SOCI 3440H Research Assignment


Scholarly Sources


If you're using Google, stick to Google Scholar to get more scholarly documents.  You should also read the tutorial on Recognizing Scholarly Resources (see link under Help), so you know when you're NOT using a scholarly publication. You'll be asked about this in the QUIZ.

News & Magazines

Research Assignment: Fall 2018

Finding Sources

Start With What You Know

For your final assignment, you require "at least 8 scholarly sources in addition to material from course readings." 

So, start with your course readings. It's a lot easier to research a topic when you already know something about it, than if you know nothing about it.

  • Look over all the readings -  which one(s) do you find most interesting? 
    • One good resource can lead you to more resources, using the works cited.
  • Look at the Works Cited (bibliographies) in those readings.  Track down some of those works.
    • For this, you want to know how to read a citation and navigate to the document it describes.  See our tutorial on "Navigating from a Citation to a Document".
    • Sample Bibiography
  • Look at what other articles have cited the articles you're reading. 
    • Sociological Abstracts can help with this.  Look up an article, then click on "Cited By".
  • Look for important KEY TERMS and specialized terminology that will be important to your topic. 
    • Jot down a list of potential search terms.

Next: Expand Your Search Into New Territory

  • Start searching for more scholarly articles on your topic.
    • Use the Sociological Abstracts database for scholarly articles.
    • Use a database that includes News and Magazines for current events.
  • Search Terms
    • Use terms from your list of KEY TERMS.
    • Use AND & OR between search terms: OR within a search box, AND between search boxes.
      • AND focuses your search to items that contain BOTH terms.
      • OR expands your search to find items that contain at least ONE of the terms.  (Use for synonyms.)
    • Put quotes (") around a phrase.
    • EXAMPLE: (queer or gay or lgbq) and "sexual harassment"
  • Evaluate Your Results
    • Look over the brief descriptions of items.
      • Look at titles, abstracts - where do your search terms appear?
      • Can you make the results more useful using limiters on the left side?

Sample Search: "sex tourism"

screenshot of Sociological Abstracts results for "Sex tourism" with limiters applied for scholarly journals, date of publication, and language

  • Click on potentially useful items for more information.
    • Cited By
    • References
    • Related Items
    • Links to Full Text

screenshot of Sociological Abstracts full description of an article, with arrows pointing to References, Cited by, Documents with shared references, and Related items

Follow links to Full Text.

  • Sometimes you see a direct link to the full text of an article, but you're not restricted to those.
  • Get It! Trent links to articles in any of our e-journals.  get it Trent logo
    • Click the logo to find the article.

Keep track of what you find, in case you need to get back to it later.

  • Sociological Abstracts provides options to mark items and save, print, email, download them.  You can even set up an account for yourself called "My Research".
  • Download and save full text articles.
  • Use Zotero to organize citations.