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SOC 106 - Introduction to Sociology - Meagher: Snap!Search

Snap! Search

Our new SNAP! Search makes finding information and credible sources a breeze. Search almost all of our databases at once with this powerful search. Here, you’ll find journals, books, videos, magazines, and more all in one search.

Narrow Topic

Too much information?  Make your results list more manageable.  Less, but more relevant, information is key.  Here are some options to consider when narrowing the scope of your paper:

  • Theoretical approach:  Limit your topic to a particular approach to the issue.  For example, if your topic concerns cloning, examine the theories surrounding of the high rate of failures in animal cloning.
  • Aspect or sub-area:  Consider only one piece of the subject.  For example, if your topic is human cloning, investigate government regulation of cloning.
  • Time:  Limit the time span you examine.  For example, on a topic in genetics, contrast public attitudes in the 1950's versus the 1990's.
  • Population group:  Limit by age, sex, race, occupation, species or ethnic group.  For example, on a topic in genetics, examine specific traits as they affect women over 40 years of age.
  • Geographical location:  A geographic analysis can provide a useful means to examine an issue.   For example, if your topic concerns cloning, investigate cloning practices in Europe or the Middle East.

Broaden Topic

Not finding enough information?  Think of related ideas, or read some background information first.  You may not be finding enough information for several reasons, including:

  • Your topic is too specific.  Generalize what you are looking for. For example: if your topic is genetic diversity for a specific ethnic group in Ghana, Africa, broaden your topic by generalizing to all ethnic groups in Ghana or in West Africa.
  • Your topic is too new for anything substantive to have been written.  If you're researching a recently breaking news event, you are likely to only find information about it in the news media. Be sure to search databases that contain articles from newspapers. If you are not finding enough in the news media, consider changing your topic to one that has been covered more extensively.
  • You are using less common words or too much jargon to describe your topic.  Use a thesaurus to find other terms to represent your topic. When reading background information, note how your topic is expressed in these materials. When you find citations in an article database, see how the topic is expressed by experts in the field.

Once you have a solid topic, formulate your research question or hypothesis and begin finding information.

Interlibrary Loan for articles

Did you find an article you would like to use for your research, but we don't have full text access?

You may request the book be sent to you via our InterLibrary Loan Service.

How to submit a request:

1. Check to make sure the journal and the full text article is not available through another NSCC database. Search Full-Text Finder.

If you locate the full text article, click on the full-text access button to open and read the article. 

2. If the full-text article is not available, fill out the InterLibrary Loan Article Request form.