SOC 480: Senior Capstone in Sociological Scholarship

SOC 480: Senior Capstone in Sociological Scholarship

SOC 480: Senior Capstone Final Project

For Professor Myers SOC 480 course, students will produce a written report demonstrating their mastery of key learning objectives in the major. Your capstone project should argue an original advocacy angle to a social justice issue of your own choosing. Students will critically analyze how historical systems of power based on race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, etc. have shaped contemporary policies, practices, behaviors, and attitudes regarding the published research scholarship on that issue. Extensive library searches are expected for depth of analysis. On-going writing skill development is supported using digital literary and visual tools.

By developing a comprehensive view of any gaps in scholarly understanding on that issue, you will prepare an original literature review (a major part of the capstone project) and an oral/visual presentation highlighting argumentation on how to productively address those gaps as the future graduates of the field of sociology! In short, your advocacy angle should provide a “bridge” between existing scholarship and understudied perspectives. 

The Senior Capstone Final Project should NOT merely describe or summarize the scholarly record as it currently stands; instead, your project should highlight the research that (still) needs to be conducted in order to strengthen your argument for social change. “What’s next” for the future of the field of Sociology should be evidenced in your project.

Background Information

Background Information

Before Trying the Scholarly Databases, Look for Background Information

Before Trying the Scholarly Databases, look for Background Information

Google Smart Searching strategies

To do a Google Smart search, go to the search bar and type in your keyword [ex. environmental justice] space followed by site:.edu (or .gov, .org). This type of search narrows your results to specific types of sources (academic, non-profit, or government-related), which can be helpful in locating credible information.

Environmental Justice Smart Search

 

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

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

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

Full-text ethnic newspapers, searchable in English or Spanish.

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

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.

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

Collection of newspapers published in San Diego under various titles, including the San Diego Union.

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

Longform Journalism

Longform Journalism

Longform Journalism

For students gathering background information and developing foundational knowledge on a research topic, longform journalism sources can be valuable for distilling critical ideas and formulating research questions. 

Lengthier than your average newspaper article, longform journalism integrates various multimedia tools including video and interactive graphics and data to propel feature storytelling and engage readers. Longform tends to be substantive in content, underscoring immersion reporting, investigative techniques, and sustained narrative (Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications).

Longform Article Examples

Here We Abandon All Destinations

The Everything Town in the Middle of Nowhere

Why Is It So Hard to Stop People from Dying of Snakebite?

The Case for Reparations

Longform Periodicals

These longform periodical titles are freely available on the Internet (limited article access) and via the CSUSM Library's databases. 

The Atlantic Monthly (Internet) / The Atlantic Monthly (CSUSM Library) Covers news, culture, politics, technology, and more through multimedia content, articles, and its flagship magazine.

The Economist (CSUSM Library) News and opinion on international politics, business, finance, science, and technology.

The Nation (Internet) / The Nation (CSUSM Library) Established in 1865, one of the oldest, progressive news sources covering a variety of political and social issues.

The New Yorker (Internet) / The New Yorker (CSUSM Library) Features journalism on politics and social issues; includes incisive cartoons in each issue.

New York Times Magazine (Internet) / New York Times Magazine (CSUSM Library) Features longer articles than those typically found in the newspaper.

Longform Websites

The Conversation Independent news source from the academic and research community curated for the general public. (Note: These are not peer-reviewed, scholarly journal articles)

Epic Magazine Immersive narrative non-fiction articles.

Guernica Focuses on the intersection of art and politics. Content includes memoir, investigative reporting, commentary, and multimedia journalism that explores identity, conflict, culture, justice, science, and more.

JSTOR Daily Provides background information on a variety of topics in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Articles contextualize current events with academic scholarship. (Note: JSTOR Daily does not contain scholarly articles; you will find those in the JSTOR library database).

Longform Sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh's writing program, this site recommends new and classic non-fiction from around the web. 

Longreads Gathers stories from all over the web and also produces original content which includes in-depth profiles and feature articles.

Mosaic Longform articles on science-related topics.

Pacific Standard Publishes investigative pieces focusing on social and environmental justice.

ProPublica Nonprofit newsroom producing investigative journalism pieces focusing on government and politics, business, criminal justice, the environment, education, healthcare, immigration, and technology. 

The Verge Focuses on culture and technology.

Additional resources

Gathering Research Sources (differentiating between scholarly / substantive (longform) / editorial)

 

 

 

SOC 480: Identifying Empirical Articles

SOC 480: Identifying Empirical Articles

SOC 480: How to identify a scholarly article

To find empirical articles in Sociological Abstracts:

  • Use the "Advanced Search" mode to enter your keywords and include terms from the Sociological Abstracts thesaurus such as:
    • Case Studies
    • Empirical Methods
    • Ethnography
    • Experiments
    • Fieldwork
    • Grounded Theory
    • Interviews
    • Observation
    • Qualitative Methods
    • Quantitative Methods
    • Research
    • Surveys
    • Click "Search"

    • On the left side of the results screen, under "Source Type," you may limit to "Scholarly Journals."

    To find find empirical articles in PsycINFO:

    • Type your keywords into the search boxes
    • Scroll down the page to "Methodology," (in the right column) and select "Empirical Study"
    • Click on the "Search" button
    • On the "Results" page, you can filter by Publication Date and other limiters.

    TUTORIAL: How do I find an empirical article in PsycINFO?

    To find empirical articles in ERIC:

    • Use the "Advanced Search" mode to enter your keywords
    • Scroll down the page to "Document Type," and choose "143 Reports: Research"
    • Select other limits, such as publication date, if needed
    • Click "Search"
    • On the left side of the results screen, under "Source Type," you may limit to "Scholarly Journals."

    If you're still not generating results, add terms from the ERIC thesaurus to your keyword search. These include:

    • Action Research
    • Case Studies
    • Ethnography
    • Evaluation Methods
    • Evaluation Research
    • Experiments
    • Focus Groups
    • Field Studies
    • Interviews
    • Mail Surveys
    • Mixed Methods Research
    • Naturalistic Observation
    • Online Surveys
    • Participant Observation
    • Participatory Research
    • Qualitative Research
    • Questionnaires
    • Research
    • Statistical Analysis
    • Statistical Studies
    • Telephone Surveys

     

     

    SOC 480: JSTOR and Google Scholar CSUSM

    SOC 480: JSTOR and Google Scholar CSUSM

    SOC 480: JSTOR and Google

    Research articles in JSTOR:

    JSTOR is a multidisciplinary database providing access to a wide breadth of scholarship including books, journals, and primary sources. For those of you searching for critical theories related to your angle of advocacy, I recommend giving this database a try. Its search functions are slightly different from the other databases we've covered, so here are some strategies to try:

    • Select Advanced Search (under the Basic Search box)

    Searching JSTOR

    • Further refine by searching against your initial set of results.

    Refine JSTOR searches

    • You may limit to journal articles by checking the "Journals" box; the vast majority of resources in JSTOR are peer-reviewed, including books. However, if you are unsure, check the source of your article (Journal name) and the publisher by doing a simple Google search. If you're still unsure, reach out to a librarian or your professor.

    Research articles in Google Scholar CSUSM:

    • Please remember to use the Library's access point to Google Scholar CSUSM (linked in the heading of this section) to get to full-text articles and other research

    Refining your search in Google Scholar CSUSM

    SOC 480: How do I structure my keyword search?

    SOC 480: How do I structure my keyword search?

    SOC 480: Boolean Searching

    Boolean Searching in the Databases

     

    Image credit: Information Resource Center Blog

     

    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 the #MeToo movement account for intersectionality and marginalized identities?"break down your search into the main keywords:

    me too movement, intersectionality, marginalized, identity

    Use quotation marks (" ") to keep phrases together

    Use AND to combine different keywords

    "me too movement" "sexual violence"
    Use OR to combine similar/associated keywords intersectionality OR critical race theory
    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 

     

    Library Databases for Sociology

    Library Databases for Sociology

    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

    A national database of education literature, including reports and journal articles.

    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

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

    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

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

    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

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

    Full-text 1993 to current All

    Citing Your Sources

    Citing Your Sources

    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.