Capstone Project in Sociology

   September 8, 2008

     Shirley Knight, Reference Librarian                 Erin Augis, Professor                                     SOCI 410

 I. Library Homepage:

  • Provides access to the catalog (OPAC), databases, course reserves, interlibrary loan forms, etc.
  • Course Reserve - Need either Ramapo ID (R#) or barcode (provided by the library)

II. Finding Books at the Potter Library

  • Catalog: use this to find books, journal titles NOT ARTICLES, government documents, reserve items, music,and movies owned by the Library. You may limit a search by language, year(s) of publication, type of material, etc. This may take a few seconds to load.
  • Search the catalog using Keywords to find material
    • For example: search for "gender" or "focus groups" to locate a broad range of material and look for resources for your topics.
  • OR


  • Search the catalog using Subject Browse feature ONLY if you know the Library of Congress Subject Headings, for example:

  • Subject Headings


    • Interviewing
    • Sex Role-Cross Cultural Studies
    • Sociology
    • Social Problems
    • Sociology-Methodology
    • Success in Business--United States
    • Women Executives--United States
    • Tips

    1. Start with broad searches. It is much easier to discard too much rather than start with too little.
    2. If you don't know the Subject Heading, use the Subject etc. tab located on the top of a catalog record to get to the headings. This will help you focus in on more relevant material.
    3. Can "virtually" browse the shelves by clicking on the call number in a record.

III. Reference Material

  • The reference stacks are located on the 3rd floor (this is also the library's entrance).


    General Sources

    Call Number
    International Handbook of Sociology

    Ref  HM 585 .I57 


    Sociological Theory

    Ref  HM 585 .A33 


    Education of Sociology: An Encyclopedia
    Ref  LC 189.95 .E38 2002
    Social Research Sources
    The A-Z of Social Research: A Dictionary of Key Social Science Research Concepts

    Ref  H 62 .A5124  


    The Sage Encyclopedia of Social Science Research Methods

    Ref  H 62 .L456  


    The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research

    Ref  H62 .H2455 


    A Guide to Empirical Research in Communication: Rules for Looking

    Ref  H 61.8 .S964


    Encyclopedia of Evaluation

    Ref  H 62 .M312  


    Encyclopedia of Social Measurement

    Ref  H 62 .E53    


    Dictionary of Statistics and Methodology: a Nontechnical Guide for  the Social Sciences

    Ref HA 17 .V64    


    Interview Source
    Handbook of Interview Research: Context and Method

    Ref H 61.28 .H36


    Topical Sources
    Encyclopedia of Women and Genger: Sex Similarities and Differences and the Impact of Society on Gender

    Ref HQ 1115 .E43 


    Handbook of Research Methods in Development Science

    Ref BF 713.5 .H36 


    See Also:
    Career Sources
    Occupational Outlook Handbook
    O*NET Online



  1. Use reference books to gain an overview of your topic.
  2. Use the Bibliographies at the end of encyclopedia entries to find more information on your topic.

IV. Electronic Resources

  • Some useful Databases for your projects.
  • Use these databases to locate journal articles
  • These databases are available ONLY to Ramapo students
  • Off campus use requires your Ramapo email and password
Covers abstracts on topics such as homelessness, child and family welfare, aging, community organization and more. Also, includes a listing of clinical social workers who have met national standards for education and experience established by the NASW competence certification commission.
A full-text database that provides information on hundreds of topics such as community development, culture and social structure, demography, social psychology and more.
An archival database containing full-text scholarly articles. Do Not Print from browser print button. Use the JSTOR print option. It does not have email feature. However, you can email yourself the article URL.
See Also:
Contains more than two million citations and summaries of scholarly journal articles, as well as related topics as social work, anthropology, sociology etc.
Encompasses a wide-range of topics from psychology, clinical social psychology, social welfare, criminology and more.
A multidisciplinary database that contains many full-text articles. May also limit to scholary (peer-reviewed) journals.

(Scholarly/Peer Reviewed/Refereed articles have been reviewed by a selected panel of experts in the discipline covered by that journal).


  1. Always switch to the Advance Search page in a database. This will give you more control over your results.
  2. Always use Boolean Operators-AND, OR, NOT when running a search. For Example, poverty and employment and race
  3. Always check your Spelling if the database results are Zero.
  • Journal Finder: Indicates whether a journal or periodical is available in either full-text online, in print or on microfilm in the library's collection.


Sample Journal Titles
Located and Indexed  in:


  • American Sociological Review
  • Social Analysis
  • Sociological Forum
  • Sociological Methodology



  • Library's "Open Stacks
  • "Library's "Open Stacks"
  • Library's "Closed Stacks"


  • Interlibrary Loan: allows studens to borrow a book or article that the Potter library does not own. There is a link from the Journal Finder page.

Both of these links can be found under QUICK LINKS on the library's homepage.

V. Web Sources


VI. Bibliographies


  • Use Evaluating websites to determine if the site is authoritative enough to use in your paper.


Need more help?

  • Contact and/or 201.684-7315
  • Visit or call the Reference Desk: 201.684.7574
  • Use QandA NJ a 24/7 virtual chat with a reference librarian.