Western Libraries

Sociology 2241E - Men and Women in Society: Gender Issues in Sociology

Use Reference Sources

Once your topic has been narrowed down, or to help you narrow your topic, use reference sources such as encyclopedias and dictionaries.  These sources provide you with background information which will help you to understand your topic.  From there, you can begin your research.  A substantial list of reference sources can be found on the REFERENCE SOURCES tab on the Sociology Research Guide.

A few suggestions for this assignment are:

Creating an Effective Search String

The following example is from the Annual Review of Sociology.

Once you have your topic, you can begin constructing your search.  The topic for the following example is gender and work.

It is easy to type "gender AND work", but will this search string lead us to the most relevant results?  It is helpful to use synonyms to help retrieve more information.

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Use brackets to separate search ideas.
  • Use OR between synonyms to retrieve more results.
  • The AND is used below to retrieve only results with both search ideas, not just one or the other.
  • The question mark (?) acts as a wildcard.  Therefore, m?n could mean either man or men.
  • Use the asterisk (*) to accommodate for alternate word endings.  For example, work* could mean work, workers, working, etc.

For example, search (gender OR m?n OR wom?n) AND (work* OR employ* OR job* OR profession*).

The search results are shown below.  You may need to adjust your search by experimenting with synonyms to retrieve the results you want.  Articles can be viewed on the web or downloaded as a PDF.


Profile Photo
Marg Sloan
Allyn & Betty Taylor Library
The University of Western Ontario
London, Ontario, Canada
N6A 5B7
519 661-2111 x84801

Ask a Librarian

Ask a Librarian Chat Service