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Sociology Guide: Search Strategy

From Question to Keyword Search

Keyword Exercise

Use keywords to find topic arguments in research tools.

For example: for the topic statement: "I believe that violence in video games probably doesn't hurt children."

The keywords would be:      violence  video games   children

Think up alternate keywords using a thesaurus, like the one in Microsoft Word or at Thesaurus.com


Fill out the keyword sheet below to explore wording that is used to describe your own topic.

Subject Searching

Subject Searching

Why would you want to do a subject search?  Well, let's say you were interested in finding all the books in the library about cats.  You might find books about cats under "Cats," "Kittens," Felines," or a variety of other keywords.  When you search by subject, then all of the synonyms are accounted for, so "Cats" as a subject would include all the books about "Kittens" and "Felines" as well.   Subjects can also serve to narrow your search.  A keyword search of "cats" would retrieve all the books that just have a few pages about cats, whereas a search of the subject "Cats" would retrieve books where the main focus were those cute, furry creatures!   This website from MIT might do a better job of explaining it than I did!

Here are some subjects related to Sociology you might want to try searching for.  This list might also be helpful if you are stumped with a broad topic and need to focus it a bit.  Copy the term or phrase into a search box in the Library Catalog and select "subject" in the left-hand box.  Come on, get creative!  You can combine subjects or subjects and keywords.  Remember, joining terms with "OR" will get you "MORE" results and joining terms with "AND" will narrow your results.  Savvy researchers try lots of different combinations of terms and discover what yields the best results.  Happy searching!

General Sociology

Sociology Research

Sociology

Sociology -- methodology*

Sociology -- history*

Sociology -- research*

Social conflict

Sociology -- research -- methodology*

Sociology, Philosophy*

Social sciences -- research -- methodology*

Social change   

Social surveys

Social interaction

Sociometry

Social psychology

 

Political sociology

 

 

 

Developmental Sociology 

Marriage, Family, Sexuality, Gender

Child development  

Marriage 

Educational sociology 

Family

Children – United States*

Parenting

Older people

Gender identity

Adolescence

Sex role

Aging 

Feminism

 

Feminist theory

 

Masculinity

 

Homosexuality

 

Gay men 

 

Lesbianism

 

Lesbians

 

Transsexuals

 

Gay and lesbian studies

 

 

Community, Groups, Ethnicity, Race

Crime, Deviance, Substance Abuse

Group identity

Criminology

Social classes

Deviant behavior

Social movements

Mental illness

Social groups

Criminal behavior

Sociology -- United States*

Corrections

United States -- Social conditions*

Drug abuse

Ethnic groups

Substance abuse

Immigrants -- United States*

Prisons

United States -- Race relations*

Suicide -- United States*

Multiculturalism

Juvenile Delinquency

Assimilation

Crime and race

Racism -- United States*

Hate crimes

Race discrimination

Sexual deviation

United States -- Ethnic relations*

 

Minorities -- United States*

 

Sociology, Urban*

 

Sociology, Rural*

 

Sociology, Medical*

 

Social medicine

 

Sociology, Military*

 

War and society

 

Protest movements

 

Industrial sociology

 

Religion and sociology

 

Sports -- social aspects*

 

* take out the dashes, commas, etc. when you put these terms in the search box