Skip to main content

SOC101: Principles of Sociology On-Line (Avedikian): Starting Your Research

Before You Start Your Research


Watch the following tutorials to help you begin thinking about your topic and formulating a research question. 

Google can be a great place to start your research and find out more about a topic, but you will also need to find authoritative sources on the web.  Visit the Web Resources tab on this guide for some sociology related websites. 

There are also 2 library databases that can help you explore different topics. 

1.  Credo Reference offers on-line encyclopedias, dictionaries, and almanacs.  See below for a tutorial on how to use Credo Reference.  

2.   CQ Researcher is great for finding topics for an argumentative paper.    Please see the tutorial below to understand how to navigate this database.  You will find reports on many social issues.

After watching the tutorials --


Tutorial - Picking Your Topic & The Research Process

Tutorial - Coming up with Your Reseach Question



Using Goolge to Start Your Research

Credo Reference Tutorial

CQ Researcher Tutorial

What is a Reference Resource?

Reference resources are usually encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, manuals and other books that you would refer to when wanting to know a definition of a word or concept, a general overview of a topic, specific information about a certain period of time or event in history.

The databases below are a great starting place for exploring a topic.

Research in Books & eBooks

  • Books provide in-depth coverage of a topic.
  • Books often provide valuable background information on a topic.
  • Books can also provide an overview of all the issues pertaining to a topic.

Using the Internet for Research


  • The Internet provides brief overviews of a topic
  • The Internet often provides valuable statistics
  • The Internet can sometimes help you discover the stakeholders of a specific issue.