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Sociology Resources: Books & E-Books

Critical Thinking Applies to Books as Well

Don't judge a book by its cover isn't just a cliche, it's good advice.  Anyone can write and publish a book. You still need to think about what you're reading and be critical. For example, a book about Scientology by the founder L. Ron Hubbard is going to be very different from a book written by a former adherent of Scientology, or one written by a professor of theology.  All three are valid sources, but you must decide which is the best to cite for the point you are trying to make.

Search Strategy: Using Boolean Operators

Searching with keywords instead of phrases and connecting them with Boolean operators get you more targeted search results.

Using Boolean Operators

Boolean operators “AND”, “OR”, and “NOT” define relationships between words. How do they work?

“AND” – searches all of your search terms. Example: poverty and population and income. Records will contain all these terms. Fewer records are retrieved, but more precise.

“OR” – either or both terms are retrieved. Example: mouse OR rat. More records are retrieved, but less precise.

“NOT” – when used it excludes or ignores words from the search. Example: dating NOT marriage. Marriage is excluded from the search results. Using “NOT” can be tricky. You may eliminate a word associated with your topic which may provide additional information. This search helps to narrow your results but is very restrictive.

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Useful Print Books in the Library

Finding the Book Using the Call Number

We use the Library of Congress classification system, which is the system most academic libraries use.  LC classification uses letters and numbers to designate where the books are shelved.  So, for the first book listed in box on the left, the call number is BF311. M426 2009.

First, look at the end of the shelf ranges to find the BF section, then look for the 300s, and then find 311.

The next part of the call number is the Cutter number, and Cutters are arranged alphabetically, then in decimal order. Find the Ms, then find the M4s and look for 426.

Your book should be there!

Useful E-Books