Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Sociology 15 (Beattie)

Sociological Research Methods

Search Strategies

#1 Identify your question. Identify the key concepts and related terms. Tip:  You may want to re-phrase your question.  There are often commonalities in your questions.

#2 Find an appropriate search tool. Consider your subject matter, discipline of study, type of information needed (e.g. peer reviewed articles)

#3 Start with a simple search based on your key concepts. Tip: You may also have to look at literature that refers to one (not all) aspects of your research question.

#4 Use specific search strategies.

  • Use AND to join dissimilar terms. Use OR to join synonyms or related terms.
  • Truncate words with * to pick up variations of that word.
  • Use "quotation marks" for phrase searching.
  • Use database filters e.g. limit to scholarly journals.
  • Consider searching in a specific field e.g. title (article title) or source (journal title)

#5 Search and skim results. Look for the language and terms that researchers use and that the database assigns to articles (Subjects).

#6 Switch up your searches.  Use promising new terminologyYour search may become more sophisticated.

#7 Explore bibliographies to locate other articles, books, or authors who have written on the same topic. Find known items. Tip: See "Find a Known Item" tab on this guide.

Section 3D

1. How does your gender identity affect your attitudes toward virginity?

Recommendation to search for literature related to gender and attitudes toward sex

2. Does a student's socioeconomic status affect what social movements they choose to follow?

Are social movement attitudes and political attitudes related?  Might participation capture the idea of follow?

3. Are first generation UCM students in SSHA more stressed than STEM students about paying back their loans, due to the seemingly lower probably of lucrative jobs for SSHA majors?

Will literature on stress and financial stress help? Could we rephrase the question and relate it to anticipated employment/income/professional opportunities?

4. How does being an ethnic minority student affect one's attitude towards attending college?

Your professor recommended looking at race and "feelings of belonging".  Is this about being excited, reluctant, wary ... etc. to attend college?

5. How does your immigration status affect your academic performance at UC Merced?

What are different types of immigration status?

Question to Strategy