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Sociology Guide: Anth 220: Physical Anthropology

This guide is designed to help students do research within the fields of sociology, anthropology, and criminal justice.

How do I begin my research?

Select Your Topic

Your topic will probably evolve as you do your research so don't worry up front about whether your topic is too broad or too narrow. You can adjust it as you go along.

From NCSU Libraries

Brainstorm Search Terms

What two or three words or very short phrases catch all the elements of your topic?

For example:

Topic: How do Australian Aborigines grow/catch/find food and how do they prepare it in their long history before Europeans colonized Australia?

Words or short phrases: Australian Aborigines; food; pre-colonization

Now think about what you mean with each of these phrases or words and come up with other terms or phrases that might mean the same thing or be complimentary. In other words, what else might you search for when trying to come up with sources?

For example:

food - meat, vegetables, farming, hunting, gathering, fruit, grains, fish, fishing

Australian Aborigines - different tribes of aborigines, Awabakal; Badjalang; Banbai; and many more (in researching this, I found that there are so many groups of aborigines, I narrowed my topic to those in New South Wales), New South Wales

pre-colonization - prehistory, 17th century (note that Australia was colonized in the mid-1700's so any century before that would be pre-colonial), 18th century (could compare pre-colonial to early colonial)

Choose which terms best describe what you are looking for as your initial search terms.

Search for information

What kind of information do you want to find?

What type of source will best fit your needs? Check out this page from Virginia Tech. It defines different source types and gives what they are best used for and examples.


  • Use the Quick Search box and select the "Catalog Only" box
  • Use the WorldCat database to look for books SDSU owns and many we don't
    • You can request a book from another library through Interlibrary Loan
  • Use Google Books to find older books that have been digitized or to search the full text of newer books

Journal Articles

  • Use the databases listed in the search for articles box for best results
  • Use Google Scholar but beware that the information you get may be incorrect or for less reliable information
  • Remember that peer reviewed articles are the creme de la creme of information - use those as much as you can

Where should I look for information?

Search for articles

Search for books, government documents & articles

Search for Books, Government Documents, Articles, and more
Limit Your Results

Search for Books

How do I cite my sources?

We have guides to help you format your citations in four different styles. You can choose any style you want for the Anth 220 paper but you should be accurate and consistent.

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