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SOC 406: Sociology of Deviance

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

Search Tip Reminders

Reports are one of the most difficult formats to systematically and comprehensively search. In part, this is because there is no single resource that allows you to find all reports on a specific topic. The best discovery method for this type of literature is to focus on a specific type.  Below are some tips to keep in mind as you use these resources:

Tip One: Keep track of the name of the government agency or research organization.

Generally speaking, it is important to keep track of the names of the organizations as well as the government agencies that you come across as you explore the resources for your topic. For example, the U.S. Census Bureau publishes many of the important demographic reports for the United States as a priority, but more importantly as a legal obligation. Consequently, if you discover an older report on your topic there may be a newer version mounted on their website.

In sum, follow the lead.

Tip Two: Look closely at the source in the statistical tables 

Often when you discover a statistical table on your topic, it will cite a source or possibly a report that the table was taken from. Simply do a Google search for the title of the source even if it is dated. There may be a more current report.  

Tip Three: Search the correct level of government     

There are numerous levels of government that can potentially address your topic. Each with its own legal mandates, geographic limitations and purpose. For example: 

  • International agencies (i.e United Nations, OECD, World Bank, etc.)
  • National government agencies (Statistics Canada, US Census Bureau, etc.)
  • State Agencies
  • Regional government
  • County governments
  • Urban planners (typically multiple counties)
  • City government

If you are trying to find reports about cities and places, don't start with resources that help you find reports from international agencies. Even though you may find some reports for very large cities like London, Paris, or Berlin, moving down the food chain may produce better results. Keep in mind, however, that you may encounter some language barriers for countries whose national language you don't know.  

Non-Government Organizations

Google Web Search

You can use the Google Search box above to search for concepts are on an organization's website.  Simple combine the syntax site:org with your query.

For example: site:org AND "sexual predators".

Foreign Government Reports

General Tip: International government agencies typically publish reports on topics at the country level or for comparison between countries and regions of the world. You will most likely not find reports on your topic at a sub-national level such as counties or individual states from international government organization (IGO) information resources.  

Citing Technical and Research Reports

Format references to technical and research reports as you would a book.

Author, G.G. (2007). Title of the the publications (Report No. ***). Location: Publisher

  • If the issuing agency or organization assigns a number to the report, then give that number in parentheses following the title.
  • If you get a report from the U.S. Government Printing Office, list the publisher location and name as:
    •  Washington, DC: Government Printing Office
  • For reports retrieved online, identify the publisher as part of the retrieval statement unless the publisher has been identified as the author: 
    • Retrieved from Agency name website: http://www.xxxxxxx

Corporate author, government report

U.S. Bureau of Census.  (2017). Monthly and Average Monthly Poverty Rates by Selected Demographic Characteristics: 2013 (Current Population Reports. Series P-70:143 Household Economic Studies).  Washington, DC: Government Publishing Office.

Corporate author, task force report filed online

U.S. Conference of Mayors, Conference of Mayors' Task Force on Hunger and Homelessness.(2015). Status Report on Hunger and Homelessness in America's Cities: A 22-City Survey, Dec. 2015.  Retrieved from

Authored report, from nongovernmental organization

Van de Water, P., & and Arloc Sherman, A. (2013) Social Security Keeps 21 Million Americans Out of Poverty: A State-by-State Analysis (Report Oct. 16, 2012). Retrieved from Center on Budget and Policy Priorities website:

Report from institutional archive

Vandell, D., & Wolfe, B. (2000). Child Care Quality: Does It Matter and Does It Need to Be Improved? (Special Report no. 78). Retrieved from University of Wisconsin, Institute for Research on Poverty website:

Issue brief

Economic Policy Institute. (2015, November). Child care workers aren't paid enough to make ends meet (Issue Brief 405). Washington, DC: Author.

Tips for citing reports from Statistical Insight

Use these fields from Statistical Insight  [Bib Data & Title Info]:


Bureau of Census.  (2017). Monthly and Average Monthly Poverty Rates by Selected Demographic Characteristics: 2013 (Current Population Reports. Series P-70: Household Economic Studies, 2017 ASI 2546-20.143).  Retrieved from 

Note: some of the information above particularly headings were from the 6th Edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.