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This guide will provide assistance with finding scholarly material to support the research paper assignment. For Library research help, please contact Moninder Lalli, Librarian for Sociology / Anthropology by email firstname.lastname@example.org or Ask a librarian.
See also SFU Library guide: Research Methods for Anthropology and Sociology
Start Your Research Here - This page gives you an overview of the research process, or in other words how to find materials for your essay.
Selected encyclopedias and handbooks
Get an overview of a topic by using encyclopedias, handbooks or textbook. These types of resources identify key authors, theories and important resources on a topic.
- Encyclopedia of race and racism
- International encyclopedia of the social & behavioral sciences
- Routledge companion to digital ethnography
- Routledge handbook of anthropology and the city
- Sage encyclopedia of LGBTQ studies
- Sage eReference
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|
homeless* AND (teen* OR youth) AND (poverty OR poor) AND (BC OR British Columbia)
Databases for journal articles, newspapers and government reports
- Sociological Abstracts: Key database for Sociology.
- Anthropology Plus: Key database for Anthropology.
- Social Sciences Full Text - access to social science journals
- Canada Commons (formerly: Canadian Electronic Library from desLibris) - Contains the full text of public policy documents from institutes, think-tanks and research groups.
- CBCA Complete - indexes Canadian journals
- Canadian Newsstream - indexes Canadian newspapers
- Canadian Research Index - indexes Canadian government reports. All documents found in the database are available in the Microlog microfiche collection (JL 044 37) on the Sixth Floor of the Bennett Library. Individual reports are filed by the MICROLOG NUMBER. Also try doing an internet search for the report and the name of the government department.
- Women's Studies International - The key database for women's issues with a feminist perspective.
- Ageline - indexes 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.
Find books in the Library
Catalogue search will find books, journal articles, videos, government reports and more. After doing a search, you can limit your search results by "Resource type" of "Books."
Search the SFU Library Catalogue
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.
Subject headings for books
Browse Search by "Subject". Change the default "title" to "subject" and enter your subject term(s). Browse by Subject will only result in books, not book chapters or journal articles.
Nature and society
- Anthropology -- Methodology
- Ethnology -- Fieldwork
- Ethnology -- 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 - 1991-
- Downtown-Eastside (Vancouver, B.C.) -- Social conditions
- Homelessness -- British Columbia
- Homelessness -- Canada
- Homeless Youth -- British Columbia -- Vancouver
- Immigrants -- British Columbia
- Immigrants -- British Columbia -- Vancouver
- Indigenous women -- Canada -- Social conditions
- Migration Internal -- Canada
- Poverty -- British Columbia
- Social problems -- Canada
- Street youth -- British Columbia -- Vancouver
- Public housing-- Canada
- Youth -- Services for -- British Columbia
- Bicycle Commuting
- Local Transit -- British Columbia -- Metro Vancouver -- Planning
- Local Transit -- British Columbia Vancouver Metropolitan Area
- Transportation -- British Columbia
- Urban Transportation
- Urban Transportation -- British Columbia -- Vancouver Metropolitan Area
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.
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
BC Statistics collects and publishes reports of statistics from Statistics Canada, provincial government ministries and agencies and from administrative files.
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
- Library Research Tutorials. Animated tutorials on search techniques for finding books and journal articles
- Finding and evaluating resources on the web
- Evaluating sources [video from Western University 2:16 mins]
- Avoiding plagiarism
- What is a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal?
- How to write an annotated bibliography
- How to place an Inter-Library Loan request
- Search tips for Google and Google Scholar
- Citation or reference management tools (Zotero or Mendeley) - use these tools to manage your citations and to create bibliographies for your papers. For assistance with Zotero or Mendeley, email, email@example.com.
Selected resources on writing essays:
- A guide to writing sociology papers
- The Sociology Student Writer's Manual and Reader's Guide
- The writer's handbook for sociology
- Writing ethnography
- Writing for social scientists : How to start and finish your thesis, book, or article
- Access to this book is limited to three-simultaneous users
- Writing up qualitative research