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Sociology: Getting Started

Getting Started

Before you Begin: Know the Assignment

  • What length is your final paper supposed to be?
  • How many resources are required?
  • What types of resources are required?
  • When is the assignment due?

Before Searching:  Develop a Strategy

  • PRE-search several topics that you are interested in to see what kind of information is available. Will there be enough to support the assignment requirements?
  • Company websites can be a good start for gathering background information & keywords, but keep in mind that they are usually there to market their services.
  • Is there a way to narrow or expand your topic using keywords? These will become your search terms.
    Example Thesis: "Teenagers from poor homes are more likely to go to jail than other teenagers. "
    Example Keywords: Teenagers, Poor, Jail
  • Brainstorm additional search terms by finding words with similar meanings.
    Example 1, Keyword "Teenagers": juvenile, teen, minor, underage, adolescent
    Example 2, Keyword "Poor": poverty, impoverished, underprivileged
    Example 3, Keyword "Jail": prison, detention, lockup

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