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Research Guides@Tufts

Sociology 100: Research Design and Interpretation

This guide is designed to support students in Sociology 100: Research Design and Interpretation

Using This Guide

Welcome to the Tisch Library guide for SOC 100: Research Design and Interpretation. This guide is organized by types of resources:

  • Reference sources - These sources provide important background and contextual information on your subject. Reference sources include bibliographies, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks. A reference source usually provides an overview of a topic without arguing for a specific perspective on the topic. You can use this type of source to help narrow your research topic, find data to support your thesis, and identify keywords and main ideas to use as search terms.
  • Books and scholarly articles - These sources provide in-depth information on a topic while also arguing for a specific perspective on the topic. These types of sources are useful for analysis and for learning about scholarly perspectives on your topic.

If you don't find what you are looking for or need help navigating this guide or any of the resources it contains, don't hesitate to contact the author of this guide or Ask Us.

The Research Question

This is the fundamental question that your research will address. Your research question should focus on a specific issue, problem, or area of interest within the scope of your chosen topic.

Your ultimate research question should be:

  • Concise: expressed clearly and in as few words as possible
  • Focused: should be answerable within the scope of your assigned paper or project
  • Complex: not simply a "yes or no" question but rather requiring analysis of in-depth research and ideas in order to answer
  • Analytical: question should prompt a thorough examination of a topic or problem rather than a simple description
  • Researchable: an adequate body of scholarly research should exist for you to draw on in your own work