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Analytical Research Paper Guidelines

Sociology 2043A

Summer 2017



                                                                                                35% of final grade

                                                                                   Due Aug 14 2017


You are required to critically review and evaluate a topic of your choice in the area of the family.


The research paper should be half review and half critique, in essay format and must include:


–              a proper bibliographic reference (use APA or MLA citation style)

–              introduction– a clear, simple statement of the research topic and focus of the paper (precisely define your topic and the need for studying it);

–              critical review of facts– an overview of the major findings (i.e., divide topic into several sections);

–              critique– present your general perspective and conclusions about the literature in the field. This entails a critical discussion of the (past & current) research findings, and methods used by the author(s);

–              Identify and address the strengths/biases/ limitations and gaps in the literature;

–              How does your topic relate to theory as discussed in class? Be sure to make connections with sociology of the family in your research paper!

–              Canadian content! Try to obtain secondary sources (journal articles, texts, etc.) which examine Canadian issues/data/material.

–              conclusions- briefly restate the research question(s), and the relevance of your topic. When discussing the relevance of your topic, be sure to make reference to the evidence presented in the paper. Present your conclusions about the literature in the field and discuss possible future directions. In terms of implications, this is where you ask, “If we accept the arguments/evidence presented, what potential consequences or impact could this have for a) the individuals, the groups (families) or communities most directly affected, b) society in general, c) our social theories, d) our philosophical assumptions about society and human beings.

–              Approximately 8-12 double spaced pages.

–              only hard copies of the paper will be accepted; no e-mails, faxes, or anything else.


Step 1:

Research Topic Outline and Bibliography                Due July 26 2017

                                                                                                            15% of final grade

  • prepare a 1-2 page outline identifying your research topic (make it as narrow as possible without being a thesis statement).
  • indicate the focus of the paper/ what you plan to examine, and the need for studying it (i.e., discuss the issues and questions which you foresee your paper addressing).
  • include the type(s) of secondary sources you plan to consult (i.e., explain the sources critical to your proposed research, by demonstrating that they are adequate for your paper).
  • provide a 1-2 paragraph summary of preliminary findings in the literature.
  • prepare a bibliography of at least 5 scholarly sources collected to date. In your paper, do not include articles from non academic journals (i.e., Good Housekeeping, Women’s Home Journal, Reader’s Digest, Cosmopolitan, etc). The final bibliography of your research paper will include at least 10 academic sources.

Step 2:

Elements of a Research Paper

In general, the research paper is graded on what a student demonstrates about his/her:

  • research skills,
  • ability to think critically about a topic and the sources necessary to study and limit that topic,
  • ability to combine information and ideas into a focused, organized- analytical paper.
  • ability to write a grammatical, stylistic, mechanically correct paper, and
  • ability to document and list sources accurately and usefully.
  • 8-12 double spaced pages

Specially, the research paper is graded on:

  • title (usefulness, accuracy)
  • introduction (present a clear research topic with a focus)
  • arguments/evidence/research findings (depth, breadth, logic, quality, use)
  • organization (clarity, logic, consistency, within paragraphs, in overall paper)
  • focus
  • sentence structure
  • punctuation (usage, spacing)
  • person (avoidance of first and second)
  • present tense (Use third person and present tense where appropriate. For example, “Peters investigates alcohol abuse and argues that . . . .”)
  • spelling and punctuation
  • page numbering (in text, and in bibliography)
  • documentation (giving credit for ideas, facts, words)
  • format (footnotes)
  • quotations (appropriateness, logic, identification of authors)
  • conclusion (originality, thoughtfulness, appeal, appropriateness, usefulness)

Helpful Hints….

  • Keep in mind that a standard way of writing an essay is to use the “hour-glass” model. That is, you start off with very general information and move systematically to more specific information. You return to the general level in your conclusions where you can discuss the relevance of your specific topic to the broader or general area you are examining.
  • Do NOT attempt to read every word in every source; it is NOT necessary. You are doing preliminary work. Exploit the introduction, table of contents, foreword, conclusion, index, and parts of key chapters to decide how the work is useful in researching your topic (just as you would in deciding on the usefulness of any source).
  • Do not try to cover every source. Provide a useful view of the critical sources which anyone doing your topic must look at. Whether or not you have yet finished your research, or you have yet to acquire them, you should have determined which are the critical sources.
  • Do not use such notes as “Interlibrary Loan has not yet provided this source” or “Based on what I have read so far in this book . . . .”
  • No abbreviations or short forms.
  • Proofread your paper or give it to a friend.
  • Remember to keep a copy of your work!
  • Writing an Introduction


An example of what the introduction should include is presented below:


  1. First Paragraph: Begin with a pertinent quote or a striking statement if available. Try to capture your reader’s interest. Identify the GENERAL topic area addressed by the essay.


  1. Second (perhaps third) Paragraph(s): Move your reader systematically from the general idea you started with to the specific topic you will address in the essay. You can use any key ideas or themes from your research/outline to help you write the first sentence of each paragraph in the Introduction. The remainder of each paragraph should elaborate upon the key idea presented in the first sentence.


  1. State your purpose: Once you have introduced your specific topic, tell your reader the purpose of your essay. That is, tell your reader what you are going to do in the essay. You can do this by providing your readers with an outline of the story you are going to tell. This can include a brief explanation of your research topic; an overview of the debate you will examine, or a description of the various arguments and evidence you will consider in the essay. The key here is brief.


  1. State how you will accomplish your purpose. Tell the reader how you are going to proceed in your essay in light of your stated purpose. Identify the order of the major points/sub-sections or arguments and evidence you will present.


NOTE: The Introduction should give you an idea of the form the rest of the essay will take. That is, the outline you describe in your Introduction should serve as a template for your essay, especially if you follow the suggestion in point 4 which advises you to spell out how you are going to proceed. While in the essay itself you may decide to elaborate on a specific section, the logic of your presentation should be evident when you state your purpose and discuss how you will achieve your purpose in the essay (steps 3 and 4 above).





Subject Essay Writing Pages 17 Style APA


Domestic Violence against Women in Canada


Domestic violence refers to aggressive conduct within the home, usually involving the violent victimization of a partner or a child (Ministry of the Status of Women, 2012). Domestic violence mainly takes the forms of physical violence and sexual violence.  Domestic violence is a major global concern. Currently it is alarmingly prevalent in many families across the world. Majority of the victims of domestic violence are women and children whereas most of the perpetrators of domestic violence are men.

The primary focus of this paper is domestic violence against women in Canada. Canada is one of the countries around the world that registers a tremendously high rate of domestic violence against women. Notably, this paper illuminates both physical and sexual abuse against women in their homes. The sole perpetrators of domestic violence in this context are male sexual partners.

The selection of this topic is important due to its significance and relevance to the contemporary society. Women today are considered to be major contributors of societal development. The struggles that they endure in their homes are therefore perceived as primary impediments to their ultimate productivity. Additionally, domestic violence is viewed as one of the leading causes of death among women in Canada (Wathen, MacGregor, & MacQuarrie, 2015). This is a considerably neglected area, probably due to the characterization of the contemporary society as patriarchal; hence, there is an urgent need for additional examinations into this area in order to rectify this societal problem.

The purpose of this paper is to create awareness on domestic violence against women in Canada and to examine whether the current strategies formulated to curb this problem are effective or not. Ultimately, this paper strives provide recommendations regarding the best approaches to alleviating domestic violence against women. A thorough exploration of the facts established by previous research studies will be conducted to collect the information that is relevant to this particular research topic.

Critical Review of Facts

  1. Overview of Domestic Violence against Women

“Until 30 years ago, violence committed against family members was largely seen as a private matter and remained hidden. Since then, there have been substantial changes in the criminal justice system response and social intervention to family violence” (Sinha, 2012, p. 10). In the contemporary society, domestic violence is perceived as a serious crime against humanity. Regardless, the society is still adjusting from the mindset that tolerates domestic violence; hence the need for conducting numerous research studies for the purpose of creating awareness among the public on the dangers of domestic violence among other factors.

The graph above displays police-reported domestic violence in 2010 and 2014 (Government of Canada, 2016).

In the year 2014 alone, 131 people living in Canada were killed by a family member. Moreover, there were about 133,920 reports of domestic violence cases nationwide, with most of the victims being women. Notably, in the past fifteen years alone, about nine million Canadians have made reports of being victims of domestic violence before attaining fifteen years of age (Government of Canada, 2016). 

The graph above indicates self-reported spousal abuse in Canada in 2004, 2009, and 2014.

Domestic violence has a prominent implication on health that is more profound that the instantaneous physical injury. Essentially, it enhances the vulnerability for several mental conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression among other chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and high blood pressure. It is a noteworthy fact that in spite of the efforts made by numerous communities, organizations, health care providers and researcher, the essential cause of domestic violence is still unclear along with the knowledge of the most optimal interventions to curb this abhorrent situation.

In the year 2014, filed police reports indicated that there were more than 85,000 victims of domestic violence in the whole of Canada. The inclusion of violence that occurs among couples that are merely dating raises the statistic to 133,920 victims countrywide. It is notable that an estimated 96,000 of these reported cases were identified women as the victims (Government of Canada, 2016). Commendably, in the past four years the number of reported domestic violence cases has decreased.

It has been established that women are more likely to experience domestic violence than men in the Canadian population. The case resonates for women and men of all ages. Of all the cases reported on domestic violence in the year 2014, 27,567 were men whereas 57,835 were women. More precisely, 2012 statistics of Ontario and Quebec demonstrate a high rate of domestic violence against women in comparison with men. Essentially, 6% of men and 15% of women reported having experienced physical abuse at home. In terms of sexual abuse, Canadian information indicates that women are four times more likely to be subjected to sexual abuse, either in their marriages, common-law relationships, or childhood, in comparison with men (Daoud et al., 2012).

The graph above denotes the police-reported domestic violence on the basis of gender and age. Evidently, women face a higher risk of suffering from domestic violence (Government of Canada, 2016).

  1. Implications of domestic violence against women

There are numerous implications of domestic violence against women. Firstly, health implications are the most significant. Women who suffer physical violence at the hands of their domestic partners often endure immediate physical damage to their bodies as a result of being manhandled. These women may report to various Canadian health institutions with broken bones and severe internal injuries as a result of enduring physical blows. A victim’s mental health also suffers significantly following a physical or sexual assault. Sexual assault may take the form of violent rape or other forms of sexual abuse, which may lead a victim to develop conditions such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression (Wathen, MacGregor, & MacQuarrie, 2015). Such conditions may ultimately materialize into high blood pressure and coronary heart failure. “In 2014, almost 250,000 or one out of three Canadians who had experienced spousal violence also experienced physical injuries such as bruises, cuts or broken bones. Between 17% and 37% said they were upset, confused, frustrated, angry, hurt, disappointed, depressed, fearful, or shocked” (Government of Canada, 2016, p. 1). Notably, an estimated 32% of 250,000 indicated that they experienced post-traumatic stress disorder.

Moreover, domestic violence against women has economic implications on both the victims and the Canadian government. In essence, the victim is usually forced to spend money on various treatments to restore one’s physical and mental health following a domestic assault. Concerning the costs on the Canadian government, while it is stipulated that the cost of domestic violence is high, there have been no recent statistics on the actual government expenditure (Wathen, MacGregor, & MacQuarrie, 2015). In the year 2009, however, it was approximated that the cost of spousal violence was about 7.4 billion dollars per year in Canada.

The graph above indicates the estimated cost of spousal support for the Canadian Government (Government of Canada, 2016).

Mortality is another primary implication of domestic violence. Fundamentally, domestic violence enhances the risk of premature deaths and suicides among women in Canada. Male domestic violence against women is reportedly brutal and may result in instantaneous death. In most cases, however, death of a victim may occur over a short period of time due to internal and external injuries or suicides (Guruge, Roche, and Catallo, 2012). In the year 2014 alone, there were 516 homicides in Canada. 34% of all these homicides were attributed to domestic violence. Reportedly, in homicides women are more likely than men to be killed by a sexual partner.

The implications mentioned above constitute the most popular effects of domestic violence against women. Evidently, there is need for the government and the larger Canadian community to establish means to curb this problem. While the Canadian government has enforced certain measures, the matter of effectiveness is still an issue.

  1. Interventions to curb Domestic Violence against Women

There are various forms of interventions that have been implemented in Canada to prevent domestic violence against women. Firstly, the Canadian government has created and enforced policies and laws against domestic violence against women. Primarily, Canada has established a solid legal system that illegalizes several forms of domestic violence. It is noteworthy that domestic violence is covered under the Criminal Code (Daoud et al., 2012). Under the law, domestic violence and family violence are equated. Policies that advocate for the protection of victims following a domestic assault are also encompassed in the Criminal Code.

Canada has also made use of strategies, frameworks and initiatives in the prevention of domestic violence against women. The World Health Organization (WHO) strongly prohibits domestic violence against women and has established numerous conventions to execute this agenda. The Canadian Government has adopted many of these conventions in relation to its issue of domestic violence. For instance, Canada has a Family Violence Initiative that is headed by the Public Health Agency of Canada (Sinha, 2012). The Stop Family Violence website constitutes this initiative and aims to prevent domestic violence, facilitates data collection, evaluation, and research, and creates public awareness on domestic violence.

This initiates the next intervention of enhancing awareness and knowledge on family violence. In Canada, the government and other concerned parties have taken the initiative to create public awareness on various aspects of domestic violence such as the vulnerabilities and its implications. There are public awareness campaigns in the country for the prevention of domestic violence. Additionally, there are also bystander programs that prompt bystanders to act in the face of domestic violence as opposed to ‘staying out of the private matter’ (Guruge, Roche, and Catallo, 2012). Additionally, the use of school-based programs is rampant in the country to prevent future cases of domestic violence. Sexual violence is a primary focus for school-based programs and the dangers of being perpetrators as well as the methods of reducing vulnerabilities, particularly for young girls.

The Safe Dates Program initiated in schools teaches on matters such as healthy relationships, gender stereotypes, and dating violence (Devries et al., 2013). The purpose of this was to reduce sexual and physical violence in dating relationships. Similarly, the Fourth R Program also covers matters like conflict resolution, healthy relationships, violence and sexuality, and dating violence among school children. It aims to promote insight on dating violence and decrease its occurrence, particularly for girls.


  1. Discussion

The literature review provided above indicates that Canada has a real problem of domestic violence. A combination of police reports and governmental reports explicitly proclaim that the issue of domestic violence is perceived as one of the most crucial issues in the country at present. One of the most notable factors is that women constitute majority of the victims of domestic violence in comparison with men. The data sampled from various secondary sources provides that women are viewed as a vulnerable group in the Canadian society with regards to domestic violence. It is for this reason that this research paper focuses on domestic violence against women in Canada. Perceptibly, physical and sexual forms of domestic violence have some of the most severe implications and hence provide the focus of the statistics collected to compile this paper.

A consideration of the implications of domestic violence against women clearly demonstrates the severity of the issue. Contrary to basic perception, domestic violence does not merely affect the victim; rather it also impacts heavily on the finances of the entire nation. This may be the reason why the nation cannot afford to neglect to address the issue of domestic violence against women. A wealth of government funds is set aside annually for addressing matters concerning domestic violence in the Canadian community. From a critical perspective, there is a need for additional research on the precise amount of government expenditure that is dedicated to domestic violence issues in the country. Such insight would enable further understanding of the extent of the impact of domestic violence to the nation. From a personal perspective, a victim of domestic violence may arguably be scarred for life due to such victimization, whether sexual or physical.

The interventions established to curb domestic violence are inconsequential if effectiveness is not guaranteed. The Canadian government is creditable for establishing laws and policies to prevent and alleviate domestic violence in Canada. From a point of critique however, laws and policies can hardly be effective when implemented solely. It is imperative to also change the societal attitudes and perceptions towards domestic violence. Many people today still view domestic violence as a private matter between two people; hence, victims fail to report the matter and bystanders refrain from interfering. The government must focus on establishing programs that alter the society’s attitudes on domestic violence such that they perceive it as their communal obligation to intervene such situations. In relation to this point, the bystander program has immense promise of eliminating domestic violence in Canada, but only of societal attitudes change. More than law enforcement, bystanders such as neighbors are better-placed to detect domestic violence and intervene.

Furthermore, the mentioned school-based programs are largely commendable. While it requires a long-term perspective, school-based programs have the potential to eradicate domestic violence in the society. By teaching young boys and girls that domestic violence is unacceptable in a civilized society, a possibility for a future without domestic violence is presented.

Based on sociological theory, a feministic perspective raises the application of conflict theory to this context. The world at large operates within the premises of a patriarchal society (Moyer, 2013). Conflict theory dictates a struggle between the males and females of the society whereby while females struggle for gender equality, the males struggle to retain dominance and the sustenance of a patriarchal society. Evidently, women in Canada are more susceptible to being victims of domestic violence than men. Therefore, there is a definite correlation between domestic violence and gender in this context.

  1. Recommendations

Based on the literature review and discussion provided, there are certain recommendations that would be highly application in the Canadian context of domestic violence and present possibilities for effectiveness. One of the most notable factors is that despite the fact that women are more likely to suffer from domestic violence, the Canadian government has only established programs and initiatives that are focused on the general prevention of domestic violence. The issue of domestic violence against women is a pandemic on its own and therefore requires special attention (Sinha, 2013). The Canadian government should therefore place additional emphasis on the eradication of domestic violence against women and establish programs and initiatives with this focus at their center.

Additionally, there is a vacuum for community programs and services (Sinha, 2013). The community is a major source of support for victims of domestic violence. For instance, the community can come together to establish support groups for women who have survived domestic violence and to encourage them. This may prevent adverse implications of the abuse such as depression and suicidal thoughts. 

In addition, the government should establish means of supporting victims of domestic violence. In many case, victims of domestic violence end up living in poverty. The provision of economic support for a reasonable amount of time would go a long way in advancing their situation (Daoud et al., 2013). Moreover, these women may also require healthcare but lack the adequate resources to acquire it. Therefore, the government should make it possible for victims of domestic violence to access proper healthcare.

In recommendation of another strategy, Queensland Australia has adopted a means of taking care of victims of domestic violence whereby rather than the customary practice of the victim vacating the home, the perpetrator is forced to vacate and leave the home for the abused partner (Daoud et al., 2013). This prevents the prevalent occurrence of homelessness among victims of domestic violence, who are mostly women.

Furthermore, there is a need for prompt responses by the law enforcement in matters that concern domestic violence. Customarily, it has been noted police forces across the country are also partly confined to the popular mindset that abides domestic violence against women. The government should establish a separate law enforcement agency that deals particularly in matters of domestic violence and hence, purposes to respond appropriately to such cases as opposed to the common response with reluctance. In relation to this, perpetrators of domestic violence should be apprehended for their crimes against humanity. One of the reasons why domestic violence is difficult to eradicate is that perpetrators are often allowed their freedom, which enables them to enforce continued abuse on their spouses (Moyer, 2013).

In terms of altering societal perspectives and attitudes, the media has the unprecedented power of influencing people’s beliefs and attitudes concerning family violence. Therefore, the mass media must be involved in the eradication of the inherent conventional mindset that domestic violence is a normalcy of domestic life. People must be instigated to understand that domestic violence is a crime that cripples one’s life remarkably. The mass media can air advertisements and awareness programs on this issue for the benefit of the public.

Lastly, feminist activism is required in this area (Ministry of the Status of Women, 2012). More aggression in feminist activism is called for in order to safeguard the interests of women who suffer from domestic violence. Currently, it has been established that while women constitute a larger percentage of the victims of domestic violence, the governmental approaches of intervention are mainly general. Feminist activism would place additional emphasis on the severe situation of women and influence relevant policies in this line of though.


Conclusively, domestic violence against women is one of the most prominent issues in the Canadian society. This research paper has illuminated some of the associated elements of domestic violence against women such as its prevalence, implications, interventions, effectiveness of the interventions, and recommendation=. All in all, domestic violence against women requires more attention in Canada. The recommendations that are provided in this paper may serve to inform policy makers on the way forward in this context.



Daoud, N., Smylie, J., Urquia, M., Allan, B., & O’Campo, P. (2013). The contribution of socio-economic position to the excesses of violence and intimate partner violence among Aboriginal versus non-Aboriginal women in Canada. Can J Public Health, 104(4), 278-283.

Daoud, N., Urquia, M. L., O’Campo, P., Heaman, M., Janssen, P. A., Smylie, J., & Thiessen, K. (2012). Prevalence of Abuse and Violence Before, During, and After Pregnancy in a National Sample of Canadian Women. American Journal of Public Health, 102(10), 1893–1901. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3490644/

Devries, K. M., Mak, J. Y., Garcia-Moreno, C., Petzold, M., Child, J. C., Falder, G., … & Pallitto, C. (2013). The global prevalence of intimate partner violence against women. Science, 340(6140), 1527-1528.

Government of Canada. (2016). The Chief Public Health Officer’s Report on the State of Public Health in Canada 2016- A focus on family violence in Canada. Retrieved from https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/chief-public-health-officer-reports-state-public-health-canada/2016-focus-family-violence-canada.html

Guruge, S., Roche, B., and Catallo, C. (2012). Violence against Women: An Exploration of the Physical and Mental Health Trends among Immigrant and Refugee Women in Canada. Nursing Research and Practice 2012(2012). Retrieved from https://www.hindawi.com/journals/nrp/2012/434592/cta/

Ministry of the Status of Women. (2012). Domestic violence action plan progress report update May 2012. Retrieved from http://www.women.gov.on.ca/owd/english/ending-violence/dvap_update_2012.shtml

Moyer, V. A. (2013). Screening for intimate partner violence and abuse of elderly and vulnerable adults: US preventive services task force recommendation statement. Annals of internal medicine, 158(6), 478-486.

Sinha, M. (2012). Family violence in Canada: A statistical profile, 2010. Statistics Canada. Retrieved from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2012001/article/11643-eng.pdf

Sinha, M. (2013). Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends. Juristat: Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, 1.

Wathen, C. N., MacGregor, J. C. D., & MacQuarrie, B. J. (2015). The Impact of Domestic Violence in the Workplace: Results From a Pan-Canadian Survey. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 57(7), e65–e71. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4676385/




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