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ENGL 202A: Writing in the Social Sciences

A guide to resources for ENGL 202A

Explore Scholarly Research

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:

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

 

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.

Evaluating Encyclopedia's

The University Libraries provide access to many specialized encyclopedias in a variety of fields of study. However, you should also be prepared to evaluate each for their scholarly value. Below are some suggestions of what to look for:

  • Who is the publisher?  Typically those published by university presses are considered scholarly (e.g. Oxford, Cambridge, etc...)

These commercial publishers typically publish academic content: Blackwell, De Gruyter, Elsevier, Gale, Macmillan, Peter Lang, Routledge, Sage, Springer Publishers, Thomson Reuters

  • Who are the editors of the encyclopedia?  Usually found in the front cover.  
  • What are the editors credentials?
  • Who are the authors?   

What is a review journal?  

A review journal in academic publishing is an academic journal devoted to the review of progress of empirical research in some particular area or topic during a preceding period often through the means of its publishing review articles.

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