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Sociology and Legal Studies: SOC 260 / RS 262

About This Page

This page is for students in Sociology 260/ Religious Studies 262 with Prof. Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme. It provides information on how to find and access research for the final research paper.

Suggested Databases to Search for Scholarly Sources

To find peer-reviewed academic articles try searching any of the following

Recommended Journals

There are some top journals in your area of study. It may prove helpful to browse the table of contents of these journals for articles that may be useful or topic ideas.

Reading and Note Taking

IMRAD Format Worksheet

Reading Journal Articles

To effectively read AND understand a journal article, you will need to read it three times as follows:

1. Skim the source to get an overview of the material and use a strategy like the IMRAD Format to assess the content in the article.

2. Read the article backwards, section by section, beginning with the conclusion. This read is to check and see if the conclusions make sense given the methods and core questions to be addressed, and if the research is supported by the literature review.

3. Read the article one final time from beginning to end and take detailed notes.

Be selective about what your read – there is no need to read all of each and every work your choose. Decide what is essential and leave the rest.

Manage your energy—active reading can be tiring. Give yourself breaks between chapters or articles.

Paul N. Edwards has written a useful guide to active academic reading called “How to Read”. 

Taking Notes

  • Record citation information as you go.
  • Take active, in-depth notes on your high-priority sources
  • Write down your own ideas about the work your are reading
  • Summarize key points in your own words
  • Highlight very important quotes, terms, or ideas
  • If you’re taking notes on a separate piece of paper or document always put quotation marks around direct quotes. Record what page the quote is from in case you want to include it in your paper or revisit that passage.
  • Write down any connections you are making, key words or authors you have discovered, and which of your arguments the source supports.

Style Guides

These guides can help you with your writing style & formatting citations.