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Sociology Research Guide

Finding Background Information

Use these sources to gain familiarity with your topic, narrow your research question, provide context, and identify experts.

Choosing a Topic

Taking the time to carefully choose and refine your topic can save you significant time and effort later in your research.

Understanding Primary and Secondary Sources

Primary sources = Original Research

  • Written by the researcher(s) who performed the research study
  • Should include sections detailing how the research was performed such as methodology, data, results, and discussion/conclusions

Secondary sources = Summarize, Review or Compare

  • Authors did not conduct the research studies which are mentioned or cited in the article themselves
  • Purpose is to summarize, review, or compare the published research on a specific topic