Sociological Research Methods


Mullins Library is in the beginning phases of a major renovation.  For the most current information please refer to the University Libraries website   The FAQ and current news are meant to help users avoid frustration.

Take Aways

Here are some helpful hints to assist you in getting the most out of research.

1.  Buy a copy of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.  6th edition.  The first three chapters are a very important guide to writing for an academic audience.

2.  Set the foundation - build your skills, just as you would  in learning anything new.  The more you do it the better you become.

3.  Ask for help!  Get to know your subject librarian.  We can help you with search strategies and source selection to maximize your time management.

4.  Utilize the "Find It" feature on the Libraries website.

5.  Sign up for Interlibrary Loan which is also known as Illiad.


Research and Literature Reviews: not as daunting as they seem

A literature review is the first step when writing a research paper.  It will allow you to locate books, journal articles and other materials to support or refute the research you are doing.  They can give you an overview or act as background to more recent information. A literature review allows you to  learn about the history of a field and current developments.  It allows you to find the most pertinent or relevant books and journal articles related to a subject.   

Search Strategies

I like to use the same techniques as developing a topic sentence, for developing a search strategy.

Start with your topic sentence.  I am researching Next break it down.  What are other words that can be used?

dementia  alzheimer's

pet assisted therapy  animal assisted therapy

research  interventions

Connect them using the following words

and : narrows your results.  All words must be in the results  pet assisted therapy and dementia

or : broadens your results.  Any of the words must be in your results. dementia or alzheimer's

not : excludes words.  evidence based research not qualitative

() : allows you to combine it all together.  (dementia or alzheimer's) and (pet assisted therapy or animal assisted therapy) and research