This is a JavaScript menu. Please enable scripts in your browser. Skip to Main Content

Sociology: Start Your Research

A guide to research in the field of sociology.

Understanding Your Assignment

Before you begin finding sources for your assignment. Review your assignment to determine:

  • How many sources do you need?
  • What types of sources you need?
    • Books, articles, or websites?
    • Do they need to be scholarly journal articles? 
  • What citation style are you required to use?
    • Keep track of your sources as you go

Developing a Research Topic video

Milwaukee Area Technical College Libraries. "Developing a Research Topic." YouTube, 14 Jan. 2013, Accessed 20 Nov. 2019.

The Research Process

The Research Process:
1.   Develop your Research Topic:

2.   Select Keywords from your Research Topic:

  • Use Keywords for searching for Books/eBooks and the Article Databases.
  • How many Sources do you need and do they have to be Scholarly or Popular Sources?

3.   Search the Library Catalog to find Books & eBooks:

  • Books & eBooks provide background research.
  • Background research gives you an overview and helps you to understand the main topic points.

4.   Search the Library's Databases to find Articles:

  • Add Keywords to focus your search so that your topic is not too broad or too narrow.
  • Getting too many results? Try narrowing your search by publication date range, so you get the most current results.

5.   Evaluate your Sources:

  • Ask yourself, do the Sources fit your Research Topic?
  • Are they scholarly or popular sources that fit the assignment requirements?

6.   Create your Works Cited or Reference page:

  • A Works Cited or Reference page list your sources and citations.
  • It shows where you got the information to support your Research Topic and gives credit to that person or organization.
  • It also shows that you did not plagiarize or copy someone else's work.

Need help? Ask a Librarian, we are always here to help you with your research assignments. 

Research Process Cycle: Research Topic, Select Keywords, Search for Sources, Evaluate Sources, Create Sources List

Chaffey College • 5885 Haven Avenue, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91737 - 3002 • 909/652-6000
 Powered by Springshare • LibApps LoginFeedbackBI SurveyLibrary Activities