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Sociology 101: Choosing A Topic

Principles of Sociology

Topic Ideas

Socjourn - A new media journal on sociology and society

Encyclopedia of Anthropology

The Encyclopedia of Anthropology contains over 1000 entries that focus on topics in physical/ biological anthropology, archaeology, cultural/social anthropology, linguistics, and applied anthropology. Also included are relevant articles on geology, paleontology, biology, evolution, sociology, psychology, philosophy, and theology.

Databases for Topic Exploration

Browse the databases below if you aren't sure what topic you want to focus on. These databases cover current issues and may offer some topic ideas. They generally provide background information, as well as a pro/con look at different sides of an issue.

CQ Researcher - Explores a single "hot" issue in the news in depth each week. Topics range from social and teen issues to environment, health, education, and science and technology.

Issues & Controversies - Includes coverage of hot topics in business, politics, government, education, and popular culture.

Opposing Viewpoints - Provides information on today's hottest social and controversial issues.

Reference Sources for Topic Context

Why use reference books? Reference books provide you with:

  • A springboard to background information on a topic
  • Important dates covering the who, what, where, when and why of a topic
    for the ‘who, what, when, and how
    for the ‘who, what, when, and how
  • Important individuals and explanation of terms surrounding a topic
    for the ‘who, what, when, and how

Reference resources can also be a good starting point in selecting a research topic. After reviewing reference resources you can develop a plan of where to concentrate your research efforts on topics you want to explore further.

Online Reference Resources (off-campus access requires signing in using your mymsjc user name and password):

Computer Mouse

  • Credo Reference - Credo Reference is an online resource that contains content from reference books covering every major subject.
  • Gale eBooks - Gale eBooks is a database of academic eBooks, encyclopedias, and specialized reference sources covering a variety of subject areas.