On this page
- Library research overview and help
- Library research basics
- Recommended information sources
- Background information sources
- Journal articles
- News media
- Grey literature
- Government documents
- Think tanks & research institutes
- Legal information
- Housing information
- Teach-in resources: participatory and active learning approaches
- Creative approaches to research communication
- SFU Library's Media & Maker Commons
- Visual Communication
- Presentation skills
- How to engage your audience
- Library Student Learning Commons (SLC)'s resources on presentation skills
- Plain/lay language resources
- Readability tools
- Inclusive language (consider how others experience your words)
- Writing and citing resources
- Writing resources
- Citing resources
This is a guide to suggested sources for students in Geography 440 - Property, Land, Society (Spring 2020). Check the Library Catalogue and SFU Library Databases to find additional materials at SFU Library.
Library research basics
In need of a quick refresher? These resources will help:
- SFU Library Research Skills Tutorial - Up your academic game by completing this 50-minute tutorial.
- Start your research here - An overview of the research process and tips for where and how to look for information.
The Library also offers quick, chat-based assistance at all stages of your research via Ask a Librarian services.
Extremely useful for quick but thorough overviews of theoretical concepts and for the Further Reading / References lists at the end of entries.
- International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, Second edition (2020)
- International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, First edition (2009)
- The SAGE Handbook of Social Geographies
- International Encyclopedia of Housing and Home
- The Dictionary of Human Geography
- Wiley‐Blackwell Encyclopedia of Social and Political Movements online
- The activists' handbook: a step-by-step guide to participatory democracy
Use the Library Catalogue to find books. Keyword searches are a good way to start searching and are also useful for finding chapters in edited books on broader topics. When you click on an item in the Library Catalogue, pay attention to the hyperlinked subject headings. These function like hashtags and are a good way to quickly connect with other items on the same topic. In the Library Catalogue you can also:
- Select Advanced Search and use the drop-down box to search by Subject
- Choose Browse Search and use the drop-down box to browse by Subject
A few sample Subject Heading searches that may be useful:
- Real Property
- Right of Property
- Land tenure
- Right to Housing
- Indigenous peoples -- Land tenure -- Canada
- Indigenous peoples -- Land tenure -- British Columbia
- Scopus: Search for journal articles, conference proceedings, and other resources in the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities. Can also be used for cited reference searches, citation analysis of research, and searching by affiliation.
- Web of Science: major multidisciplinary academic database. Search for journal articles, citation counts, journal impact factors, and more across disciplines.
- Canadian Newsstream: contains the full text of articles in major Canadian and small market BC newspapers, with coverage dating back much further than online newspaper sites.
- The Discourse: A Canadian digital news media company that brings together journalists, members, and partners to provide in-depth, collaborative journalism in communities underserved by media.
- Globe & Mail -- Canada's Heritage from 1844
Full-text archive including every image, advertisement, classified ad, birth and death notice, covering 1844-2000.
Current issues of newspapers from around the world. Some newspapers include the provision for language translation and/or audio of stories, once selected.
- See also: SFU Library's guides to News sources and Alternative news sources.
Grey literature is information produced outside of traditional publishing, and can include reports, policy documents, working papers, newsletters, government documents, speeches, white papers, urban plans, and so on.
This information is often produced by organizations "on the ground" (such as government, IGOs, NGOs, and industry) where dissemination of information and reporting on activities, often in the hopes of rapidly influencing decision-making and policy, is the goal before publishing an academic article or book. For this reason, grey literature is often more current than literature in scholarly journals. Grey literature typically does not go through a peer-review process and as a result quality can sometimes be an issue, so be sure to critically evaluate what you find.
- Websites of organizations and government bodies that work in your topic area are an excellent, and reliable, way to locate grey literature. Look for website sections such as "Publications", Documents", "Reports", and "Library" to locate documents. To identify organizations, use Google as well as the recommended websites from your course reading list. Also pay attention to documents cited in reference lists and author affiliations—not everyone works at a university!
- Carleton University Library's Find Canadian Government Publications on the Web: Google Custom Search that searches across Canadian government websites with the option to limit to federal, provincial, or municipal information.
- NGO Search: Google Custom Search that searches across hundreds non-governmental organization (NGO) websites. NGO Search is a project of the International Documents Taskforce (IDTF) and the Government Documents Roundtable (GODORT) of the American Library Association (ALA). This is a spreadsheet of NGOs included in the project.
- IGO Search: Google Custom Search that searches across IGO websites. It is a project of the International Documents Taskforce (IDTF) and the Government Documents Roundtable (GODORT) of the American Library Association (ALA). Here is the growing spreadsheet of IGO urls included in the search.
- Canadian Electronic Library: a Library database that includes publications from Canadian public policy institutes, government agencies, think tanks, and research centres.
- For more information, see also: SFU Library's guide Grey literature: What it is & how to find it
Housing Vancouver strategy
City of Vancouver's new housing targets, progress reports, council motions aiming to track and report on progress toward the new Housing Vancouver targets.
Vancouver City Council documents
Recent and historical council decisions and reports, including meeting minutes, administrative reports by City staff, staff presentations, etc.
Think tanks & research institutes
- SFU Library guides:
- CanLII: free web resource providing access to court judgments, tribunal decisions, statutes and regulations from all Canadian jurisdictions.
- Case citations:
- How to Find Legal Cases covers how cases are cited, and how to find cases by name, subject and related cases.
- Urban Housing Policy
A library guide by Nina Smart, the Librarian for Urban Studies. A list of government and association sites, statistics and books to help you find informaiton on urban housing policy.
- Liberating Structures: facilitation approaches that foster relational trust and lively participation in groups of any size.
- BOPPPS Model: Introduction to Lesson Planning with BOPPPS, University of Saskatchewan Library: BOPPPS is an acronym representing the various components of an active learning lesson or workshop plan:
bridge-in, outcomes (or objectives), pre-assessment, participatory learning, post-assessment, and summary.
- Active Learning Resources, Beedie School of Business Faculty Portal, SFU
- Facilitation page on the Participatory Methods website by the Participation, Power and Social Change (PPSC) team at the Institute of Development Studies: a good overview of facilitation and links to some key resources
- Better Scientific Poster/#betterposter templates: new approach to academic posters developed by Michigan State University graduate student Mike Morrison.
NPR story on the templates and approach: To Save The Science Poster, Researchers Want To Kill It And Start Over. NPR, June 11, 2019.
SFU Library's Media & Maker Commons
The Media & Maker Commons equipment and tools include the following:
- Maker tools: 3D printing, 3D scanning, Laser cutting and etching , Soldering, Dremel, Embroidery Machine
- Media spaces: Video Studio, Audio Studio, Editing Studio, VR (Virtual reality) Studio, Workstation
Visual communication is often more effective than large slabs of texts.
- Start with this slide deck by Michelle De Aizpurua to learn why visual communication is useful and some practical tips such as where to find images, deisgn programs, etc.
- Visual communication: finding images by the University of UTAH Libraries
A list of websites/resources where you can find images with CC licenses. The section Image, Video & Visualization Tools could be useful too.
- Noun Project
Free icons that you can use for your presentation/poster.
How to engage your audience
- SSHRC’s annual Storytellers research communication challenge. Be sure to explore the Storytellers Gallery, an archive of the top 25 entries from the last several years.
- SFU's annual Three Minute Thesis competition
Check out the finalists' presentations from the 2021 SFU 3MT Finals.
- Three Minute Thesis: Now you see it
Pay attention to how Rosanna Stevens used a blank slide to grab the audience's attention and get her message across.
- 3MT: the three most common mistakes
This talk helps you understand how to connect your research to a bigger picture, how to engage your audience's curiosity, and how to best use visual components.
- TED's secret to great public speaking
TED curator Chris Anderson shares a ingredient that many great presentations share in common.
- Talk nerdy to me
In this TED Talk, Melissa Marshall shares powerful tips on presenting complex scientific ideas to a general audience.
- workshop recordings on Presentation Skills (there are 2 more videos in the drop-down menu)
- Giving Effective Presentations for tips and strategies for presentations.
- One-on-one consultation
Students can book a one-on-one consutlation (virtually and in-person at any one of the 3 campuses) with one of our peer educators to ask about any helpful strategies and resources for presentations.
Plain/lay language resources
- What is Plain Language? plainlanguage.gov, United States Government: plain language definitions, templates, checklists, and writing guidelines.
- What is Plain Language?, PLAIN Language International
- Plain Language resources, Government of Canada
- “Inoculating Against Jargonitis” by Helen Sword, The Chronicle of Higher Education: good (and humourous!) overview of the dangers of jargon.
Inclusive language (consider how others experience your words)
- BC Government’s Inclusive language tool
- Sum of Us’ Progressive Language Guide
- Shifting the Conversation: A Focus on the Social Determinants of Health and Health Equity
Writing and citing resources
Making Sense: A Student's Guide to Research and Writing: Geography & Environmental Sciences [print]
Methods in Human Geography: A Guide for Students Doing a Research Project [print]
Student Learning Commons (SLC) at the SFU Library provides assistance with a wide range of academic writing strategies through one-on-one consultations, workshops, handouts, and online guides. See especially Student Learning Commons: writing handouts.
Citation management software: the Library offers support and consultations for Zotero and Mendeley.
Use APA format when citing sources. Please refer to the following guides:
Questions about what constitutes plagiarism? Take the Plagiarism Tutorial.