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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 9 Style APA


Parenting and Childcare for Working Parents in Canada


Currently, most of the Canadian working population are parents. It is estimated that three-quarters of Canadian working force are mothers with children under the age of six (Sarlo, 2016). Since the Second World War, most mothers have resorted to working in various sectors including the formal and informal. The increase in this population to work has been regardless of whether their spouses are working and can provide for the family. Women are likely to take parental leave during the first one year of the child’s life, and since majority of them are employed, they require an alternative approach to take care of the child once the leave is over. In reality, child care has been considered as the best approach among others such as having a nanny or the child living with a relative (Naokes, 2017). The primary goal of taking a child to institutions that offer child care is that this mother may have an opportunity to continue working. Child care, on the other hand, takes different approaches which depend on the parent’s preferences and aid from other individuals. While there are families which may benefit from childcare provided by their relatives, majority of mothers are expected to pay for licensed child care.

According to most reports, it is apparent that despite the high level of working mothers, Canada spends considerably less money on early childhood education and care (ECEC) as compared to other Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries (Monsebraaten, 2016). Current estimates place the public spending on ECEC between 0.24 and 0.34% of Canada’s GDP (Sarlo, 2016). It is therefore critical to evaluate various aspects associated with child care in Canada. In this regard, this paper seeks to understand the impact of child care centers on working parents while paying attention to the following elements, the extent of child care centers in Canada, impacts of utilizing day care among working parents and ascertaining the costs incurred on taking a child to day care. The research questions related to this research are; what is the role of child day care centers in Canada today? And, what are the extent, impacts, and costs associated with child care? The structure of this paper follows a literature review of various studies that have been conducted in this regard and a critique of the presented facts. Several concepts are drawn from various sociology theories including attachment and cognitive

Literature Review

In the last three decades, child care services have increasingly grown as a requirement based on employment rise in Canada. This is particularly the case in the dual income earners who have both parents working. Families’ structures are also dynamic with the increase in the single and steps parents who have greatly impacted the type and need of child care required (Sinha, 2014). In Canada, besides the need and type of child care being in demand, the issue of quality child care has also been brought to fore with most parents considering centers that are licensed. This has been attributed to the safety of the child, peer socialization, readiness for school and skills affiliated with language (Macdonald & Friendly, 2014). The variation in child care can also be used to distinguish the different types of parents based on their financial ability. Various child care options include daycares, nannies, daycare centers and preschool programs whose selection of a particular approach is dependent on the parent’s convenience and ability. According to Telford (2016), the ability to locate an appropriate child care is challenging. This is as a result of parents being required to balance between various aspects such as quality, availability, costs implications and convenience. Telford (2016) further argues that for single mothers, these challenges are more as compared to the dual earners.

Child care cost implications have continuously crippled the financial stability of the parents. Since 2015, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) estimates that the child care fees have escalated in various parts of the country such as Toronto (Monsebraaten, 2016). According to the study by CCPA, this increase is estimated at 5%. The findings further suggest that for a couple with two young children under six years, they are expected to pay a total of 28300 USD annually which is almost the income of half of the regions median families after taxes. In Vancouver, the same is witnessed as child care fees have increased immensely. For instance, a comprehensive monthly fees rates for a toddler in a licensed child care increased by 2.8% from 2014 – 2015 as noted by Westcoast Child Care Resource Centre whose role is to monitor the providers of daycare services while tracking the fees charged (Monsebraaten, 2016). A study by Del Boca (2015) suggests that these child care costs are not easy targets for most families. This is as a result of the need to balance the recurrent expenditure including various bills. On the other hand, these parents have to maintain a profound relationship with their employers with various approaches to doing this including expressing commitment at the workplace through ways such as a limited number of emergency leaves. Balancing the time with one’s family and at the workplace have proved challenging despite the introduction of various policies and rights such as parental and paternal leaves.

The prevalence of child care among most families regardless of the financial background in Canada is of high level although the government has continuously engaged in conversations on how affiliated issues can be addressed. Over the years, the liberals and conservatives have attempted to solve the issues related to child care. These include the implications such as the 2005 Liberals’ efforts to introduce the 15 USD per day child care fees for the program (Sinha, 2014). Such moves have faced serious rebellion from individuals whose financial income is at a higher level while citing reasons such as limitation of the parents’ choice. For example, in Quebec, despite the introduction of the sliding fee scale which is centered on the parent’s income, the child care costs maintain being a fraction of those in other parts of the country (Kottelenberg & Lehrer, 2014). In Ottawa for instance, Anderssen (2017) suggest that the average rate of child care is 1194 USD per month and is among the highest paid. Various parts of the country receive subsidies that target assisting families to cater for the child care costs. This is however faced with few challenges such as bulk paperwork. In Ontario for instance, the subsidized monthly fee is 87 dollars which are considered the least in the country (Naokes, 2017). However, there is a long waiting list for parents who wish to be granted this subsidy. In Saskatchewan which is another area where these subsidies are considered as effective and operational, an average parent is expected to pay at most 450 USD (Naokes, 2017). For such parents who receive the subsidy, they are expected to cover the variation. This, however, makes them vulnerable to the increasing costs.

The increasing costs are not the only the challenges that face child care realm. The quality of care provided to the child continue to worry mothers, particularly first-time parents. In attachment theory, one of the main models in sociology, the relationship between a mother and her child is considered a vital element (Bigras, Lemay & Brunson, 2012). The attachment which is developed in stages from before birth to after inception is critical for the development of emotional feelings between the mother and her child. Most mothers, therefore, face several challenges in breaking this attachment when they take their children to child care. As a result, most of them will invest heavily to ensure their children receive the best care through paying expensive programs. On the other hand, the increase in institutions offering these services has negatively impacted the quality and standards offered. There has been a shortage of regulated care, those that have been ascertained by the Canadian government. First-time parents as a reiteration prefer expensive but a high degree of safe child care programs that ensure other aspects such as peer socialization, and profound preparation of the child for early childhood education. The Canadian Pediatric Society (2009) argue that there are severe health implications for the child if the quality of care provided by the institutions is of less standard. These include emancipation and poor cognitive development. While relating the child’s welfare to cost implications, Kosonen (2014) argue that the increase in the costs of high-quality child care implies a squeezed budget. This author further suggests the importance of developing regulatory standards that ensure high quality of these programs. Some of the issues being reported as a result of less standardized costs include the less cognitive development of the child, poor physical health, and less quality socialization aspects. 

Affordability remains a major downside for day care. According to Monsebraaten (2016), half of Toronto’s population cannot afford quality child care that is licensed as a result of high costs. Among the group that faces this challenge greatly are the middle-income families who are less likely to take their children for these programs since they earn too little to afford the full cost of child care. For the next 15 years, it is estimated that the child’s population in Toronto will increase by 23% (Monsebraaten, 2016). Albanese & Rauhala (2015), however, note that without the reduction of the child care fees or increasing the subsidies, there is little or no room to improve the child care system that is licensed. Growth can only be managed by affordability. In this regard, Albanese & Rauhala (2015) argue that if the developed regulations or policies reduce the child care costs, there would be an increase in demand for child care services that are licensed which will also enhance parental employment. The study by Albanese & Rauhala (2015) is based on three situations which include providing a subsidy for every qualifying parent, capping the child fees at 10% of the household income or every child being charged not more than 20 USD per day. The operating principles of the strategies mentioned above are that if child care is made affordable, the demand will soar from less than 30% to more than 52%. This, in turn, raises the probability of working mothers from the current 47% to above 65%. Another aspect as explained in increased subsidy is that parents are then able to afford quality daycare. As a result of an increase in the labor force, the economy is fueled thus the ability to fight poverty and increase the country’s annual income.

Child care in Canada has its merits and downsides which are related to the parent. Among the merits of this approach is that it relieves the parent the pressure of having to stay at home to take care of the child. Besides the presence of nannies and relatives who can aid in this endeavor, institutions providing similar services are considered more professional as they offer other benefits which nannies and relatives cannot provide (Kottelenberg & Lehrer, 2014). The child’s development is considered critical below the age of 6 years. Drawing concepts from the cognitive theory of sociology that outlines how a child develops, the central aspect is ensuring the child explores and masters their surrounding. Two critical periods in a child’s development are that of between inception and 24 months which is also referred as sensory-motor and between 2 to 6 years which is termed as preoperational (Bigras, Lemay & Brunson, 2012). In the first stage, children are taught how to coordinate and repeat pleasurable actions. It is also during this period that they understand the use of symbols which in this case include words. In the second stage, the language is considered the development hallmark. These two stages are critical to a child as they assist in the transformation to adulthood and introduces the child to other aspects such as peer development and socialization (Macdonald & Friendly, 2014). Child care, on the other hand, has several downsides which are related to the parent’s satisfaction with the standards and quality of services offered by the institutions. This introduces the concept of licensed child care. The majority of the parents can be stressed as a result of the connection they have with the child as reflected in the attachment theory. In this regard, Bigras, Lemay & Brunson (2012) suggest the need for the country to ensure high-quality child care institutions through evaluating the degree to which they meet the set standards


With the increasing gender equality in various aspects from leadership to the workforce, the increase in the number of women in the labor force is a major step in Canada among other countries. This has a major impact on the economy of the country where growth and development are achieved. The increase in the number of mothers in the labor force is also provided in various studies with the last three decades being identified as when this dynamic is most profound (Macdonald & Friendly, 2014). This, in turn, warrants the child care services offered by various institutions. Apparently, most studies affirm on the importance of these child care providers if the young mothers are to remain in the labor force. A study by Kosonen (2014) reflects on the merits of institutions providing these services and the implications for both the child and the mothers. To the country, although this is a major boost to its growth and development, there is still more to be done to streamline the state’s achievements with policies and regulations affiliated with this realm. These include identifying the major bottlenecks in the process and developing effective mitigation strategies which include the government commitment to lower the child care cost or offer a subsidy to the parents (Mahon, 2009). Various strategies and actions by the Canadian government in enhancing child care have been proposed which include offering a subsidy to all qualifying parents. This provides them with an opportunity to enhance their lives. Studies evaluating child care for working parents note that the main challenge in attaining effective child care services is the increase in costs. As a result, most families have had the challenge to achieve their desired financial goals. This is based on more cash being channeled to the day care services thus reducing one’s income. Studies such as that by Del Boca (2015) assert that the challenge is more severe to single parents as a result of dynamism in the societal structure.

The issue of quality and standards has also been considered in the child care centers in Canada as reflected in various studies. Indeed, the merits of the program are numerous as suggested by Kottelenberg & Lehrer (2014). Some of these advantages include assisting the child in transitioning effectively to the early childhood education, enhancing the child’s peer socialization and cognitive development. Essentially, professionalism is imperative in enhancing the child’s cognitive development which is present in the licensed child care centers. Bigras, Lemay & Brunson (2012) provides some of the important aspects required in profound child care services institutions. These include trained professionals, having licensed institutions. This is aimed at addressing the primary challenge of parents’ stress in the type and quality of care their children are receiving. The study by Albanese & Rauhala (2015) offers several solutions to the cost implication issues. As noted in their study, there are variations in the child care costs in different provinces. As a result, it is challenging to impose a national policy on the standardized costs of these services. However, as a merit of the study by Kosonen (2014), there are two critical strategies that can address the related cost challenges. These are providing a subsidy to all parents who qualify and if possible, ensuring a standard low daily cost of child care. While most of these studies focus on the cost implications and challenges associated with the child care, they fail to consider other aspects that can be used to enhance the quality of services provided by the day care centers. These include how the government can ensure quality is maintained and also approaches that provinces can take to improve the number of licensed organizations. Another setback of these studies is that they offer limited information regarding the how child care may affect the welfare of the children. In addition, there lacks a profound comparison between child care centers and other approaches such as nannies and relatives.

Conclusively, the population of mothers in the Canadian labor force has increased immensely in the last three decades. As a result, the demand for institutions that provide child care has also increased. This approach which most mothers prefer as compared to nannies and relatives help has its implications such as those related to financial stability and social well-being. Various studies have been conducted to evaluate the impacts of child day care to families in Canada. According to the findings, it is apparent that the variation in the Canadian provinces’ child care has a negative impact on the financial stability of the families. This majorly applies to single parent families which have been increasing as a result of dynamism in the family structure. Another major finding regards the quality and standards of care provided by these centers. This brings to fore the psychological challenges to the parents. On the other hand, poor standard institutions pose a threat to the child’s health which is a major concern of the mothers particularly first time parents. While drawing concepts from the attachment theory, mothers are stressed to leave their children under the care of strangers if not their relatives or nannies. Over the years, organizations offering child care services have increasingly developed policies and guidelines that aim at enhancing the quality offered. Although this puts the concerned parents at ease, the downside is that there is a financial implication. Despite the challenges of quality of care provided to the child, the merits of these services are numerous including effective child’s peer development, cognitive well-being and smooth transition for early childhood education. Future studies should, however, focus on ways to which Canada can enhance day care standards while lowering costs through policies such as universal subsidies.


Albanese, P., & Rauhala, A. (2015). A decade of disconnect ion: Child policies in changing economic times in the Canadian context. International Journal of Child, Youth and Family Studies, 6(2), 252-274.

Anderssen, E. (2017). Parents, start saving now: Child care fees just keep going upThe Globe and Mail. Retrieved 13 August 2017, from https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/parenting/bearing-the-rising-cost-of-child-care-in-canada/article27674463/

Bigras, N., Lemay, L., & Brunson, L. (2012).Parental Stress and Daycare Attendance. Does Daycare Quality and Parental Satisfaction with Daycare Moderate the Relation Between Family Income and Stress Level among Parents of Four Years Old Children? Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 55(5), 894-901.

Canadian Pediatric Society. (2009). Health implications of children in child care centers Part B: Injuries and infections. 14(1), 40-43.

Del Boca, D. (2015). The impact of child care costs and availability on mothers’ labor supply. Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.

Huber, K. (2017). Changes in parental leave and young children’s non-cognitive skills. Review of Economics of the Household, 1-31.

Kosonen, T. (2014). To work or not to work? the effect of childcare subsidies on the labour supply of parents. The BE Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy14(3), 817-848.

Kottelenberg, M. J., & Lehrer, S. F. (2014). Reinvestigating who benefits and who loses from universal childcare in Canada. Working Paper, Queens University.

Macdonald, D., & Friendly, M. (2014). The Parent Trap: Child Care Fees in Canada’s Big Cities. Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives= Centre canadien de politiques alternatives. Retrieved from https://www.policyalternatives.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publications/National%20Office/2014/11/Parent_Trap.pdf

Mahon, R. (2009). Canada’s early childhood education and care policy: Still a laggard? International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy, 3(1), 27-42. 

Monsebraaten, L. (2016). Vast majority of Toronto parents can’t afford daycare | Toronto Starthestar.com. Retrieved 13 August 2017, from https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2016/10/18/vast-majority-of-Toronto-parents-cant-afford-daycare.html

Naokes, S. (2017). ‘The reality parents face’: Child-care affordability depends on where you liveCBC News. Retrieved 13 August 2017, from http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/child-care-affordability-varies-widely-across-canada-1.2829817

Sarlo, C. (2016 May). Child Care in Canada; Examining the Status Quo in 2015. Retrieved from https://www.fraserinstitute.org/sites/default/files/child-care-in-canada-examining-the-status-quo-in-2015.pdf

Sinha, M. (2014). Child care in CanadaStatcan.gc.ca. Retrieved 13 August 2017, from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/89-652-x/89-652-x2014005-eng.htm

Telford, N. (2016). Can Canadian Women Have it All? How Limited Access to Affordable Child Care Restricts Freedom and Choice. Canadian Journal of Family and Youth, 8(1), 153-172.


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