community and service

community and service

Mini-Lecture for Week 10


    This week you begin to seriously write pieces of your actual Integrative Paper. It is essential that you adopt the mindset that is consistent with the paper’s purpose and nature.  So first, wrap your mind around the fact that this paper is a technical and scholarly paper.  It is not a descriptive or creative paper extensively written about your volunteer work or your volunteer site.  Your volunteer work is important, however, and there is a place in the paper for a heading where you can include it appropriately. 

          This is a paper that argues for the recognition of, and possible solutions for, a specific social concern.  You make strong, precise, focused, and concise statements in your argument about the problem and its extent, consequences, causes and possible solutions. These concerns and your argument are clearly and concisely developed in the first three headings: Introduction; Statement of the Problem; Review of Literature.  The Review of Literature will be an assignment for next week.

          It is very beneficial to tweak your outline to a final form that provides this focus and then you are ready to write the Introduction and Statement of the Problem.  Next week you will write a beginning Review of Literature (ROL). An acceptable review of literature is not a group of articles related to your topic that you identify and discuss but it is the use of what has been written about your topic to support your ideas and point of view. 

          While this first effort will be a rough draft of your lit review it should show direction and a grasp of the role of the literature review in writing a paper.  I am purposefully making these three distinct activities.  For our purposes, please make the Introduction and Statement of the Problem two separate headings.

    Another very important task for this type of paper is to carefully narrow your topic so you can study it more specifically. This is a key element in organizing your Integrative Paper.  The idea is to stay focused, concise and narrow

     Here is a helpful hint–and though it may apply more directly to the Review of Literature–it is a helpful part of the entire process. Here it is: You can use your literature search to help get your focus or topic more clearly in mind. So  the more you read about your topic, the more information and insights you receive from other writers.  A search of the literature may bring to light some enlightening ideas and a focus that helps you to narrow your topic. As you do this searching and reading, other ideas might fire in your mind that may become very helpful.

     Please spend considerable time looking at literature that is related to your intended topic. You will need to read about 15 or so articles to actually explore your topic adequately.You will need at least 7 of those references from which you take specific citations. You will include appropriate citations in the body of your paper as well as a complete citation of the used articles in your Works Cited page.  You can put the additional references on a Reference Page.

    So dig into the literature to see what you can find. You will, in all likelihood, find sufficient information to complete your Introduction and Statement of the Problem. In addition, you will be well on your way to your literature review.

    This is a pretty important week.  Please give it the appropriate attention for this very important part of your paper.  You do have to stay focused and active on this piece or you will have an uphill struggle.  Such is the rigor of doing research and writing a scholarly paper.  Remember, learning to write well is a mark of a educated person. 

    Best wishes.  I will be here for any and all comments and help in every way I can.  Remember that the Integrative Paper brings together your learning and perspective from your volunteer experience.  It is the place where you can really delve into the real meanings of community programs and how you are assisting the delivery of needed services in your community.





First of all is Introduction


The introduction is a relatively brief but comprehensive statement about your topic and what your paper going to be about–and how are you going to present information about the topic in the paper.  For example:  “The problem of stray and unattended animals is a significant problem in most communities.  This paper will address the problem of stray and unattended animals in our communities and the problems that are associated with this social condition.  The nature of the problems will be explored as well as an investigation of what is being done in communities to manage this problem.  Recommendations for future efforts to deal with the issue will also be explored.”  So now it is time to follow, or modify, your outline to express your introduction and other parts clearly.  Entice the reader here to look at your paper.  Following are a couple of templates that may help you get the information in your Introduction without writing too much and by getting to the point quickly. 

Template:  (Your topic inserted here: After school care for children) is a significant social issue in the US. Numerous families are faced with the problem of lack of after school activities and supervision for their children while parents are still at work.  This paper will address the extent, consequences, causes and some solutions to (your topic inserted here).  That is all you need to write.  Get the reader’s attention and do not give inappropriate amounts of information.  It comes later.  

Another example:  Template:  (animal overpopulation) is a significant social issue in the US. Almost every community is faced with the problem of stray or unwanted animals that roam or are taken to animal shelters.  This paper will address the problem of stray and unattended animals in our communities and the problems that are associated with this social problem. The nature of the problem will be explored as well as an investigation of what is being done in communities to manage this problem.  Recommendations for future efforts to deal with the issue will also be explored.


second is Statement of the Problem

Statement of the problem

Clearly state the social problem or issue you are addressing by describing it and giving a few pertinent facts that will entice the reader.  You need to make an argument (or make your point) for the relevance of the problem or issue.  Convince the reader that this is really a problem worthy of investigation and solutions by offering some brief statistics to verify the issue. Explore the nature of the problem and some of it ramifications–briefly.  You  strengthen your validation of the condition as a social problem by citing a few of your sources from professional literature that address the problem situation.

For example:  “Every day in the United States there are x number of reports of domestic violence reported to police departments.  The numbers are on the rise.  Stokes (2004) (not really) in his work on domestic violence demographics, notes that in the year 2000, x number of cases of domestic violence were reported compared with x number in 2003–and increase of twenty percent.  The consequences of this social problem go beyond the abuse and violence toward one person”.  ……..So now it is time to follow, or modify, your outline to express your statement of the problem clearly.

So here is a sample template:  Ten million children return home after school and are without parental supervision for at least 2 hours every day(citation required).  Lacking  adult supervision and guidance, they are vulnerable and at significant risk for dangerous and possibly even anti-social behaviors that could be a threat to their lives, criminal behavior, sexual exploitation  or threats in other areas of inappropriate behavior as well.  


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