Final Research Paper

For this assignment, students will select a chapter from the OER textbook and focus on an area that is a challenge for families. For example, the ‘Remarriage and Stepfamily’ chapter discusses dating after divorce, outcomes for children of divorce, complexities of stepfamilies, day-to-day life of stepfamilies, being a successful stepfamily, and boundaries in stepfamilies.  Any of these could be looked at as a challenge and interesting to research. 

Your goals are to conduct research to:

  1. Substantiate why something is a challenge for families and apply theory to understanding that challenge.
  2. Provide resources for families facing this challenge.

This is not a personal experience or opinion paper.  This is a research paper, and all sources must be cited (see below).  All information comes from your sources but is stated in your own words.  Use headings to organize your paper and include the following in your project.

Part 1-Substantiate why something is a challenge for families and apply theory to understanding that challenge. 

  1. Thesis statement: An example of a thesis statement is the following. “_____ is a challenge for families in the U.S. because of X, Y, and Z.” When you mention the reasons (X, Y, Z) I will expect to see them clearly discussed in section 2. This should be towards the end of your introduction. (5 points)
  2. Why this is a challenge for families in the U.S. (15 points, at least 2 full pages written in essay form, use sub-headings to help navigate the essay if needed):  Explain what research says about your topic. How/why does your topic cause inequality or challenges for families? You must incorporate information from our OER textbook somewhere in this section. You must incorporate information from at least three other sources (outside your textbook) in this section. All sources must be cited.
  3. Theory (15 points, at least 1 full page written in essay form, use sub-headings to help navigate the essay):
    • Thoroughly explain one theory from the class textbook chapter on theory (feel free to go back to Forum 2 to look at what you wrote on that post).
    • Apply that one theory concretely to the family issue you have chosen.
  • Do not use personal examples, this is a research paper.

Part 2-Provide resources for families facing this challenge. 

  1. Resources for families facing this challenge (15 points, at least 1 full page; provide this information in a logical, organized manner using headings to help organize this section.  It probably is not in essay format.):
    • Provide three resources. Do some research on local or national resources that are designated to helping families facing the challenge you wrote about.
    • State what each resource is (website, governmental agency, non-profit organization, etc.).
    • Include the URL or physical address, phone number, or other contact information.
    • Describe in detail what each resource offers (e.g., workshops, emergency care, self-help advice, etc.).

General guidelines 

  • Do not include a cover page, running head, or abstract
  • Typed, double-spaced, 1-inch margins, left justify, use 12-point serif font such as Times New Roman.
  • Create headings to separate the sections of your paper (i.e., use the topics listed in the specific requirements to organize your paper or just number the sections).
  • Each section should be a series of fully formed and cohesive sentences and paragraphs focused on the topic of that heading.  Include specific concepts, definitions, explanations, and links to class materials and outside sources as specified in the project prompt.
  • Use college-level English writing skills.  Proofread your papers. Proofread and edit each other’s work.  Every student is responsible for every word, comma, citation, idea, etc.
  • Paraphrase instead of quote. I don’t want to read a bunch of quotes, though a few are okay. I want to see your words.


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