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Social Work and Sociology

This guide provides resources for performing social work and sociology research at NC A&T.

Find Scholarly Articles

Scholarly or academic articles contain original research on a narrow topic. They are usually peer-reviewed and are published in scholarly journals. To find articles on your topic, use keywords to search in one of the databases listed below.

If the article you want isn't available in full text you can request it for free through Interlibrary Loan.

Databases Specific to Social Work and Sociology:

Databases Specific to Other Related Subjects (Psychology and Education):

General, Multi-Subject Databases:


Scanning and skimming are essential when reading scholarly articles, especially at the beginning stages of your research or when you have a lot of material in front of you.

Many scholarly articles are organized to help you scan and skim efficiently. The next time you need to read a scholarly article, use the following chart as a guide:

Read / skim in this order: While asking yourself:
1. Abstract What is the article about? Is it relevant to your research?
2. Introduction What is the main research question?
3. Discussion / Results What are the key findings or answers to the research question?
4. Methods How was research or analysis conducted?
5. Conclusion What are the key conclusions? What might be some implications for future research?

To learn more about the different sections of an article, view this interactive graphic.

Find Books

Scholarly books are much longer than articles and they provide more depth and context. You can find physical books or e-books in our catalog below. Try searching by subject, keyword, author, or title. After you search select "Books" on the left side of the page to limit your results to only books.

Cite Your Sources

Any time you use another's work in your research, you need to cite the source with both in-text and reference list citations. American Psychological Association (APA) style is the citation style most commonly used for research in the social sciences. To learn how to cite in APA style, visit the resource linked below.


Reference managers help you organize and keep track of your sources, as well as automatically create citations. The tool I most recommend is Zotero, which is free to use.

To get started with Zotero, follow these steps:

  1. Download the desktop application from Zotero's site (available for both Windows and Mac). I would also highly recommend downloading the Google Chrome Connector/plug-in, which allows you to click a button to automatically grab citation information from an article or website.
  2. Create a free account.
  3. Sync the account with the Zotero desktop application. It will automatically prompt you to do this when you open it for the first time.
  4. Use the Chrome Connector/plug-in to add things to your library. Feel free to create folders to organize different projects.
  5. When you are ready to cite, select a source or multiple sources. Then, right-click and select "Create bibliography from item(s)." Then, select APA style from the list of styles, and make sure the box is checked for "Copy to clipboard."
  6. Paste the citation(s) into your document!

Advanced Research: Tools for Systematic/Scoping Reviews

As a graduate student or faculty researcher, you may want to perform a review for publication. A scoping review seeks to present an overview of a potentially large and diverse body of literature pertaining to a broad topic, while a systematic review attempts to collate empirical evidence from a relatively smaller number of studies pertaining to a focused research question. For a tool to assist with the review process, visit the link below.


If you have never used Covidence before, visit the NC A&T Covidence Sign-Up page and enter your name and NC A&T email on the sign in page. You will then receive an email inviting you to Covidence. Follow the link in the email and click on "Create an Account." 

For help using Covidence, contact the Social Work & Sociology Librarian via the box on the left side of the page.