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SOC 1838G: Gillespie summer 2016

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Background & context
Macro sociological theoretical ... Say what?
Learn more about each of the sociological theories you will use to analyze your issue. You'll choose just one:  

Social-conflict theory (listed as conflict perspective) in The Blackwell Dictionary of Sociology (2000)

Structural-functionalism theory (listed as functionalist perspective) in
The Blackwell Dictionary of Sociology (2000)

Note: The Blackwell Dictionary of Sociology e-book is viewable by one user at a time. If you have trouble accessing the e-book, visit the Booth Library Reference Room for access to this book in hard copy.

Call Number: HM425 .J64 2000 (Temporarily Shelved at: Subject Dictionaries Display - 3000 N Corridor)
Poster Presentation - Researching your Topic
Step 1: Define your search terms

Choose a Category of Difference and Demographic Group

Think broadly about how your category and group may be described by scholars in the literature. Use any of these words as search terms. You may think of additional words on which to search.
low income
middle income
high income
lower class
middle class
upper class
social class
mixed race
students of color
men/women of color
African American
Native American
et cetera

Choose a Social Issue in Higher Education - an example

As in defining your category of difference and demographic group, think about all the possible ways your social issue may be described in the literature.

Let's use #2 - Completion and Retention as an example. Use any of these words as search terms.
college completion
degree completion
college dropouts
higher education
postsecondary education
four-year school
two-year school
community college
junior college
trade school
vocational school  
Step 2: Pick your journals
You must use articles from any of these journals, making sure you use at least two different journals:

American Journal of Sociology
American Sociological Review
Sociology of Education

The Journal of Higher Education
The Review of Higher Education
Research in Higher Education

Try searching in more than two journals. Depending on your topic, some journals may work better for you than others.
Step 3: Search for articles
Below is a 7.5-minute video with applied examples and suggestions for conducting library research for your poster presentation assignment.

For optimal viewing, open this tutorial in a new window: SOC 1838G tutorial

Step 4: Evaluate your articles
Don't forget this step! You will flourish as a student and information consumer if you engage in information evaluation.

Is the article relevant to your research?

Does the article help you make your own argument?

Supplemental reading
Learn more about evaluating the information you find. Use the CRAAP Test.
Courtesy of Meriam Library at California State University, Chico.
Supplemental Information
Reading a Scholarly Article
As a college student, you will be reading lots of scholarly articles. This is different from reading articles in the latest issue of People or Sports Illustrated. Scholarly articles are written by academics and other researchers, so the terminology used is more complex, and the content is meant to inform more than entertain.

Check out this research guide for quick tips on How to Read a Scholarly Journal Article.


Parts of a Scholarly Article

Learn more about the sections within a scholarly article.

Reader beware! Not all scholarly articles follow this exact formula. Knowing the basic structure of a scholarly article will help you identify these types of articles in your search results. Click on the image below to learn more. Courtesy of the North Carolina State University Libraries.

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Citing sources
Cite your sources using the American Sociological Association (ASA) style. Examples are available:

Quick tips for ASA style -- from the ASA
ASA style guide -- book available at Booth Library, call number
HM569 .A54 2010
(1 copy in Reference,
1 copy in Book Stacks)

EIU Writing Center website -- Resources for writers
Need more help?
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Reference Desk: 217-581-6072

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