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University of Akron

American Urban Society

Fall 2010
2040 242 004
Instructor: Bruce Freeman

Research Report

Objective: To conduct research and prepare written report on a

topic related to the class material. Sources of a topic may be from the
list provided at the end of this summary. Other topics are encouraged.

Basics: All papers must discuss 1/ the exact nature of the topic or
issue, 2/ it’s historical roots, 3/ the characteristics of it’s occurrence
(what is happening), 4/ the relationship of the topic/issue to the society
in which it is occurring, 5/ the response(s) of members of society to the
topic/issue, and 6/ your evaluation of the topic/issue as an objective
social scientist. This exercise is intended to sharpen your analytical
skills to deal with complex urban problems in a thoughtful, thorough,
rational fashion.
Topics must be presented in writing by October 4 on the form
provided and be pre-approved by the Instructor. The report is due
November 5. The topic shall not duplicate your oral report topic. Late
papers will lose 5 points per day late.

Begin work on your research report project now!!


Papers are to be 4-6 pages in length (excluding separate pages for a

1/bibliography and for 2/works cited) typed and double-spaced. At
least three (3) outside sources need to be properly referenced in a
bibliography . At least two (2) sources need to be articles or books
other than internet articles. Interviews with friends, family, spouses,
children and others are encouraged. Consult the MLA Style Sheet or
other comparable guides for proper referencing of sources and
footnotes. Let me know if you have questions! Use the Writing Lab in
Polsky or other locations if you can…they will help! Of course, make
sure the rest of your paper uses proper form, including formatting,
grammar and spelling. Main text is to be double-spaced, with footnotes
single-spaced in numerical sequence at the end of the report.
Quotations, if any, need to be indented and single-spaced. Margins are
to be 1 1/2 inches at left and top of page. Use only one side of paper.
Include a separate title page, which includes course name, title of
paper, your name, and date.

Special Note: Students may elect to develop a special project in lieu of

a research paper, using a different approach to present your findings
that you have researched. This could include a YouTube or similar
video, a web site, a personal diary, an in depth interview with a
community leader, working on a community project or running for an
elected position. The basic requirements for this option will need to be
discussed separately with the student before work is begun.
PowerPoint presentations are not an option, though.

Your research topic may be chosen from the following suggestions.

Your paper may include references to your own personal experiences.
Interviews with selected individuals are encouraged.

Examples of Topics: (These are sample topics you may use. There
are hundreds more…use your imagination or choose a topic that you’re
passionate about.)

Do Senior Citizens Behave Badly?

Youth Gangs as a Proper Form of Urban Social Interaction
Why is Marriage a Thing of the Past?
Cohabitation? Prelude to Marriage or Just “Hanging” Together?
Decriminalization of Prostitution: Pros and Cons
Teenage Suicide-Is it Increasing?
When Capital Punishment is a Good Thing
Some Prison Systems That Work and Why
Male vs. Female. Who Rules Today?
Fixing a Neighborhood. What’s Involved? Who are the Players?
What is the X-Generation? Why Are We Different?
What is a Community? What Types? Why Are They Important Today?
Religion and Youth: What’s Going On Today?
Death in the United States: Are Home “Funerals” the Answer?
Is AIDS No Longer Feared? Implications for Gay Communities
Is There a Need For Affirmative Action?
What is a Conservative?
Is Democracy Dead in the United States?
Why Vote?
Who Is the Ruling Class in America?
The Media in Political Campaigns: Some Negative Consequences
Women in Politics: When Will There Be a Female President?
Corruption in Ohio Politics
Should Teachers be Allowed to Strike?
I Am A City Manager: Some Thoughts on What I Do
Eco-Terrorists: Are They For Real?
Is Sprawl Actually Good For Us?
Powerful Politicians in My Community
Is Gender Equality the Answer?
Ohio’s School Financing Disaster
Why I Support Charter Schools
Are There Any Poor People Left?
Why Not Paying Taxes is OK

Don’t duplicate your oral report topic!!!

p.s. Don’t wait until the last minute to do your research. If you do,
you’ll be frustrated, and your work will suffer. Prepare your work with
care. Sloppiness will significantly affect your grade.

This report is due November 5-no exceptions! See policy on non-

submittal of written reports.

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