are there truly important specific starting places any researcher must check out before doing further research? What are the must-see introductory videos? Who are the real experts? What are the must-read articles or documents?


A pathfinder is a guide for researchers. Pathfinders have been used in libraries for many years to save researchers time, and to help them avoid frustrating dead ends. By creating a web-based pathfinder, in addition to learning about the particular resources for the topic you are exploring, you are also performing a service to your fellow students and our library.

Creating a pathfinder will demonstrate your searching and evaluation skills, your ability to discern quality information sources, your ability to synthesize information, and your ability to thoughtfully reflect on your work. Your annotations should justify the placement of a resource on the pathfinder. Again, think quality!
This work is NOT for your teacher's eyes only. We hope to use your pathfinders as reference tools. Do a thorough job, be creative, be critical, find the best possible resources, think outside the research box, and publish your pathfinder appropriately and attractively.


To collect resources for your pathfinder and to correctly document your resources, use:
New Social Issues Pathfinder
Social Issues Pathfinder
Catalogs and Databases
MLA Style
Alexandria Catalog
Google Books

Creating your Wiki
Use Wikispaces for Teachers to create your wiki.
You'll want to create a number of pages for this project. Paste the following into the edit navigation menu on the left side of your wiki. (Note: the double squared brackets are html code for creating pages.)
Thesis and questions
Vocabulary, search terms
Script and Reflection
Scholarly articles
Popular articles
Books, ebooks, reference
Major Websites and Portals
RSS and News Feeds
Pages of your choice

To make your wiki more attractive:
  • Consider copyright friendly images and media to enhance your work and to represent sections of your pathfinders
  • Consider using Glogster to create an attractive index for your work.