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Taken from the University System of Georgia's Online Library Learning Center (no longer active)


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.

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

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.

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



Due by Sunday by 11:59pm:


  1. a thesis, and
  2. an annotated bibliography with 3 scholarly sources 
    1. All three sources must be scholarly
    2. None of the three sources can appear on the syllabus
    3. All three annotations should be 3-6 sentences and briefly summarize the article and describe how you might use the article in your project

Synthesizing the Literature

Look at this article:


Dahmen (2018), “Visually Reporting Mass Shootings: U.S. Newspaper Photographic Coverage of Three Mass School Shootings.”


In groups of three,


  1. Identify the total number of unique sources cited in the first three paragraphs of the article. _____
  2. Identify how many “buckets” or groups of sources there are. _____
  3. Label each “bucket” by what quality makes them similar.
  4. Describe how the author distinguishes her own article from those she references.

Now, look through the abstracts pasted here: The Sanctuary Movement. Follow the links to look at the records and to access the full text for more information.

In the same groups of three,

  1. Use the paper grid given to your group to place sources [Use last name of the first listed author] into common “buckets,” creating 2-4 buckets.
  2. Label each quadrant with a phrase that conveys what makes the grouped sources similar.
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