SOC 315: Research Project Proposal and Annotated Bibliography
Theory Paper Proposal
The proposal must be two (2) double-spaced pages in length, and include:
A topic related to the course and course material (gender and/or gender inequality). Remember, the course takes an intersectional approach to gender by highlighting how race, class, immigration status, and sexuality help construct gender as a structure and a system of meaning and practice. Your project must take an intersectional approach (draw on the readings from the first six classes and multimedia pieces to understand intersectionality). Consider the following questions: How does this project utilize an intersectional approach?
Your project must also include:
- One clear research question (supporting questions can follow the original question)
- Objectives of this research (What’s the purpose of your research? Why are you asking these questions?)
- Stated relevance to Gender in Society (How does your project relate to the course material? And how does it build on relevant course readings and/or multi-media pieces?).
- An outline of the format for the final research project, which can take one of three forms: a) website/blog, b) podcast or documentary, or c) academic poster. Explain how you intend to set up your final project – e.g. sections, potential arguments, use of imagery and/or tweets, etc.
You will obtain and analyze six (6) peer-reviewed, academic journal articles and two (2) community and/or media sources (Total: 8 sources). These sources will provide and deepen your research-based knowledge on a course-related topic of your choosing. For each entry, you will write a bibliographic reference using APA format, followed by a specific six-sentence annotation.
As always, please consult Dr. Ali's full assignment guidelines in Cougar Courses.
Determining 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:
Source: University of South Carolina, Upstate Library
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.
Use these databases to search across newspapers and news magazines. To access full-text of the article, look for the Get-It Button.
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
These longform periodical titles are freely available on the Internet (limited article access) and via the CSUSM Library's databases.
The Economist (CSUSM Library) News and opinion on international politics, business, finance, science, and technology.
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.
How do I structure a keyword search?
Before you embark on your database search, take a few moments to identify keywords, which will be a timesaver for you. Some things to try:
- Write down any research questions you have about your topic; these should be open-ended (starting with How...? or Why...?)
- Identify the key concepts from your research question (look at the nouns)
- Write down synonyms for those key concepts
Taking a few minutes to think about and identify some keywords before starting your search will help you search more efficiently, which will save you time (and frustration).
- Identify important concepts from your research question (look for nouns)
- Brainstorm some synonyms (to help you find more information)
- Keep track of useful terms you discover during research and add those to your set of keywords
Ex. research question: How is gaming culture racist and sexist?
(Identify the keywords in this research question)
How is gaming culture racist and sexist?
|gamer gate||marginalized||toxic masculinity|
Tips on searching the databases
Here are some general tips on searching for articles for your report:
|Use keywords, not long search phrases||
Instead of searching for "How is gaming culture racist and sexist?" break down your search into the main keywords:
gaming culture, racist, sexist
Use quotation marks (" ") to keep phrases together
Use AND to combine different keywords
|"gaming culture" AND racism|
|Use OR to combine similar/associated keywords||"video games" or "gamer gate"|
|Look for ways to limit your search in the database||You can often limit by type of article (scholarly and peer-reviewed), year of publication, subject|
Sociology Research Databases
| 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|
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|
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|
| 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|
Here are some APA resources for you to consult; if you have specific questions about citation, please ask a librarian.
- In Text Citations by APA (Video)
- APA Formatting and Style Guide by Purdue Online Writing Lab (Comprehensive online guide with examples)
- APA Sample Paper by Purdue Online Writing Lab (PDF)