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SOC 406: Sociology of Deviance

Guide created to support course work in SOC 406 Sociology of Deviance

What are secondary resources?

Secondary resources in the social sciences are information sources that provide an in-depth discussion of research on a topic or an overview of it. These resources are very useful for seeing the bigger picture as well as identifying important research that has been conducted in that subject domain. In sum, use secondary sources to:

  • Define your topic
  • Provide a general background in your topic
  • Help identify important authors
  • Lead to significant works

Using handbooks to find topics

What are handbooks?

Often times a particular topic gains ongoing scholarly interest that attracts the interest of a publisher or research organization. Authors who are known in the particular field of study are often asked to contribute chapters or to provide editorial oversight for these types of publications. Handbooks can provide a useful overview of the topic and help you identify some of the "movers and shakers" in that particular area of research.

Helpful Resources and Hints for Finding Handbooks   

Video: Using LionSearch for Discovering Handbooks.  LionSearch allows you to search multiple databases at one time. This video will demonstrate how to find articles from scholarly handbooks using the topic "poverty rates." Showing you how to:

  • Start your search
  • Limit your results
  • Track key information for future searches
  • Demonstrate how to cite the article using APA.

EL Lesson 2: Using LionSearch for Handbooks Video Transcript (Links to an external site.)


QUICK SEARCH TIP FROM THE VIDEO: use the advance search in the resource LIONSEARCH Type in the search terms you are looking for. For example: deviance OR "social control". In the next search box, but in the term "handbook" and change it from ALL FIELDS to TITLE.

Selected handbooks: crime and law

Selected handbooks: general deviance

Using encyclopedias to find topics

What is wrong with using Wikipedia?  

Nothing is wrong with using Wikipedia as long as you understand its limitations, particularly as it relates to academic research. Information on Wikipedia is contributed freely by anyone who wants to post information without any consideration for the authority or credibility of the author.  

Does this mean that all of the information on Wikipedia is inaccurate? No, it simply means that you need to be more cautious about the information and recognize that this is a dynamic resource that changes over time. Consequently, it is not good practice to cite Wikipedia entries in academic research, but Wikipedia can be a great resource as you begin to explore a topic or to settle a bet with your roommate.  

Helpful Resources and Hints for Finding Articles in Encyclopedias

Video: Gale Virtual Reference is a collection of over 1000 scholarly and general reference resources. This video will demonstrate how to find articles using the topic "fertility rates." Showing you how to:

  • Limit your search

  • Expand your search

  • Point out some of the important features of an article to keep in mind

  • Explore information about the encyclopedia

  • Demonstrate how to cite the article using APA.

EL Lesson 3: Library Search Gale Virtual Reference Video Transcript (Links to an external site.)

Selected Encyclopedias

Research Methods