Skip to Main Content

Sociology Research Guide: Social Research Paper

A guide to resources for sociology

Finding the best sources--Search by Subject when possible

To find whole books or articles about your topic, use the Advanced Search and search by subject.  There is a drop-down menu next to the search windows where you can select "subject".

Keyword searching finds the words you searched anywhere in the information about the book or article and yields more results that are "false hits". 

Subject searching identifies whole books or articles about the topic.  When you are able to identify subject headings, search by subject rather than keyword.

Research Databases

Health databases

Gale eBooks

The library purchases authoritative Reference ebooks in all subject areas for the Gale eBooks collection.

These ebooks are available 24/7 to Carroll students.  Users will be prompted for their college e-mail address and password to access e-books with a computer off-campus.

These books can be identifed by searching the catalog or by searching the Gale platform below:


See the other page on this guide under Assignment Tips for Immigration:

The subject heading is emigration and immigration.  Other possible subject headings are:  immigrants, illegal aliens, and refugees.

Selected electronic sources:

Global Financial Crisis

The subject heading is financial crises or Global Financial Crisis.  You can search the phrase financial cris* as a subject to find both.

Other subject phrases: global economy, globalization, economic conditions

Selected electronic sources:

This is a business topic, so be sure to search Business Source Premier in addition to Academic Search Premier when searching for articles.

Health Insurance

The subject headings is health insurance.  Related headings are:  health care reform, medical care, right to health care, and medically uninsured persons.

Pre-existing may be both hyphenated and not:  preexisting.  Experiment with both when searching.

Selected electronic sources:

There are some books in the catalog on health insurance and the Affordable Care Act, but you might have more success finding information about pre-existing conditions by looking for articles in Opposing Viewpoints, Academic Search Premier, and/or health databases.

Climate Change

The subject heading is climate change, but also climate changes, climate change mitigation, global warming, global environmental change, greenhouse gases, & greenhouse gas mitigation.

Use truncation in your searches to find the endings of words and include more than one heading in a search:  climate change*, greenhouse gas*.

Selected electronic sources:


The subject heading is terrorism.

There are many books in the catalog about terrorism.  Limit your search there using additional concepts.


The subject heading is rape.

Selected electronic sources:

To find information about the delay in processing of rape kits, you will probably have more success in the databases.  The subject heading is:  rape evidence collection kits.  Other subject headings:  rape investigation and rape victims.

Food and Agriculture

There are many issues relating to food and agriculture that could be a paper topic. 

Ask a librarian for assistance with narrowing your topic in order to write a 4-5 page paper.

Search the Gale Virtual Reference Library and reference sources in Opposing Viewpoints to start with background information on a chosen topic before looking for articles.

Selected sources from Opposing Viewpoints: