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SOCI 100 (Mathur)

Finding Articles

Now that you know what to look for, it's time to learn how to start searching. Luckily for us, most of the CSM Library's resources are online instead of on a shelf, and that includes the majority of our journal and research articles.

Please use the chat feature on the library's home page during open hours to get one-on-one help from a CSM Librarian in real time. You can also reach out to a librarian if you have any trouble logging in.

When searching for articles on your topic take some time to brainstorm. Write out some ideas and words that you can then use in the databases. It's recommended that you try searching both broad and narrow concepts. Here are some ideas about what to note in your brainstorming:

  • Synonyms and antonyms
  • Related terms
  • Broader concepts related to your idea
  • Narrower terms related to your idea
  • Related people, places, or events

For example if I was researching topics related to food and sociology I might write down:

meals, cooking, groceries, food insecurity, food security, hunger, grocery stores, grocery shopping, WIC, food banks, school meal programs, nutrition, children and nutrition, nutrition in poor communities, senior citizens and food, socioeconomic data about obesity, food deserts, etc.

Use the words you brainstorm in different combinations to search the databases and see different results. As you search take note of any other language or terminology you find that you could add to your search terms and try new searches.

image from Brighton and Sussex Universities Food Network

Once you have an idea about the topic you want to search it's time to try some searches in the databases. Since you don't know exactly what's out there it can sometimes feel like this part of your research is trial and error, and it is. But the more you try the more you get an idea about what's available, and how to refine your results.

This short video walks you through a search in one of the library's databases. There are several places you can access the library's databases:

Your Sociology 100 LibGuide has a short list of the best databases for this assignment as chosen by your librarians. The top two recommended databases are ProQuest (shown in the video below) and Academic Search Complete. Remember to limit to scholarly, academic, or peer-reviewed articles when performing your searches.