Sociology guide update
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  • 1. Menu Overview Plagiarism SOCIOLOGY edition Evaluating Information Reference Resources Online Resources Government Data Wikis and Blogs APA Style Take the Quiz NEXT
  • 2. Menu Overview Plagiarism Evaluating Information Reference Resources Online Resources Government Data Welcome! Welcome to the CCC Library guide to research in sociology. This guide attempts to answer many of your research-related questions and provide you with a foundation in information literacy. What is sociology? Sociology is the study of the development, structure, and functioning of human society. “back” and “next” arrows an examination of the ways in which “the Use theDartmouth College defines it asor the menu to navigate this guide. forms of social structure – groups, organizations, communities, social categories (such as class, sex, age, or race), and various social institutions (such a kinship, economic, political, or religious) affect human attitudes actions, and opportunities.” Wikis and Blogs APA Style Take the Quiz NEXT
  • 3. Menu Overview Plagiarism Evaluating Information Reference Resources Online Resources Plagiarism Plagiarism is an important topic on college campuses, and one students need to be aware of. Plagiarism is a kind of cheating, and the consequences of getting caught can be severe. So what exactly is Plagiarism and how do you avoid it? View the video on the next slide to find out. Government Data Wikis and Blogs APA Style Take the Quiz NEXT
  • 4. Menu Evaluating Information Overview Being able to critically evaluate the information you encounter is a hugely valuable skill. Why? Because not everything you read is true. And sometimes information can be technically true, but still be so biased, selective, or leading as to make the information essentially useless for research purposes. Plagiarism Evaluating Information Reference Resources Online Resources Government Data Wikis and Blogs APA Style Take the Quiz You may encounter other problems with certain websites and articles as well. The information may simply be too out-of-date to be useful. Sometimes the authors aren’t experts on what they’re writing about. And sometimes the problem isn’t the accuracy of the information, it’s the lack of detail and substance. Would you really want to use a book written for a juvenile audience as a source in a college paper? Whether you’re getting information from a book, magazine, newspaper, cable news channel, online forum, medical website, or email, there are simple criteria you can use to evaluate the information you encounter This presentation will introduce you to the five . criteria we recommend you apply to your potential sources whenever you conduct college-level research. And being a critical consumer of information is helpful not only in your classes, but also in your daily lives. Just as you need the information in your college papers to be based on reliable, quality sources, you also want the health advice, product reviews, and other kinds of information you personally use to be reliable. NEXT
  • 5. Menu Overview Evaluating Information cont. These are the five criteria to be aware of whenever you evaluate your information sources. We’ll look at each in detail. Plagiarism Evaluating Information • Accuracy Reference Resources • Authority Online Resources • Objectivity Government Data Wikis and Blogs APA Style • Currency • Coverage Take the Quiz NEXT
  • 6. Menu Evaluating Information cont. Accuracy Plagiarism How can you tell if information is accurate? It can be difficult. Does the website provide citations for the information it presents? Are the grammatical or typographical errors? Uncited statistics and spelling errors should make you wary of using a website for research. Evaluating Information Authority Overview Reference Resources Online Resources Government Data Wikis and Blogs APA Style Take the Quiz Who’s writing for the webpage? Are they an expert or just another anonymous internet writer with an opinion? What are their credentials? What about the website itself? .EDU and .GOV websites are usually the most reliable. This is because .EDU sites are hosted by colleges and universities, and they tend to be very protective of their reputations for quality and accuracy .GOV sites are maintained by the federal government. The government produces lots of research and collects lots of statistics, so definitely use .GOV sites whenever possible. You may also see .ORG, .COM, and .NET sites .ORG sites have been traditionally more reliable than COM sites. This is less the case today, as anyone can now register for a .ORG site. Be wary of .COM sites, but don’t feel like anything from a .COM is dubious. Some of the best research-quality websites around are .COMs. COMs are like the wild west—there’s no law. So just be extra careful when evaluating them. As far as .NET sites go, you won’t find many, as it’s a domain used primarily by internet providers, not necessarily content providers. NEXT
  • 7. Menu Evaluating Information cont. Objectivity Reference Resources Why are the website’s creators so interested in the information they’re presenting? What’s their agenda? For issues-based or argument-based research, this question is extremely important. Groups or individuals advocating for particular positions on issues tend to be selective about the information they present, usually only presenting their side of the issue. Or they may misrepresent the arguments of the other side. Focus on the facts. Look at any statistics they’ve collected. What if it’s not that they care too much, what if they care too little? Are they running advertisements? That’s not a dealbreaker, but if the site is just ads and links, chances are you’re just looking at someone’s attempt to make money via ad clicks, which means you’ll want to skip that site. Online Resources Currency Overview Plagiarism Evaluating Information Government Data Wikis and Blogs APA Style Most websites have a “last date edited” at the bottom of the page. This lets you know that the site is being actively maintained. This is important for two reasons. One, if the website hasn’t been touched since 2003, it may mean the site has been largely abandoned by the creator, so any mistakes aren’t being fixed. Two, if a website isn’t active, the information may not be timely anymore. Also, are there dead links? This is another sign that the website’s author is no longer actively maintaining the site. Coverage Take the Quiz Are the links relevant? Is there a pay wall you have to go through to get to the actual content? Are references cited for the statistics given? NEXT
  • 8. Menu Overview Print Resources CCC Library uses the Library of congress system to organize its books. The Library of Congress system arranges books by subject area. You can browse what’s available on a particular sociology-related topic by finding that topic’s call number range on the shelves. Some popular sociology Library of Congress ranges are found below. Note that reference books have their own area within the library. Plagiarism Evaluating Information Reference Resources Online Resources Government Data Wikis and Blogs APA Style Take the Quiz Sociology Reference HM - Sociology HN - Social History HQ - Family, Marriage, Women HS - Societies, Clubs HT - Communities, Classes, Races HM, HN, HQ , HS, HT
  • 9. Menu Overview Reference Resources Many information resources are only available in print. Experienced student researchers will often use a mix of electronic and print resources when writing research-based papers. We will now look at some of the best and most useful sociology print resources at CCC library. Plagiarism Dictionary of Sociology Evaluating Information Dictionaries define terms. Subject dictionaries, like the Dictionary of Sociology, define the terms used within a particular discipline. This dictionary has over 2,500 sociology-related entries written by experts in the field. Reference Resources Online Resources REF HM425 .D5735 2009 Government Data Wikis and Blogs Social Issues APA Style This 1-volume abridged encyclopedia focuses on issues relevant to the 21st century and includes over 170 sociology-related articles. Take the Quiz REF HM17 .S576 1998 NEXT
  • 10. Menu Reference Resources Social History of the United States Overview Plagiarism Evaluating Information This 10-volume encyclopedia covers the social, working, and economic conditions of 20 th century United States. Each volume covers a different decade. REF HN57 .S622 2009 Reference Resources Online Resources Government Data Wikis and Blogs APA Style Encyclopedia of American Social History Ethnology, gender study, geography, literature, religion, anthropology and sociology are given a historical treatment in this 3-volume encyclopedia. In the publisher’s words, “these volumes highlight the processes and the people of the American social structure.” Take the Quiz REF HN57 .E58 1993
  • 11. Menu Overview Plagiarism Evaluating Information Online Resources Many information resources, especially journal articles, are only available online. Experienced student researchers will often use a mix of electronic and print resources when writing research-based papers. We will now look at some of the best and most useful sociology online resources at CCC library. Reference Resources NCLIVE Online Resources NCLIVE contains the bulk of the databases available to CCC student researchers. Because different databases contain different information formats and cover different subject disciplines, Government Data Wikis and Blogs There are two basic ways to find articles in NCLIVE, one way is easy but inexact—the other is more powerful but also more time consuming. We’ll look at both. APA Style Get to NCLIVE by directing your browser to www.nclive.org Take the Quiz NEXT
  • 12. Menu Overview Plagiarism Evaluating Information Reference Resources Online Resources Government Data Wikis and Blogs APA Style Take the Quiz Online Resources NCLIVE Quick Search Quick searches allow you to search several of the largest and most popular databases contained in NCLIVE at once. For many purposes this is the quickest way to find the information you need. But be aware: Quick Search only searches a handful of pre-selected databases. The information you need may be available in NCLIVE, but not in any of those pre-selected databases.
  • 13. Menu Overview Plagiarism Evaluating Information Reference Resources Online Resources Government Data Wikis and Blogs APA Style Take the Quiz Online Resources NCLIVE Searching Specific Databases If you only want to find articles (not videos, ebooks, etc.) or have certain kinds of subjectspecific research topics, searching individual databases may be a more effective way to do your research. You can browse the complete list of NCLIVE databases by selecting “Browse” from the top menu and choosing “A-Z Browse All.” Alternately, you can look for the “Browse” section on the main NCLIVE page and click on “Articles.” Here you will find a list of article databases. NEXT
  • 14. Menu Overview Online Resources cont. NCLIVE Plagiarism Evaluating Information Which databases are most likely to contain sociology-related articles? These three databases listed below are good places to try first. Reference Resources Academic Search Complete Online Resources Government Data Wikis and Blogs APA Style Take the Quiz Magazines and journals on many subjects, includes peer-reviewed and scholarly works. MasterFile Complete Contains full text for nearly 1,700 periodicals covering general reference, business, health, education, general science, multicultural issues and much more. Simply Map Create custom maps and data sets using thousands of demographic, business, and marketing data variables.
  • 15. Online Resources cont. Menu SIRS Knowledge Source Overview SIRS is a database separate from NCLIVE that contains articles on current social issues, government documents, and articles about the arts and humanities. Of particular value to sociology students are the issues reports located in the Issues Research Module. Follow the steps below to see if a report is available on your topic. Plagiarism Evaluating Information Reference Resources First open the database using the link on the library home page or on the Moodle “CCC Library” tab. Alternately, just go to http://sks.sirs.com. If you are off-campus, you will need to login using the login/password found on the Moodle library tab (or contact the library). Online Resources Government Data Wikis and Blogs Click “Database Features” tab. APA Style Take the Quiz NEXT
  • 16. Online Resources cont. Menu Overview SIRS Knowledge Source Click on SIRS Issues Researcher and look for a report on your topic. You can browse the alphabetical list (seen below), or can use the search field to search the entire database. Plagiarism Evaluating Information Reference Resources Online Resources Government Data Wikis and Blogs APA Style Take the Quiz Click “Database Features” tab.
  • 17. Online Resources cont. Menu SIRS Knowledge Source Overview Each report contains an overview of the topic, opinion pieces to give you a sense of the current state of debate regarding the topic, and a list of related articles from newspapers, magazines, etc. Plagiarism Evaluating Information Reference Resources Online Resources Government Data Wikis and Blogs APA Style Take the Quiz
  • 18. Menu Overview Plagiarism Articles Evaluating Information Reference Resources Online Resources Now let's talk about articles, another research staple. Articles can appear in many different types of periodicals: newspapers, popular magazines, scholarly journals, and trade publications. We'll now look at the first three types and discuss how each is different from the others. Government Data Wikis and Blogs APA Style Take the Quiz NEXT
  • 19. Menu Overview Plagiarism Newspaper Articles Newspapers have been around since the 1600's. Newspapers were made possible by the printing press, and served a purpose books could not--they featured current information. Today newspapers have that same advantage over books. While books contain far more depth than newspaper articles, they can take months or even years to write and publish. By contrast, newspapers will report on events the very next day, so the information is much more up-to-date. Unfortunately this also means that newspaper articles contain far less background information and detailed analysis. So be aware when you use newspaper articles for your research that you're sacrificing depth for immediacy. Evaluating Information Reference Resources Online Resources Government Data Wikis and Blogs APA Style Take the Quiz Until recently, most libraries kept back issues of major and local newspapers on microfilm. Today microfilm use is declining as electronic databases take over the archiving of articles. We'll discuss library databases in the next section. For now, understand that finding relevant newspaper articles is easier for researchers than ever Databases let you search . through hundreds of newspaper titles at once. NCLIVE provides these terrific places to search for newspaper articles: Newspaper Source Plus Selected national and international newspapers such as the New York Times, Washington Post, News & Observer, Charlotte Observer, and more. North Carolina Community Newspapers Over 100 North Carolina community newspapers containing current or latest issue coverage. NEXT
  • 20. Popular Magazines Menu Overview Plagiarism Evaluating Information Reference Resources Online Resources Government Data Popular magazines are the magazines you've likely grown up reading: Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Popular Science, and Better Homes and Gardens. To make effective use of popular magazines in your research, you need to understand their strengths and weaknesses as information resources. While newspapers report on stories the very next day and books can sometimes take years to appear on a particular topic, popular magazines generally report on events about a week after they've occurred. This makes magazines a little less current than newspapers, but also gives the writers a chance to include far more analysis and background information than you'd find in newspapers. Thus popular magazines are a great place to find timely stories with a moderate amount of context to their stories. NC LIVE has several databases that let you search hundreds of different popular magazine titles at once. They include: Wikis and Blogs APA Style Take the Quiz MasterFILE Complete General magazines, journals, and newspapers covering many subjects. Includes peer-reviewed. Academic Search Complete Magazines and journals on many subjects, includes peer-reviewed and scholarly works. NEXT
  • 21. Scholarly Journals Menu Overview Plagiarism Evaluating Information Reference Resources Online Resources Government Data Wikis and Blogs APA Style Take the Quiz Scholarly journals are also called academic journals, research journals, or peer-reviewed journals. Scholarly journal articles have a much lengthier, more elaborate review process to undergo before they can be published. Generally this involves peer-review, in which a group of experts in the field evaluate the article for accuracy, relevance, and quality. Unlike popular magazine articles, scholarly journal articles typically involve original research of some sort. For example, when new scientific discoveries are made, these appear in scholarly journals. In fact, all of the great debates in both the humanities and the sciences take place in scholarly journals. Because of the length of time it takes for researchers to research and write scholarly articles, and the length of time it takes for the articles to undergo the review process, it can be a year (or several years) before scholarly articles on a given topic or event appear . If your topic is very current, don't expect to find many relevant scholarly journal articles. Here are two: Academic Search Complete Magazines and journals on many subjects, includes peer-reviewed and scholarly works. MasterFILE Complete Contains full text for nearly 1,700 periodicals covering general reference, business, health, education, general science, multicultural issues and much more. NEXT
  • 22. Menu Overview Plagiarism Evaluating Information Reference Resources Government Data The federal government collects a massive amount of statistical information, and much of that information is published online and in print. Let’s look at a few of these resources now. Online Resources Government Data Wikis and Blogs APA Style Take the Quiz NEXT
  • 23. Menu Overview Plagiarism Evaluating Information Reference Resources FedStats http://www.fedstats.gov/ FedStats provides access to the full range of official statistical information produced by the Federal Government without having to know in advance which Federal agency produces which particular statistic. FedStats offers convenient searching and linking capabilities to more than 100 agencies that provide data and trend information on such topics as economic and population trends, crime, education, health care, aviation safety, energy use, farm production and more. Statistical Abstract of the United States Online Resources Government Data Wikis and Blogs APA Style Take the Quiz ProQuest Statistical Abstract of the United States is the authoritative and comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States. Use the Abstract as a convenient volume for statistical reference, and as a guide to sources of more information both in print and on the Web. Sources of data include the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and many other Federal agencies and private organizations. NEXT
  • 24. Menu Overview American FactFinder http://factfinder2.census.gov Plagiarism Evaluating Information Reference Resources Online Resources Government Data Wikis and Blogs APA Style The Census Bureau collects a vast amount of data, much of which is made available online. You can search through much of that information at American FactFinder. American FactFinder collects data from the following sources: • • The Decennial Census The American Community Survey In addition, data from three annual economic surveys conducted by the Census Bureau can be found on American FactFinder: • • • Annual Survey of Manufactures County Business Patterns Non-employer Statistics Take the Quiz NEXT
  • 25. Menu American FactFinder http://factfinder2.census.gov Overview Using American FactFinder is simple: Plagiarism • Evaluating Information Reference Resources Online Resources Government Data • Enter the state, county, city, town, or zip code of a community Choose “Guided Search” for step-bystep access to Census Information. Wikis and Blogs APA Style Take the Quiz NEXT
  • 26. Menu Overview Plagiarism Evaluating Information Reference Resources Online Resources Government Data Wikis and Blogs APA Style Take the Quiz Wikis and Blogs A note from the librarian on Wikipedia and blogs: Wikipedia is a terrific way to get current information. And by current, I mean up to the minute. When somebody famous dies, their Wikipedia entry reflects that within minutes. I grew up with a 20-year old set of encyclopedias that anticipated man walking on the moon one day. Now we have a free encyclopedia available anywhere there’s an internet connection that is current to the minute. Even better, Wikipedia isn’t editing by one person, or five. Many of the larger articles can be authored by dozens of experts in the field. College professors, researchers, and other experts are all active editing Wikipedia articles in their respective fields. And yet... That kind of immediacy and openness comes at a price. Articles can be edited nearly instantly, but who’s verifying those edits for accuracy? Experts from all over the world can edit entries, but so can corporations who want to whitewash their images, so can individuals who don’t like what’s been written about them, so can conspiracy nuts of all kinds. Think about it: Wikipedia lets a top researcher in physics write an entry on “Quantum Foam,” but it also lets their first-year student come in and make changes to that entry. Stephen Colbert was actually banned from Wikipedia for encouraging his audience to add fake facts to various entries, which of course they did within seconds. NEXT
  • 27. Menu Overview Plagiarism Evaluating Information Wikis and Blogs cont. Or think of it another way: let’s say you’re writing an argument-based paper The . people who are really invested in your topic enough to contribute to related articles on Wikipedia are probably strong advocates for one or the other of the sides of the argument you’re writing about. Even honest people can find it hard to be objective when talking about things they care deeply about. Just have a look at the “discussion” tab on any large Wikipedia article. There’s a lot of debate going on about what should be included and what shouldn’t, what is relevant, what is fair, what is too partisan. Reference Resources Online Resources Government Data Wikis and Blogs APA Style Take the Quiz So what good is Wikipedia? The error rate is actually surprisingly low, all things considered. I look up terms I’m not familiar with, peoples’ bios, historical dates and events, video game console histories, music discographies, whatever But I don’t use . it for research, not ever Anybody who does has destroyed the credibility of their . research, no matter how good the rest of their research is. Using Wikipedia for research tells your reader that you can’t tell the difference between facts and assertions, that you don’t understand what research even is--it makes your work unreliable. Don’t spend a lot of time and care writing your paper just to sabotage it by citing Wikipedia. Wikipedia is great—to my mind it’s more important and useful than any other encyclopedia in existence, maybe in the history of the world. It’s certainly more comprehensive and more current than any print encyclopedia. But it’s not research-grade material and probably never will be. Use it, love it for what it is, but don’t cite it. NEXT
  • 28. Menu Overview Plagiarism Evaluating Information Reference Resources Online Resources Government Data Wikis and Blogs APA Style Wikis and Blogs cont. What about blogs? If you subscribe to or follow any blogs, you probably already have a good sense of what you can expect to find on blogs generally. As of late 2009, there were over 126 million blogs online. How many of those do you think are research quality? It's a low, low number, because anybody can blog. But there are really great blogs, too, run by leading professionals in their fields. You just need to keep two things in mind when considering blogs as a source: • Blogs are not edited or reviewed by other experts • Blog entries are rarely if ever researched and rarely if ever involve original research of their own (though they frequently link to whatever they’re talking about) Take the Quiz NEXT
  • 29. Menu Overview Plagiarism Evaluating Information Reference Resources Online Resources Government Data Wikis and Blogs APA Style Creating a “works cited” or “references” page can seem like a huge amount of work. Formatting citations properly can seem unnecessarily difficult or needlessly complex. But there are important reasons why instructors require proper citations. We’re going to briefly look at why citations are important and provide some tips for getting started. Understand that citation formats weren’t developed with college students in mind. They actually first emerged from the world of scholarly publishing. The history of scholarship and scholarly research is much like a brick wall being built. Each new research article, each piece of new knowledge, rests on the work of others. Let’s say someone makes a scientific discovery. Another scientist comes along and, using that initial discovery as a base, expands on the original research and develops a new theory to explain the discovery. Later someone else comes along and reads the second researcher’s work. He or she then sets up a new experiment, writes an article about the results, and publishes their work. This is how new knowledge is usually created—by expanding on the work of the people who came before, adding to it, altering it, even attacking it. Alternately, think of scholarship as a long chain of ideas going back dozens, sometimes hundreds or even thousands of years. Every new article or discovery adds a new link. APA Style Take the Quiz What holds this long chain of knowledge together? Citations. Citations tell readers what previous scholarship informs the work of an author or researcher It basically shows us . the pedigree of scholarly ideas. So you see how important it is that article authors provide lists of the resources and articles they used in their research. NEXT
  • 30. Menu Overview Plagiarism Evaluating Information Reference Resources Online Resources Government Data Wikis and Blogs APA Style Take the Quiz APA Style cont. But why are there so many different citation styles? Why can’t everybody agree to use just MLA, or just APA, style? The different citation formats emerged because different disciplines have different priorities when it comes to presenting their research. The Modern Language Association (that’s the MLA in MLA) first began formalizing its citation style in 1951, though the organization itself had been around since the 1880’s. The MLA citation style represents the values and priorities of the language and literature fields of study and is designed for simplicity and ease of use. The APA format (that’s the format of the American Psychological Association) is even older, dating to the 1920’s. But don’t let the name fool you. In addition to psychology, the fields of nursing, history, business, and others often use APA format. Just like MLA format was designed specifically for researchers in the fields of language and literature, APA was designed as the ideal citation format for psychology and other similar fields. AMA style, produced by the American Medical Association, is tailored to support, you guessed it, medical research. Why are the styles all different? Because the fields of study are different— because the literature looks and reads differently. So what are the advantages of properly citing your sources? We mentioned plagiarism before. Plagiarism is taking the words or ideas of another author and using them as your own. Plagiarism is among the most serious offenses a young scholar can make, so anything that helps you avoid it is valuable to know and use. And beyond just avoiding plagiarism, when you cite, you’re doing what all researchers have to do. By using the established knowledge in books and articles to produce your own original knowledge, you’re taking part in that long chain of knowledge generation. NEXT
  • 31. Menu APA Style cont. Overview So how do you actually create your citations? It’s remarkably easy once you know how. Nearly all citations for articles from newspapers and journals are actually created for you within whatever database you used to find the articles. This makes articles found in databases among the easiest resources to cite. Plagiarism Evaluating Information Reference Resources Online Resources Government Data Wikis and Blogs APA Style Take the Quiz Here’s an example below. If we wanted to cite this NCLIVE article, we only need to click on the “Cite” button to the right and the database will provide the citation in several different styles. Just copy/paste the one you need onto your works cited page. NOTE: auto-generated citations like these are not 100% error-free, so doublecheck any auto-generated citations, whether from a database or a citation builder website, for accuracy. NEXT
  • 32. Menu Overview Plagiarism APA Style cont. Databases also let you email yourself articles. When you use this option, you can also request the citation information in a particular format by selecting “citation format” and then choosing a format. Evaluating Information Reference Resources Online Resources Government Data Wikis and Blogs APA Style Take the Quiz NEXT
  • 33. Menu Overview APA Style cont. What about books? While websites exist that generate citations based solely on a book’s ISBN number, these sites sometimes have a substantial error rate in their citations. Better are citation building sites. Plagiarism Evaluating Information Reference Resources Online Resources Government Data Wikis and Blogs An example is KnightCite, produced and maintained by Calvin College. You select the preferred citation format, say APA, choose the resource type (let’s say it’s an encyclopedia), then you plug in information about the work. The site will generate a citation based on the information you provided, which you can copy/paste to your works cited page. APA Style Take the Quiz To learn more about APA formatting and constructing citations from scratch, please see CCC’s APA Guide. NEXT
  • 34. Menu Overview Plagiarism Evaluating Information Reference Resources Online Resources Government Data Wikis and Blogs APA Style Take the Quiz BACK Take the Quiz Are you ready to test your knowledge of this guide? A quiz on the materials in this guide is now available on your class’s Moodle page. Good luck!