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Sociology - Research Guide: Getting Started

A selective guide to reference works in Sociology that goes beyond the basics. Includes dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, guides to the literature, bibliographies, finding books, using indexes, annual reviews, style guides, and other resources.

Bibliographies and Guides to the Literature

Bibliographies are lists of works organized around a topic, while guides to the literature are systematic introductions to the literature of a field.

Literature reviews are a handy way to get quickly into the scholarly literature. A typical literature-review article will provide a narrative that identifies and describes dozens of journal articles and books.

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

Use dictionaries and encyclopedias to learn quickly about the state of research on your topic. A good encyclopedia article should describe major themes, current research fronts, and controversial areas; it should also provide a brief bibliography of classic, important, or definitive works on your topic.

Handbooks

Handbooks generally offer chapters on specific aspects of a topic. As a collection of essays, the handbook's chapters should provide a broad overview of the state of research; individually, chapters may be narrowly focused.