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ENGL 202A: Effective Writing: Writing in the Social Sciences

Research information to supplement ENGL 202A

Finding Books

Books are the bridge between your textbook and scholarly journal articles. They are usually your best resource for "the basics" -- an introduction, overview, and history of your topic. The quickest way to find books is to search the library's book databases: 

Another way to find books is to "browse" -- go to the library's book shelves and take a look. 

At Penn State  we use the Library of Congress call number system to shelve our books:

  • Most Psychology books have numbers that begin with "BF"
  • Most Sociology books have numbers that begin with "HM" or "HN"
  • Most books on Marriage, Families, Women's Studies, LGBT Studies, and Gender Studies have call numbers that begin with "HQ"
  • Most Criminal Justice books have call numbers that begin with "HV"
  • Most Political Science and Law books have call numbers that begin with "J" or "K"
  • Most Education books have call numbers that begin with "L"
  • Most Health and Nursing books have call numbers that begin with "R"

For more details, see the Library of Congress Classification Outline

How to Use the CAT