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Sociology Research Guide

Background research

Background research can help you:

  • narrow down a broad theme into a smaller topic
  • learn the basics of your topic
  • develop a list of keywords to use when searching for more sources
  • develop a research question and/or thesis statement

Starter databases

Starter databases:

  • simple, browseable databases meant to help students with background research
  • often contain credible reference articles, but can also have viewpoint essays
  • a good alternative or supplement to Wikipedia

Best starter databases for Sociology topics:

Opposing Viewpoints tutorial

Opposing Viewpoints Tutorial

  • This browseable database contains information on current events and controversial topics.
  • A great place to find and refine topic ideas, and read pro and con arguments.
  • Watch the video below to learn more:

Try it out!

Librarian Book Picks

Recommended Books in the Library

  • The books below are available for a two-week checkout.
  • Write down a book's call number to find it upstairs in the book stacks.