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This tutorial covers how to find an article for Social Research Methods (SOCI 315) Assignment #1. Before searching for an article for your assignment, review each of the following components below:

Article Checklist

The article you use for your assignment should meet the following requirements:

 Published in the last five to ten years: You want to build on the latest, greatest findings in your area of interest. 

Relevant to social science: Use a journal article database (see Finding Articles section below) to find an article that explores your topic related to work pandemics (i.e., COVID-19) from a sociological perspective. For instance, a research study on the socioeconomic toll that COVID-19 has had on Canadian parents will be much more relevant than a study on recommended medical treatments. 

□ Peer-reviewed: Published in an academic journal that has other academics review research articles before they are published. Watch Peer Review in 3 Minutes for an overview of how this process works. 

□ Original research: Articles should be reporting results from an original research study. The format of these articles will typically include:

  • an introduction
  • research methods section
  • research results
  • discussion of results, and
  • a list of cited references. 

Engaging with Research Literature

This assignment is asking you to think about how previous research can inform a potential sociological study relating to a world pandemic (i.e., COVID-19).

As the following video illustrates, reviewing existing literature on a topic is an important part of developing an academic research study:

It can take years to get a research article published and some areas of research are explored more than others, so the articles you find might not be on the exact same topic that interests you. That's okay. Just make sure that the articles you use can help to frame your interest into a research question and new area of sociological investigation. 

Here's a video that helps to explain how to approach a research topic when looking for sources: 

Example: Let’s say that you are interested in exploring the public reaction to the “Freedom Convoy” protests in Canada in the winter of 2022. Since this is a relatively recent topic, there likely will not yet be many scholarly, peer-reviewed articles on this topic, so try searching for articles on related topics. For instance, look for articles that explore public reactions to other protests against COVID-19 restrictions, including those in other countries. Or try looking for articles on how people perceive protests and demonstrations more generally.

Finding Articles

Search for your article using the Library's main social science article databases listed below:

*You may also want to try other Library databases. Use the Type and Subject drop-down menus to find relevant options. 

Database Search Tips

  • Use "Quotes" for phrases:
    • "social media" "content analysis" 
  • Use AND between words to find different concepts:
    • COVID-19 AND Twitter AND racism AND Canada
  • Use OR between words to find similar concepts/synonyms: "
    • social media" OR Facebook OR Twitter OR Instagram
  • Use the options to the left of search results to limit to peer-reviewed academic journals published recently (e.g., 2013-2023)
Example combining these tips:  
("social media" OR Facebook OR Twitter OR Instagram) 
AND racism 

Citing Using APA

Cite your article using American Psychological Association (APA) style as shown below. 

For more information and examples, visit the Library's APA Citation Guide

In-text citation: (Thirsk et al., 2022, p. 1409).
Reference entry:

Thirsk, L. M., Stahlke, S., Perry, B., & Gordon, B. (2022). #Morethanavisitor: Experiences of COVID-19 visitor restrictions in Canadian long-term care facilities. Family Relations71(4), 1408-1427.

Need Help?

  • Have a quick question about searching or citing?
  • Need more in-depth help searching for articles?
  • Have questions about assignment requirements?
    • Contact your instructor.
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