SOC 311: Inequality Research - Group Project

SOC 311: Inequality Research - Group Project

SOC 311 - Research Project

For this course, you will produce a research paper & presentation on a topic of your own choosing. Your paper must be a critical analysis of your chosen topic, based in the appropriate theory and methodology, with summary and description kept to a bare minimum.

Requirements for the project:

I.   2 interview participants

II.  3-5 open-ended questions

III. Minimum of 3 SCHOLARLY articles

IV. Group presentation of research

V.  Group final paper

Research Portion:

You and your group will produce a 15-page research paper on the impact of social inequality in our community. The 15-pages DO NOT include cover page & references page.

Your paper must be formatted according to the American Sociological Association (ASA) style guide.

 

Please consult Professor Serna's full assignment guidelines in Cougar Courses.

 

Credibility of Sources

Credibility of Sources

Credibility of sources

Determining credibility of your sources is critical to selecting appropriate information sources for your research assignments. Scholarly journals are regarded as the most credible types of sources because of the rigorous peer review process they undergo.

You will likely consult non-scholarly sources including newspaper articles and websites for general background information on your chosen topic; thus, you will also need to determine credibility of these sources.

Here are some ways to identify credibility:

Authority
  • Can you identify the author(s)? If the source is anonymous, why?
  • Can you identify author credentials (education, job expertise)? Can these be verified elsewhere?
  • Is the author affiliated with an academic institution or credible organization?
  • Is there an "About Us" page that describes the organization?
  • Do a Google search for the author's name (enclose in quotation marks) and see what kind of sites come up. Do they seem credible?
Accuracy
  • Does the information have grammatical/spelling errors? 
  • Does it list sources or links to factual information? Are the links updated or do they lead to 404 error pages?
  • Is there a bibliography?
  • Can this information be verified elsewhere?
  • What kind of editorial vetting did the information undergo?
  • Is the research methodology adequately explained?
Audience
  • Who is the intended audience for the information? Academics? General public?
  • Is the information appropriate for your research assignment?
Bias
  • Does the author present objective arguments or make it clear when they're expressing opinions?
  • Is the website personal or institutional?
  • What other views are expressed?
  • Are there advertisements? If so, how are they differentiated from the content?
  • What is the purpose of the information? To inform? To persuade? To market?
  • What does the URL say about the website? .com=Commercial, .edu=Educational, .gov=Government, .mil=Military, .org=Non-Profit
Currency
  • Is the information outdated or up to date?
  • Can you ascertain content's date of creation?
  • Are the links working?
  • Credible websites will display "last updated" dates; working links indicate the website is being maintained regularly.

Source: University of South Carolina, Upstate Library

 

 

How to structure a keyword search?

How to structure a keyword search?

SOC 311 - How to structure a keyword search

Tips on searching the databases

Here are some general tips on searching for articles for your report:

Tip Examples
Use keywords, not long search phrases

Instead of searching for "How does institutional racism contribute to the achievement gap in higher education?" break down your search into the main keywords:

institutional racism, achievement gap, higher education

find additional keywords (synonyms, associated terms)

students of color, academic outcomes, discrimination, undergraduates, college students, systemic racism

Use quotation marks (" ") to keep phrases together

Use AND to combine different keywords

"institutional racism" AND "higher education"
Use OR to combine similar/associated keywords achievement gap or academic outcomes
Look for ways to limit your search in the database You can often limit by type of article (scholarly and peer-reviewed), year of publicationsubject 

 

Sociology Databases

Sociology Databases

Most Useful

Database Full Text Coverage Scholarly
Sociological Abstracts

Provides access to the latest international findings in theoretical and applied sociology, social science, and political science.

Links to full-text via Get-It 1963 to current All
Social Services Abstracts

Abstracts of current research focused on social work, human services, and related areas, including social welfare, social policy, and community development.

Links to full-text via Get-It 1980 to current All
JSTOR

Contains (EXCEPT for the latest five years) core scholarly journals in sociology, history, economics, political science, mathematics, African-American & Asian studies, literature, humanities, music, and biological, health & general sciences.

Full-text 1838 to most recent five years Most
ERIC

<P>A national database of education literature, including reports and journal articles.</P>

Links to full-text via Get-It 1966 to current Some
Social Work Abstracts

This database provides access to social work and human services journals from 1965 to the present. Topics include addictions, therapy, child and family welfare, civil and legal rights, mental health, education, and human services.

Links to full-text via Get-It 1965 to current Most

Also Useful

Database Full Text Coverage Scholarly
Academic Search Premier

<p>This scholarly collection offers information in nearly every area of academic study including: computer sciences, engineering, physics, chemistry, language and linguistics, arts &amp; literature, medical sciences, ethnic studies, and many more.</p>

Some full-text; plus links to full-text via Get-It 1975 to current Most
Google Scholar CSUSM

Link to citations and full-text from your CSUSM Library databases and beyond!

Some full-text; plus links to full-text via Get-It current to current All
Dissertations and Theses Database: The Humanities and Social Sciences Collection

<p>Dissertations and Theses Database includes digitized dissertations in a variety of subject areas including Art, Communications, Education, History, Linguistics, Literature, and Social Sciences.</p>

Some full-text 1979 to current All
WestlawNext Campus Research

This is a comprehensive database for news, business, and law-related information has been designed for students. It brings together news databases arranged geographically and topically; newswires as well as business, trade, and professional journals and publications; and law-related resources, including both primary law and analysis.

Full-text 1789 to current Some
Oxford University Press Journals

Provides access to the full text of approximately 168 scholarly journals in a variety of disciplines including life sciences, medicine, physical sciences, humanities, social sciences, mathematics, and law.

Full-text 1996 to current All
Sage Journals Online

Sage Journals Online includes over 460 journals in Business, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Science, Technology and Medicine.

Full-text current to current All
Women's Studies International

Includes over 204,000 records drawn from a variety of essential women's studies databases.

Links to full-text via Get-It 1972 to current Most
Project Muse

<p>Full-text coverage for hundreds of scholarly journals in the humanities, social sciences, and mathematics</p>

Full-text 1993 to current All

Use these databases to search across newspapers and news magazines. To access full-text of the article, look for the GET-IT Button.

Most Useful

Database Full Text Coverage Scholarly
ProQuest - News & Newspapers

Search among ProQuest’s News & Newspapers databases

Some full-text; plus links to full-text via Get-It 1985 to current None
Factiva

Covers news and business information, including Dow Jones and Reuters newswires and The Wall Street Journal, plus more than 8,000 other sources providing current news.

Full-text 1975 to current Some
Academic Search Premier

<p>This scholarly collection offers information in nearly every area of academic study including: computer sciences, engineering, physics, chemistry, language and linguistics, arts &amp; literature, medical sciences, ethnic studies, and many more.</p>

Some full-text; plus links to full-text via Get-It 1975 to current Most
PAIS

An important index to political, economic, and social issues in current debate.

Links to full-text via Get-It 1972 to current All
Ethnic NewsWatch

<p>Full-text ethnic newspapers, searchable in English or Spanish.</p>

Some full-text; plus links to full-text via Get-It 1992 to current None
GenderWatch

<p>GenderWatch contains publications which focus on how gender impacts a broad spectrum of subject areas. GenderWatch is a repository of an important historical perspective on the evolution of the women’s movement and the changes in gender roles.</p>

Full-text 1970 to current All

Also Useful

Database Full Text Coverage Scholarly
San Diego Union Tribune (current coverage)

The San Diego Union-Tribune is the product of a merger of the San Diego Union, founded in 1868, and the Evening Tribune, founded in 1895. Published from an editorial, printing and business plant in San Diego's Mission Valley, it is the second-oldest newspaper in Southern California, and the oldest business in San Diego County; an area known as a popular vacation destination and home to Mission Bay Park, the largest man-made aquatic park in the country, consisting of 4,235 acres. The Union-Tribune has won numerous journalism awards over the years, including the Pulitzer Prize, and features daily news, sports, shopping, and entertainment coverage for the San Diego area.

Full-text 1983 to current Some
San Diego Union Newspaper Archive

<p>Collection of newspapers published in San Diego under various titles, including the San Diego Union.</p>

Full-text 1872 to 1983
Los Angeles Times (1996-present)

Los Angeles Times articles from 1996-present. For articles published prior to 1996, see the Los Angeles Times (Historical) Database.

Full-text 1996 to present None
Los Angeles Times (Historical)

Archival issues and articles beginning with 1881. Issues published during the past twenty-four years are not available in this database. Check ProQuest or Factiva databases for the material not held in this collection.

Full-text Archive None
New York Times (Current, 1980-present)

Articles from the New York Times from 1980-present.  For articles prior to 1980, see the New York Times (Historical Collection) Database.

Full-text 1980 to present None
New York Times (Historical Collection)

The New York Times Historical Collection provides full page and article images including the NY Daily Times (1851-1857). The most recent four years not included in this historical collection can be searched through ProQuest Direct, LexisNexis or Factiva.

Full-text Archive None
African American Newspapers, 1827-1998

Newspapers digitized from 37 states chronicling African American experiences and influence in a variety of events from the early 19th through late 20th centuries.

Full-text 1827 to 1998 None
Hispanic American Newspapers, 1808-1980

Spanish and English language newspapers offering news, advertisements, opinion and more from across the nation reflecting contemporary thought and activity.

Full-text 1808 to 1980 None

ASA Citation

ASA Citation

ASA (General)

What is ASA style?

ASA stands for the American Sociological Association. It is the citation style used by many sociologists, and it is the style used in all ASA journals.

 

Official ASA Style Guide

 

This is the official ASA manual published by the American Sociological Society. The CSUSM Library currently offers copies of the 5th edition.

Cover of ASA Style Guide

 

Helpful Online Guides

Sample Papers in ASA Style

There are currently no sample papers available in ASA style. The following links offer guidance on how to format an ASA-style paper.