On this page
- Library Research Skills [interactive tutorial]
- Citing and Writing (APA, MLA, Chicago)
- Popular versus scholarly sources [video]
- What is a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal?
- What is plagiarism? [guide]
- Evaluating sources
- How to Write an Annotated Bibliography
- Citation styles:
- Referencing and citation management software -- for help, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Student Learning Commons
- Writing help
- Define your topic.
- Look for background information (encyclopedias, handbooks, introductory texts).
- Based on your preliminary research, formulate a research question that you intend to address through more comprehensive research. You will ultimately address this research question in your thesis.
- Brainstorm keywords for each concept in your topic to use for searching for information.
- Use the Library Catalogue to find books and articles and use "subject lists" in Journal Article Databases to find additional articles.
Evaluate your resources.
- Are the author's references scholarly (is there a bibliography)?
- Does the information seem credible by a recognized expert in the area?
- Note key authors. These may lead you to other sources.
Research question example
Question: What are the causes of teen homelessness?
- Break down your topic into concepts or keywords.
- Are there other words that could describe each of these concepts?
Create a concept map
Library Research Concepts Worksheet (Concept Map / Keywords)
|Concept 1||Concept 2|
|Related Terms||Related Terms|
Search for topics using key words
homeless*AND(teen*or youth)AND(poverty or poor)AND (BC or British Columbia)
Search tips & techniques
- Use "or" to combine same concepts; use "and" to combine different concepts.
- When you have only one line search box, then put braces around your synonyms.
(____________ or __________) AND (__________ or ________)
Use asterisk (*) the truncation symbol, for variation on endings of words
- Use "quotation marks" to search for an exact phrase.
- Alternate spellings -- use American/Canadian spelling (honour or honor). Use abbreviations and full words (TV or television)
- Geographic concepts -- from specific to broader ( Vancouver or BC or British Columbia or Canada or North America)
- Alternate terms -- Subject headings/Descriptors/Thesauri words. Thesauri words increase relevancy.
- Search tips for Google and Google Scholar Library guide
Use the Advanced search in the Library Catalogue.
homeless* AND (teen* or youth) AND (poverty or poor)
From the results list, check the Subject Headings of books that look relevant. Click on the "Subjects" links to find other books on the same topic.
These Subject Headings may be useful for finding books on your topics.
To search for books by subject heading, use the Browse Search option in the SFU Library Catalogue, then select Subject browse from the drop-down menu.
- Community -- works on groups of people who reside in a specific locality under the same government, or share some other common characteristics and interests.
- Homeless Youth -- British Columbia -- Vancouver
- Street youth -- British Columbia -- Vancouver
- Youth -- Services for -- British Columbia
Mobility -- See Migration, Internal
These resources are on the movement of population within the borders of a single country. Works on migration across national borders in modern times are entered under Emigration and immigration. Works on the spread of population, largely in prehistoric times, are entered under Human beings--Migrations. Works on the mass migrations of peoples are entered under Migrations of nations.
- Migration Internal -- Canada
- Migration Internal -- Economic Aspects -- Canada
Nature and society
- Nature -- Effect Of Human Beings On
- Nature -- Effect Of Human Beings On -- British Columbia
- Social change -- Environmental aspects
- Public Spaces
- Public Spaces -- British Columbia -- Vancouver
- Public Spaces -- Design
- Anthropology -- Methodology
- Mixed methods research -- works on research methodology that combine approaches used in both quantitative and qualitative research
- Sociology -- Research -- Methodology
- Canada --Social Conditions
- Canada -- Social Conditions - 21st Century
- Immigrants -- British Columbia
- Immigrants -- British Columbia -- Vancouver
- Immigrants -- British Columbia -- Vancouver -- Social Conditions
- Indigenous Women -- British Columbia -- Social Conditions
- Indigenous Women -- Canada
- Indigenous Women -- Canada -- Economic Conditions
- Poverty -- British Columbia
- Poverty -- Government policy -- British Columbia
- Women -- Canada -- Economic Conditions
- Women -- Canada -- Social Conditions
- Bicycle Commuting -- Canada
- Bicycle Commuting -- Government Policy -- British Columbia
- Cycling -- Government policy -- British Columbia.
- Local Transit -- British Columbia -- Metro Vancouver -- Planning
- Local Transit -- British Columbia -- Vancouver Metropolitan Area -- Planning
- Local transit -- British Columbia -- Vancouver Metropolitan Area -- Planning -- Evaluation.
- Local Transit -- British Columbia Vancouver Metropolitan Area -- Statistics
- Transportation -- British Columbia -- Planning.
- Urban Transportation -- British Columbia -- Vancouver Metropolitan Area
- City Planning
- City Planning -- British Columbia
- City Planning -- British Columbia -- Burnaby
- City Planning -- British Columbia -- Vancouver Metropolitan Area
- Public Housing -- British Columbia
- Public Housing -- British Columbia -- Vancouver
Find journal articles
Use the Where can I get this? link to find digital copies or print copies of articles. See also How to find journal articles Library guide.
Sociological / Anthropological databases
- Sociological Abstracts: Key database for Sociology.
- Anthropology Plus: Key database for Anthropology.
- Social Sciences Full Text - access to social science journals
Canada's reference and current events - scholarly journal articles, trade publications, dissertations, books, newspapers and magazines.
Canadian Electronic Library from desLibris
Contains the full text of public policy documents from Canadian institutes, think-tanks and research groups.
- Canadian Newsstream
- Canadian Research Index (government reports)
- Women's Studies International - The key database for women's issues with a feminist perspective.
- Ageline AgeLine is an online index to articles from journals and magazines, books, research reports, and videos related to issues of ageing and life at 50+.
- Sage Research Methods Online Reference books by Sage on social sciences research methods.
Statistics Canada is the major statistical gathering agency of the federal government. It publishes the "whole range of statistics on the economic and social activities of the Canadian people". There are daily, weekly, quarterly, annual and irregular publications. They also publish the Census of Canada at five-year intervals. They also have an Advanced Search Engine.
National Census Information
Start by looking at the Canadian Census Program.
Postal Code Search
- Census Profiles (2011) Select the tab for "postal code."
- Census 2006 The 2006 Census has more depth of information than the 2011 Census.
- 2006 Census - Postal Code search
- Statistics- Canadian Census -- this is also has a section on Geographic levels, which provides definitions such as "Census Tract" (CT), Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), etc.
- Canadian census
- Which Census Product Should I Use? -- for detailed information on census terminology, see the Census Dictionary
- How to cite census products -- A citation guide available at the Statistics Canada website
- SFU Library provides access to additional products through Statistics Canada Products and Services
Provincial Census -- British Columbia
The government of BC census website collects and publishes reports of statistics from Statistics Canada, provincial government ministries and agencies and from administrative files.
Selected items from A-Z list:
- Demographic Profile of BC (PDF)
- Demographic Profile of BC: See also Census
- Employment by Industry
- Municipal Government Statistics
- Socio-Economic Profiles
- Traffic Volumes
- Vehicles, licenced
For more details check out the Library guide on BC Statistics.
City of Vancouver
Search for: map
- Home, Property and Development
- Open Data Catalogue Index - Take a look at the symbol, "G" for maps
- Parks, Recreation and Culture
- People and Programs
- Streets and Transportation
- Search for: map
City of Vancouver - Archives (for historical material, including maps)
- Search for: Strathcona
- Metropolis Project - British Columbia -- research material on immigrants, migration
- PovNet - Building an online anti-poverty community