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Camden County College Library

Sociology: Home


Getting Started

Following the six step Information Search Process (ISP) will save time and keep you organized through all phases of any research assignment.

  • Understand the Assignment: Understand the specifics including length of paper, topic options/instructions, citation style and resources permitted before beginning topic selection, research or any other part of the assignment.
  • Select a Topic: Think about what the assignment guidelines are and choose something that is interesting to you.
  • Explore your Topic: Take your topic and narrow it down to what you want to focus on, normally a few main points.
  • Develop a Thesis/Specific Purpose Statement: Decide your objective so you can inform the readers about what you will discuss.
  • Research: Work within the assignment guidelines to decide on appropriate resources. Keep track of your citations as you go.
  • Present your Research: Using your research and critical thinking skills, write your essay, paper, presentation, etc.


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Subject Specific eResources

Primary vs. Secondary Scientific Research

Primary Sources/Research Articles

  • Presents original data and ideas from a scientific investigation including the results of experiments, observations and other scientific investigations
  • Reported by scientists and written for others in the field and published in scientific journals (usually peer-reviewed)
  • Most primary articles have at least some of these headings - method/materials, experimental procedure, results, discussion/data interpretation

Secondary Sources/Review Articles

  • Describes, interprets, analyzes and evaluates the original research as well as comments on and discusses the evidence provided by primary sources

  • Written for a scientific audience or for a non-scientific audience by experts (scientists) or general writers
  • Published in science magazines and may be published in some science journals


Primary vs. Secondary Sources