Beginning your research

Depending on your topic idea, you'll want to find background information, perhaps from an encyclopedia. Why? Encyclopedias can help you to:

  • Understand the scope of your topic--is it too broad or too narrow?
  • Understand how your topic is broken down into sub-topics.
  • Identify concepts or themes relevant to your topic.
  • Identify important terms and vocabulary that can be used in further searching.

Annual Review of Sociology

Use the Annual Review of Sociology to find overview essays or literature reviews that will list all of the important articles and books on a topic. These essays are incredibly useful starting points

Encyclopedia databases

In addition to the titles listed above the library has some databases that you can search for more encyclopedia and handbook information

Begin exploring books and articles

You may want to get an idea of how much information exists on your topic idea and what kinds of things sociologists are writing about it. It can be useful to do a quick search in the following databases:

Try searching the Library Catalog, Albert for books.

Try Sociological Abstracts for journal articles

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