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I am available to assist in your research throughout the academic year. If you would like to arrange for an individual research consultation, please e-mail me with a requested date and time, and a brief description of your research interest.
The purpose of this guide is to recommend print and electronic resources for conducting research in Sociology at the J.N. Desmarais Library. Click on the tabs above for suggestions about starting your research, getting books, articles and finding other useful tools for research in Sociology.
In the library: The Library User Assistance Desk to your immediate left as you enter the library is a good place to start.
By email: Email the librarian responsible for your faculty for a reply during regular working hours.
By telephone: 705-675-4803, or toll free at 1-800-661-1058, ext. 2
For Distance Education students: Telephone: 1-800-661-1058, ext. 2 or email: Distance_l@laurentian.ca
Quick tips for getting started with research
It is always a good strategy to:
- understand the key terms you may be using as well as the general area that interests you;
- think about ways to define your topic as precisely as possible (unless you have already been given a specific topic to research);
- create a thesis statement or research question;
- list the main concepts (keywords) included in your thesis statement or research question;
- find as many synonyms as you can for each main concept.
You are now ready to start searching in the library's catalogue and e-resources.
Sociology - Reference resources
Cambridge dictionary of sociology. 2006. Print. Authoritative overview of classical and contemporary sociology, including themes such as cultural change, genetics, globalization, and information technologies.
Critical dictionary of sociology. 1989. Online. Translation of the 2nd French edition. Valuable for its overview of sociological concepts.
Dictionary of sociology. 4th edition. 2014. Print.
Penguin dictionary of sociology. 2006. 5th edition. Print. A standard reference work.
Sage dictionary of sociology. 2006. Online. Over 1,000 entries on key concepts and theorists.
Encyclopedia of identity. 2010. Ed. R. Jackson. Online.
Encyclopedia of social theory. 2004. Online. Covers the key concepts, theorists, schools, texts, and traditions, including behavior, culture, Marxism, and feminism.
Encyclopedia of sociology. 2001. 2nd edition. Online. A standard reference work in the field.
International encyclopedia of revolution and protest. Online. Important for its coverage of revolutionary social movements, left-politics, and radical leaders.
International encyclopedia of the social sciences. 2008. Online. Landmark reference work that covers methodology, disciplines, intersecting fields, and applications.
The value of reference books
When you are looking for definitions or if you are not familiar with a subject, reference works such as dictionaries and encyclopedias become invaluable because they contain relatively short, authoritative articles. These articles lay out the parameters of a topic and can assist you in providing a specific focus. Often such articles are accompanied by lists of readings or bibliographies which allow you to explore the topic further. All of the resources listed link either to the library catalogue record for each book or to an online resource or website.
Get call numbers
Materials relevant to Sociology fall broadly under the H to HX areas of the Library of Congress classification schedule, especially HM through to HT. Sociology also connects to many other knowledge fields, so it is worth the time to round up several call numbers that take you to different areas fo the collection to see what may be there.
H - HX Sociology
HD Industry and labour
HM Sociology. History. Theory. Culture. Groups and organizations. Social psychology (e.g., social perception, cognition, interpersonal relations)
HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
HQ The family. Sexuality. Life cycle. Gerontology. Men. Women
HT Communities. Urban and rural sociology. Classes. Races
HV Social pathology (e.g., substance abuse). Social and public welfare. Criminology
Sociology connects to many other knowledge fields, so it is worth the time to round up several call numbers that take you to different areas of the collection to see what is there.
Our library catalogue, called Evergreen, is the essential tool for getting books in the J.N. Desmarais Library as well as other library collections and resource centres on the Laurentian campus. You can also use Evergreen to search for journals (which will lead you to articles) and government publications.
- Journal title
If you know the book you are searching for, enter the relevant info under Title or Author, then write down the call number of the book to get it in the stacks. When you are searching for books on a topic, start with Keyword unless you know the exact Subject heading that describes your topic. Once you have the subject heading, use it to identify what other books may be available. Use keyword to search under call number. More discussion of searching in Desire2Learn, our research skills tutorial.
Articles: Quick Tips
The databases to the right provide references to many scholarly journal articles and papers.
- Start off with keyword searches expressing your topic. Keyword searching crosses all fields.
- Use Search Operators such as "OR" and "AND" to expand or reduce your results.
- Review those items that look relevant, then, exploit the details within those entries to help lead you to other relevant articles.
- Pay attention to the subject headings (often called "descriptors") to see how the database describes your topic and use them to find related articles.
- Find other papers written by the same author; these will typically be on similar subjects.
- Follow citation trails: other articles that have cited this article will probably be on a related subject and will include citations to other articles of interest.
- For more Secrets of Searching a Database, review that section in How to Research Like a Librarian.
Related online resources for articles
JSTOR is a comprehensive resource for searching the back runs of over 1,000 leading journals in multiple knowledge fields, including Sociology. There is a delay of three to five years before the journal is available in JSTOR.
We get major newspapers like the Globe and Mail and the New York Times. Lexis Nexis also contains the full-text (no photos) of major newspapers worldwide, including North America, Europe, and the U.K., updated daily.
Getting Articles @ Laurentian
In any database, when you see an article that interests you, click on it and, unless the article is available within the database itself, within the record you will see an image that says "Get it @ Laurentian":
When you click on that, you will arrive at a menu which will lead to an electronic copy of the article you want, or, if not available electronically, to Laurentian's catalogue which will allow you to check if the article is available in print in the library, and if not, to a final link which allows you to order the item through Interlibrary loan.
Properly citing your sources is an extremely valuable and necessary skill when completing your research. See Laurentian's Citation Style Guides for quick reference guides on commonly used citation styles.
The Department recommends APA style for citations and bibliographies:
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Also known as the APA style manual. 6th ed. 2010. Print.
An easyguide to APA style. 2014. Print.
Purdue Online Writing Lab. Excellent open-access site for learning how to cite in APA style.
Tracking Your Research
Zotero is a FREE web-based citation manager that will allow you to:
- Directly import references from article databases, the library catalogue, e-book collections, etc.
- Manage and organize your references.
- Create a bibliography.
- Share your references with others
- Add in-text citation and a bibliography directly into your assignment
Getting started with Zotero: