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Social Science Essay Samples & Examples

Free sample college essays written for Social Science classes like History, Political Science and Economics. These essay assignments are helpful for studying various report writing techniques in a variety of disciplines and getting ideas for possible essay topics. Summaries of each essay are provided here, with word and page counts.

The truth behind witch trials - sample history essay

The witch trials in Europe and America have long captivated scholars. This example Western history paper explains how changes in the legal system contributed to the rise of the witch trial and also examines a couple specific witch trials. This fascinating example history research paper would be a good reference for someone who wants to explore the background and context of a famous historical event.
1,766 words / 6 pages

Political Science - International Relations Current Event Term Paper

This sample political science term paper examines a theory of international relations, and applies it to a current event. The essay examines how the United Nations' rejection of Taiwan's 2007 membership application can be analyzed through the lens of Liberalism, a political theory that stresses cooperation through the use of institutions. This political analysis essay uses extensive background research in order to successfully apply Liberalism to the event. It would be a useful reference for political science students who want to examine current events in terms of academic theory.
2,489 words 10 pages

East Asian History - Chinese Democracy

This example East Asian History term paper looks at the evolution of democracy movements in Modern China. This final course essay uses historical research to build a persuasive argument that the Chinese vision of "democracy" is far different from how Westerners approach the term. The essay uses a strong organizational structure to methodically build its case and persuade the reader why the Chinese consider their form of government a "democratic" system. It would be a useful reference for a student who wants to examine a historical theme and apply it in a manner that the reader will enjoy.
2,331 words, 9 pages

Economics - History of the United States Economy - Causes of the Great Depression

This example economics term paper analyzes the culture of speculation during the 1920s, and argues how it contributed to the severity of the Great Depression. Using descriptive body paragraphs that tell how stock traders like Jessie Livermore were superstars and housing prices were on the rise, this sample essay portrays how the speculative party abruptly came to an end. It employs block quotes and vivid examples to make its body paragraphs stand out. It would be a great reference for a student who wants to write about economic history and successfully use background evidence for maximum effect.
3,694 words, 14 pages

The tragedy of Japanese internment camps: analyzing Korematsu v. United States

In the wake of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States set up internment camps in which thousands of Japanese Americans were sent because of the fear that they might be foreign agents. One person who was sent to the camp took his case to the Supreme Court and lost. This sample political science paper argues why the court, in Korematsu v. United States, was wrong. Specifically, the author argues that the court applied a rational basis test instead of a strict scrutiny test. This sample government and politics paper would be a good reference for someone who wants to write about a major court case that in retrospect is viewed negatively.
1,441 words / 6 pages

Sample legal analysis - Intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED)

This example legal analysis was written for a college introductory law course. Examines whether a potential defendant committed the torch of intentional infliction of emotional distress. This sample law essay cites relevant case law and draws conclusions from the facts. It would be a good reference for a student who wants to prepare for a legal debate.
1,025 words / 5 pages

Martin Luther King and Civil Disobedience - Example Historical Analysis Paper

Several decades after his death, Martin Luther King Jr.'s words still resonate with meaning. This example Civil Rights era paper analyzes King's arguments in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail to see how he tried to win over white, moderate pastors to join the Civil Rights movement. This sample primary source document analysis essay examines why King believes civil disobedience is the correct way to bring about change in the face of racism. It would be a good reference for a student who wants to write an in-depth analysis of a historical document.
1,328 words / 5 pages

Fixing the Democratic Republic of the Congo - example international politics paper

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly called Zaire), sits upon a wealth of natural resources but is a relatively poor nation because of government corruption and international exploitation. This well-researched sample African politics paper argues that more government control of the economy, specifically the mining sector, could help solve the country's problems. It would be a good reference for a student who wants to analyze an international issue in depth.
2,321 words / 8 pages

Sigmund Freud and the Role of Dreams - Sample psychology history paper

This sample psychology essay describes how dreams interact with Freud's broader theories of psychoanalysis. It was written for a survey course on the history of psychology. This example social science paper looks at where dreams originate, the nature of dreams, and the types of dreams. It would be a good reference for a student who wants to take a historical theory and explain its relevance.
1,728 words / 6 pages

International Finance - The Long Boom Sample term paper

This sample international finance term paper examines how the excesses of the "long boom" from 1980-2006 created the conditions for a severe economic crisis. The essay examines how changes in technology, an emphasis on deregulation and growing corporate debt lead to the "Great Recession." It builds its case using relevant theories, such as Hyman Minsky's Financial Instability Hypothesis and examples from the financial crisis. It would be a useful reference for business and economics students who want background on the recession and how it relates to economic theory.
2,588 words, 9 pages

Germany: The EU's economic powerbroker - sample comparative politics paper

In the wake of the great recession, Germany emerged with strong economic growth. Due to the size of its economy and its political influence within the European Union, Germany has power to influence Europe's economic recovery. This sample short political science paper analyzes Germany's economic power and notes the role of Germany's leaders. It would be a good reference for a student who wants to respond to an article concerning current economic events.
823/ 3 pages

The "Rational Politician" is a myth - sample political science essay

Some say that leaders must make rational decisions if they are to serve as effective leaders. This example political science assignment argues that many leaders make irrational decisions because of they lack information, are trying to stay in power, or have other personal motivations. It would be a good reference for a student who wants to analyze a current political event.
1,011 words / 4 pages

Sample legal memo - Sexual harassment in the classroom

This example legal memo report was written for a college advanced law class. Students had to determine if a professor's actions constituted sexual harassment and if the victim could sue her university. This sample law homework assignment looked at rules for sexual harassment in schools and applied them to the given hypothetical situation. It would be a good reference for a student who wants to write a multi-part legal analysis.
622 words, 3 pages

Decisions, decisions: competing theories on why judges act the way they do - sample legal theory essay

How do judges make their decisions? This sample legal theory paper looks at two prevailing theories: the legislative model and the principle model. This example social science paper suggests that judges do not have free reign to invent laws of their own but are constrained by overriding legal principles. It would be a good reference for a student who wants to organize the paper around legal or political per theories.
1,604 words /6 pages

Economics - Development of Economic Thought - John Maynard Keynes General Theory

This sample economics take home final assignment summarizes the theory of John Maynard Keynes, the prominent 1930s economist whose work is still relevant today. Using clear language and organization, it effectively describes the theory and its influence, while including citations from lecture notes. This example essay would be a great reference for an economics student who wants to summarize theory and examine its impact on future economic thinkers. It would also be useful for those who need help organizing take home assignments.
1,756 words, 6 pages

United States History - Development of political parties sample essay

This example college history essay examines the rise of political parties in the early years of the United States. This sample essay about factions details the beginnings of political parties like the Federalists and Democratic-Republicans while exposing the divide between founding fathers like James Madison and Alexander Hamilton. This short paper reveals how the fight to ratify the Constitution and the role of George Washington helped cement party ideologies. It would be a good reference for a history student who wants to examine the role of the founding fathers in the early republic.
1,207 words, 4 pages

Sample legal memo - Board of directors and the Business Judgment Rule

This sample legal memo assignment was written for a college-level business law class. Students were asked to determine if a movie studio's Board of Directors could be held legally responsible for approving production for a film that bombed at the box office. This example legal analysis paper studies whether the Board would be protected by the Business Judgment Rule or if shareholders can sue them. It would be a good reference for a student who wants to prepare a short legal assignment from a hypothetical situation.
653 words, 3 pages

California's public school system - Sample Urban Economics Term Paper

This sample urban economics paper was written for an upper division elective course. It suggests that California's public school system can be fixed by employing more effective principals in urban areas, increasing the number of charter schools and utilizing a voucher system. The paper analyzes current events to diagnose the problem and offers statistics and anecdotes to argue its point. This sample essay would be a good reference for students who want to use current events to make an economics-related argument.
3,234 words, 13 pages

American history: The American Revolution - Thomas Paine's Common Sense

This example paper was written for a college history class on the American Revolution. It examines one of the most critical documents of the revolution, Common Sense by Thomas Paine. This short essay sample quotes exclusively from Paine and analyzes his most effective arguments against British rule. It would be a good reference for a student who wants to write an organized, but succinct history assignment.
1,115 words, 4 pages

Economics - Development of Economic Thought - Applying Economic Theory to the "Great Recession"

This example economics theory assignment examines the causes of the "Great Recession" from the perspective of major economists such as John Maynard Keynes, Milton Friedman, Joseph Schumpeter and Hyman Minsky. Written for a college course on economic thought, this sample theory application paper takes a current event and explains how explanations would vary over time. It would be a useful reference for business students who want to incorporate lecture notes into their paper and want to organize a take home exam.
2,081 words, 7 pages

Religion in early America - The Cult of Matthias and the Second Great Awakening

This sample essay was looks at religious cults that sprang up during the Second Great Awakening in the 19th century. It was written for a college course on the American Revolution and the early republic. In particular this example history paper looks at the Kingdom of Matthias, a strange, conservative cult that warned of doomsday. It uses numerous text-based examples to illustrate how religious cults attracted followers while taking part in the "democratization" of religion. It would be an effective reference for a student who wants to write on an unusual historical topic involving religion.
1,259 words, 4 pages

Economics - History of the United States Economy - The Industrial Revolution and U.S. Economic Growth

This example economics history paper was written as a take home midterm assignment. It suggests that the U.S. phenomenal growth in the 19th century was due to the arrival of railroads, foreign capital, and the development of a banking system. It uses numerous examples to build strong body paragraphs and is nicely organized for the take home assignment style. This sample essay would be a good reference for students who want to incorporate historical examples into a short essay.
748 words, 5 pages

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