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Sociology Resources: GETTING STARTED

Purpose of Guide

This guide is to assist the students who are taking the following 5 courses at Moreno Valley College:

Introduction to Sociology

American Social Problems

Race/Ethnic Relations

Marriage Family Relations

Criminology  (Social aspects of criminology)

This guide may also be helpful to students in other related courses.  The majority of resources are selected to be accessed from home or any off campus location.  There are many more print books available in the library as well as e-books.  See pages  "FINDING BOOKS" and "E-BOOKS" for more resources.  On the "ARTICLE DATABASES", you will also find Open Access Journals that may accessed directly without your having to subscribe to or pay for the article.  Some of these journals may also be found in  our MVC databases.

Finding Books

Use the Subject first to narow your search to your particluar subject area or topic. 

Then, use Keyword to search with your lists of keywords or main topic.  The keyword search may provide additional resources.

At the Moreno Valley College library, the default search box is for textbooks, so you will first have to check "Books" in the upper left hand corner of the library page in order to get the proper search box.  Although you checked books, your search should also provide videos, DVDs, as well as E-books, if any are available on your topic. 

Type the keyword(s) in the box below then press Enter or click the Submit button.

How to Access Resources Off-campus

To access Moreno Valley College (MVC) e-books and databases offsite - at any place other than the MVC campus, you will be asked to input your User ID and Password before you will receive information from the selected database. 

Your User ID is your 7 Digit student ID Number only.  EX: 0000000. 

Your Password is the first initial of your first name, the first 6 letters of your last name (or all of the letters if less than 6), all in LOWER CASE,  as one word.  EX.  Miss Piggy = mpiggy.

Choose a Topic

If you are taking a Sociology course for the first time and you have been assigned to do some research, perhaps you will be given a topic or an idea for a topic.  If you must choose your own topic, here are a few tips.


1.  Think about what interest you most or something you always wanted to find out about.   The field of Sociology covers a wide range of subjects and related subjects.  Among them are criminal justice, aging, courtship and marriage, family, population, poverty, gender, race and ethnic relations, methodology.  At the Moreno Valley College (MVC) library, there are over 80 listed subjects and 47 related subjects for Sociology that may arouse your interest.  In addition to those, there is the combination subjects, such as sociobiology, sociology in religion, in education, in science, etc.


2.  Use a resource to help you find a topic.  Perhaps reading a newpaper will give you an idea.  The library databases such as

         Opposing Viewpoints in Context (Currently unavailable)

         Points of View Reference Center 

are useful resources for current events, controversial issues, and social issues that may help you formulate a topic.   Just scan the numerous topics, issues.   


3.  Narrow your topic (or broaden) to get the most information.  If your topic is too broad, you may be inundated with too much information that will answer your specific question or address your thesis statement.  If it is too narrow, you may not find the information that you need.   For example:

Let's say you decided your topic will be the family

Just family?  - Too broad!!  What do you want to know about it, and why do you choose that topic?  Your answers may help you to focus or narrow it down.  Are you interested in

family size

child/parent relations

family violence

intrafamily conflict, etc?


4.  Select keywords once you have focused on a topic

Why are keywords important?  Keywords assist you in finding information faster.  One you have the proper keywords, you can use the same keywords to search for book, for articles in journals, magazines, newspapers, for videorecording, etc. 

Make a list of keywords pertinent to your topic.