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Writing and Researching in the Social Sciences - A Guide to Resources in the University Libraries
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The University Libraries collections include many important guides and tools to help you in researching and writing your class papers, theses and professional articles. The following is a selective list of some of the more important books and Web sites that you may find useful in your research. For more information, or to locate additional materials, please consult LUMINA, the gateway to the online catalog of the collections of the University of Minnesota Libraries. Reference staff at any library on campus will be happy to assist you as well.
  • Finding General Information on the Social Sciences
    You may wish to begin your study by looking at some general overviews of the field in which you are studying. The Libraries have many good reference materrials, encyclopedia and handbooks for all fields in the social sciences. In MNCAT we also have many good materials on research methods. Many of these can be found with the subject heading of SOCIAL SCIENCES--RESEARCH--METHODOLOGY. For a good tutorial on how to write research papers, check out of QuickStudy page at which takes you step-by-step through the process from beginning your research to writing up your paper and citing sources. Here is a sampling of some of the works that might help you as you begin your research. Search MNCAT for more titles appropriate for these, or other, fields:
    • Gale Virtual Reference Library
      This website from the reference publisher, Gale, allows you to search through the full-text of tens of key reference works and encyclopedia. A great way to start a research project! Online, it can be used anywhere at anytime!
    • Sage Knowledge
      Search all library subscriptions from Sage Publishing including scholarly monographs, reference works, handbooks, series, professional development titles, and more.
Books on Writing in the Social Sciences
We have many books to help you with researching and writing your papers. This list includes some good general sources. Each has its own approach and style. Pick one that seems right to you. Books can also be found in bookstores or public libraries as well. Social Science Research Methods - A Guide to Key Reference Sources
This complementary guide covers key research works and databases for finding information on specific research methods and tools in the social sciences.

Organizing & Creating Your Bibliographies with RefWorks!
  • Personal Citation Managers
    Citation managers are software packages used to create personalized databases of citation information and notes. They allow you to: import and organize citation information from article indexes and other sources save links to pdfs and other documents, and in some cases save the document itself format citations for your papers and bibliographies using APA and many other styles include your own notes
Good Web Sites on Writing the Social Sciences Paper
  • Getting Started Online:
    • Style Manuals
      A selected list of sources available in Wilson Reference Services.
    • Writing in the Disciplines Web Site
      "The Writing in the Disciplines Site was created as a resource for both students and their instructors. It is designed to help you find your own "academic" voice and help you enter the conversation of disciplines."
    • Writing the Sociology Paper
      "What distinguishes Sociology papers from the papers you might write in other courses? Perhaps the biggest challenge lies in identifying evidence and decoding arguments that result from research on the structure of human society." This good site helps you work through your research and writing your papers.
    • Writing in Communications Studies
      "This handout describes some steps for planning and writing papers in communications studies courses."
  • Important Mega-Sites for Your Research:

    Rather than trying to develop our own list of links, here is presented links to some of the more exceptional Web pages developed by universities and colleges throughout North America. If you find sources of value, please let us know!
    • Dr. Randall Hansen's Wide World of Web
      This site provides one-stop shopping for "indispensable writing resources" and includes an excellent set of links to additional "OWLS" (Online Writing Labs and Centers).
    • TESL : Web Links
      If English is a second-language for you or your students, this site will provide important information and links to help you navigate your research and reporting from a short one-page assignment to a full-blown thesis.
    • Citing Electronic Information in History Papers
      prepared by Maurice Crouse of the Department of History, The University of Memphis, provides extensive examples and information on citing electronic and other sources of information from the Internet using APA, Chicago, Turabian and other style guides.
    • University Writing Centers
      A set of links to colleges and universities with noted online resources for writers.
Using the Web for Social Science Research Assistance with your Writing & Researching
Reference assistance is available anytime through AskUs, our Web-based reference assistance, or from one of our reference service points in the Libraries. Assistance is also available through the following campus resources.
  • Ask Us!
    Get individualized library research support for your courses via chat (24/7), email, phone, or in-person.
  • Center for Writing, U of M
    The Student Writing Center offers assistance with writing projects. You can make an appointment or go to one of the Writing Center sites for tutoring.

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