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Sociology: SOCI X232: Research: Engaging Scholarship

Information resources on sociology and related areas at the Monroe Library, Loyola University New Orleans.

What is Research?

Taken from the University System of Georgia's Online Library Learning Center (no longer active)


BOX 1: Choosing the Appropriate Search Tool

Different search tools have different contents, different full-text access levels, and different search features. Familiarity with different classes of search tools can help you make an appropriate choice to fit the project.

Search engines like Google return searches with volumes of results, most of which is not scholarly in content.

Discovery tools (like Monroe Library's "QuickSearch") search the contents of our catalog and most databases. Results vary widely in format, formality, full-text access, and discipline. A discovery tool can be useful for beginning research or interdisciplinary assignments. 

However, for most projects requiring scholarly research in the journal literature of a particular discipline, a disciplinary database is your best bet. Monroe Library collects links to such relevant databases on their subject Research Guides.

BOX 2: Helpful Scholarly Reading Practices

  • Look for abstracts to give you an overview of the article
  • Read lit reviews carefully to see how authors position their own work in dialogue with other scholars'
  • Follow in-text citations to see more info about related scholarship
  • Mine references for possible scholarship to engage in your own research

BOX 3: Tips for Searching SocINDEX

  • Search with select key words on your topic, not full questions or long phrases
  • If using multiple key words, consider using the Advanced Search option
  • Use limiters in left-hand menu, especially the ones for publication date and scholarly (peer-reviewed) journals
  • Use subject terms
  • Follow author and citation links

BOX 4: Comparing Popular vs. Scholarly Discourse

Follow these links to two articles on sanctuary cities. Take notes on how the two pieces differ from each other.


BOX 5: ASSIGNMENT -- Annotated Bibliography


  1. Please conduct a search on your own topic in SocINDEX, using the tips offered in this module. Then choose three (3) recent scholarly, peer-reviewed sources relevant to your topic. 
  2. Write an annotated bibliography profiling those three sources. For the annotated bibliography,
    • Write your topic as a full sentence or question at the top of the page.
    • List all three sources using the citation style recommended by your professor.
    • Under each source, write one short paragraph of 2-4 sentences. In each paragraph, give a brief summary of the article and explain how you think the article would be useful for a research project on your topic.
  3. Submit the assignment as a Word or pdf file, according to your professor's instructions.