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Resources for sociology courses and research in the Public Service and Community Studies department.


Welcome! The purpose of this guide is to offer research help with a focus on resources that will be particularly useful to you as you navigate your Sociology coursework and research. 

Remember throughout your time at W&J, the library is here to help! Some frequent ways that we help PSCS students studying Sociology are in helping them find resources for their research project (including data), refining search strategies, and figuring out the most appropriate way to cite their sources.

What does research look like in this discipline?

Research is more than just searching for an answer and reporting that answer. It's an iterative process of asking questions, understanding how others have approached similar questions, and eventually drawing your own conclusions on what you believe the answer to be. In sociology, research can take a variety of forms from collecting your own data/observations to analyzing and engaging with data/observations collected by others. If this feels overwhelming, don't be afraid to ask for help from a librarian or your professor!

an infographic of the research process. The graphic is a curve around a light bulb representing the cyclical nature of the process.a circular depiction of the scientific method.

Curated Reference Resources

Gaining background information on a topic is a critical first step in the research process. Background information helps you learn more about your topic, identify important facts related to your topic (keywords, dates, events, history, and names and organizations), refine your topic, and find additional sources of information through bibliographies and works cited

You might do this by conducting a Google search or going to Wikipedia and reading up on a subject. Below are some reference resources from the library that can also help you familiarize yourself with your topic.