MA Research Paper

Students who would like experience doing their own research project should choose the Major Research Paper (MRP) option. To pursue this option, students need to find a Sociology faculty member who will supervise the project and work with them through all phases of the paper. Students may develop their own projects, write a paper that is part of a faculty members’ research or develop one based on their work as a Research Assistant. Given the short time frame, it is best to line up a Sociology faculty supervisor in the first semester of the program.

MA students have the option to fulfill 1.0 FCE of their program requirement by writing a MA Research Paper (MRP). The MA Research Paper (MRP) is meant to be a paper of publishable quality. The scope of the paper is an article for a peer-reviewed sociology journal. In practical terms, this means a paper between approximately 8,000 and 10,000 words, inclusive of references and tables and figures. (Of course, supervisors can accept longer or shorter papers if they choose to do so, but this should be communicated to the student during the process.) The paper can involve data analysis or be a theoretical paper without an analysis of primary data. Please note that it is not meant to be a literature review alone.

The paper is assessed by the supervisor alone, rather than by a committee. The supervisor should work with the student in the conceptualization, planning, and execution of the paper through regular meetings and readings of drafts of the paper. Students should plan to write their MRP during the summer term of their MA year (May–August).

Students wishing to pursue this option should submit an Add/Drop Course form (PDF) indicating the MRP course code SOC6215Y1Y by the first Friday of May. Please remember to print the supervisor’s name on the form and secure their signature before submitting.