Sociology: SOCU 1003 The Social World

Assignment Help

Introduction

This page will get you started in finding articles and books to include in your essay plan and essay.

It's important to understand your assessment before you start searching. Read through the details in your course outline and course website. This can help you to:

  • know what you need to do
  • what sort of resources you need
  • where to search e.g. if you need statistics the Library catalogue won't be the best place

Planning your search

More help

Watch Plan your search  (2 min 26)
Read: How to plan your search (pdf)
View the Writing your assignment page for more info on interpreting your topic and planning your search

Scholarly sources

You need to find scholarly references to support  your assignments. To learn more about what scholarly sources are watch this video (2min 22)

Start your search

Now you need to put these keywords together and build a search and develop your search criteria.

Remember use these to build your search criteria:

  • OR connects similar words like child OR children
  • AND connects different concepts together like interracial AND marriage
  • double quotes "...." for phrases. This locks the words together like "ethnic heritage"

After you build up a search strategy, you can start to apply them in search tools, such as the example searches below.

The Library catalogue can be a useful starting point in locating information.

Put your search in the basic search box, group your alternative keywords inside brackets

Use the advanced search to split your concepts on to different rows

Use Refine my results on the left hand side to narrow your results. Here are some examples:

  • Show Only - Peer-reviewed journals
  • Resource Type - Book chapters
  • Publication Date - limit to the last 10 years

The Library catalogue does not list everything we have access to. Try a database when you are not finding relevant results in the Catalogue, or in order to restrict your results to a specific discipline, topic area or material type.

Here is an example in Sociological Abstracts (via ProQuest) it provides descriptive information for international literature in sociology and related disciplines, covering journal articles, books and conference papers.

Example Advanced Search

  • Put a different concept on each line.
  • Use OR to connect any similar terms (synonyms).

  • Tip: Use the Find it button to try and locate full text articles.

Try Google Scholar to find scholarly information. An advantage of Google Scholar is that it provides access to the full text of many UniSA scholarly (academic) articles if you connect via the link above, or from the Library home page.

The Advanced Scholar Search option gives more flexibility when you search. To access it select the menu (three lines) in the top left hand corner of Google Scholar. This menu will appear once you do an initial search in Google Scholar.

Here is an example:

Other resources: news and statistics

   Find Statistics
   Find News Media

To find news articles on a particular topic look at the Library databases listed under the News subject heading. These databases contain both Australian and international content:

You may also want to consult the News Media subject guide which includes news wires, RSS feeds, and media releases.

Want to find 'sociology' related Australian newspaper articles?

Use the NewsBank Newspaper database to search for specific Australian articles by selecting the Australia's Newspapers link and search for the article by Headline (change from the default option of All Text), using double quotes around your phrase.

If you don't know the exact headline you can still do a headline search - just add keywords and double quotes. For example theft by headline and "past 12 months" at Date(s) field, would find the articles with the keywords theft in the headline/title which were published in past 12 months. You will then need to look through your results until you find the article you require. You can select the article you require to email or print it.

Evaluating Information

It is important to evaluate the information you find. Watch this short video (3 min 16) for more information view the Evaluate page.

Referencing

Further Assignment Help

The Student Engagement Unit has created a suite of resources called Study Help that can help you understand different assignment types and study skills.

There is also a Writing your assignment page that can also assist you with interpreting your topic and planning your search

Studiosity offers assistance with academic writing, referencing, maths, business studies and more. Use the online chat or submit work for feedback.