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SOC101: Principles of Sociology (Avedikian ): College Level Research

Why can't I just Google it?

Actually, Google is an excellent tool for research!

A better way of thinking about research at this level is to think about research on Google being only a part of your whole research process. We'll explore different types of sources and why they're important on this page.

Research on the Internet

  • 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.

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.

Research in Academic Articles

  • Academic journal articles are often authored by scholars active in a particular field.
  • Academic journal articles provide a close look at a particular topic.
  • Authors of academic journal articles often provide the data to support their findings.

Revolving Cycle of Research

Each type of source provides different kinds and depths of information. Diversify your research with a variety of source types. You can access sources from anywhere along the continuum of the research cycle, as shown in the image below; however, some books, scholarly research and analysis are written for an academic audience and best understood by beginning researchers after exploring a subject via more popular source types, such as newspapers, magazines and general reference materials.

Source: University of California, Irvine Libraries. (2018). Begin research online workshop. Retrieved from