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SO 255 - Social Welfare: Poverty and Public Policy


This guide will direct you to resources that will aid in the completion of your research paper assignment. All of these resources can be accessed either on campus or remotely by entering in the S number on the back of your student ID.

If you need any assistance in using these resources or if you are having difficulty in locating information, please contact the Sociology Liaison Librarian.


Literature Reviews

Use the resources below for information on how to conduct a literature review.

Preparing a Literature Review Research Help Guide

Writing Literature Reviews: A Guide for Students of the Social and Behavioral Sciences
Jose L. Galvan
     Ref H61.8 .G34


Reference Materials

Use reference materials to get an overview of the topic you are researching as well as to understand how sociologists approach your research topic. When using reference materials make note of any words that are used to describe your topic, these words can serve as keywords when it comes time to search for articles in online journal databases. Also, pay attention to the citations located at the end of topic entries, they can be used as a starting point for locating scholarly research.

Gale Virtual Reference Library

Credo Reference

CQ Researcher

Biographical Dictionary to Social Welfare in America
     Ref HV27 .B57

Encyclopedia of Homelessness
     Ref HV4493 .E53

Encyclopedia of Social Welfare History in North America

Encyclopedia of Sociology
     Ref HM425 .E5 (5 volumes)


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Search Tips

To search the catalogs and databases highlighted in this guide you will need to use Boolean operators (ANDs and ORs), quotation marks, and truncation to pull up books and articles on your topic. Here is a brief overview of how to use Boolean operators and truncation:

  • AND: use AND to link together search topics
    nutrition and poverty and academic achievement
  • OR: use OR to link together synonyms or like concepts
    (state health insurance or universal healthcare or "access to healthcare") AND children
  • *: use truncation to pull up the root of a word with variant endings
    subsidi* will pull up items with the words subsidized or subsidies

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Journal Articles

For your research assignments you will need to use both scholarly and non-scholarly resources to fuel the discussion of your topic. For a refresher on the differences between a scholarly and non-scholarly resource please consult our popular vs. scholarly webpage.  For any assistance in how to use WebBridge please consult our WebBridge video tutorial or our WebBridge webpage.

Search Multiple Databases at Once


EBSCO Databases

To learn how to search multiple EBSCO databases at once please consult our EBSCO Multiple Database Search video tutorial.

Databases for Scholarly Research

Listed below are the core online journal databases for this course. Keep in mind that the library subscribes to a number of subject specific online journal databases, if you are having trouble locating articles you may simply need to use another database. If that is the case, consult the library's Subject Guides, Article Databases page, or contact the Sociology Liaison Librarian who will then guide you toward the appropriate database.


Academic Search Premier

ProQuest Central

Communication and Mass Media Complete

ERIC (Education)


Worldwide Political Science Abstracts

Databases for Popular Magazine and Newspaper Articles

Newspaper and popular magazine articles are extremely important resources to use when examining social welfare and public policy concerns. Newspapers and popular magazines are quick to respond to new social welfare issues, programs, and initiatives on both a national and local scale. These resources will come in especially handy if you are focusing on a recent development, initiative, or program.

In addition to the databases below you will also want to consult the Current Events Research Help page to be directed to more library and Internet current event resources.

LexisNexis Academic

ProQuest Newsstand

Academic Search Premier

Newspaper Source

New Hampshire Index

New York Times  (Historical 1851–2003)

Wall Street Journal


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Geisel Library Catalog
Search the library catalog to locate books in Geisel Library. Most sociology books are located on the Upper Level of the library in the H through HX sections.

If you have searched the Geisel Library Catalog but could not locate a book on your topic try searching WorldCat, a database that allows you to search the collections of libraries throughout the United States. When you locate a title of interest, click on the ILL icon in the book's catalog record to request the item through interlibrary loan. Your book(s) will be available for pickup in the library within 7-14 days. For assistance in using this database please Ask a Librarian.

This library of over 40,000 e-books spans across all scholarly disciplines. Books can either be opened in QuickView for instant viewing or in the ebrary Reader (a downloadable plug-in), which provides enhanced functionality such as the ability to copy/paste, highlight, or take notes in a particular book.
Access restricted to the Saint Anselm College community.

Below is a sampling of titles that are included in ebrary:

American Poverty in a New Era of Reform
Faces of Poverty: Portraits of Women and Children on Welfare
Geography of American Poverty: Is There a Need for Place-Based Policies?
Poverty in America: A Handbook (2nd Edition)
Race, Poverty, and Domestic Policy
Standards-Based Reform and the Poverty Gap: Lessons for No Child Left Behind
Welfare and Work: Experiences in Six Cities
Work over Welfare: The Inside Story of the 1996 Welfare Reform Law


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Web Resources

Web Portals
Use to search for government reports and statistics at the federal, state, or
local level.

Institute for Research on Poverty - Poverty Links
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Internet Crossroads in the Social Sciences
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Search the Internet Crossroads in the Social Sciences by keyword to locate the websites of organizations conducting research on your topic.

Google Scholar
Use Google Scholar to locate scholarly research on your topic. Use the above Google Scholar link to enable WebBridge links in Google Scholar, this will allow you to access the full text of articles through our library resources or to place an interlibrary loan request right from Google Scholar.

Research Report Aggregators

Use the following websites to locate electronically published research written by various think tanks, policy institutions, non-governmental organizations, non-for-profits, and research foundations. All of the websites are searchable by keyword or browsable by subject area or research institution.


Policy Archive
Center for Governmental Studies and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Library

Policy Library

Poverty Research Centers / Foundations

Browse through the websites of the following poverty research centers to locate freely available statistics, working papers, and reports on issues related to poverty.

Center for Poverty Research
University of Kentucky

Economic Mobility Project
Pew Charitable Trusts

Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2008
United States Census Bureau

Institute for Poverty Research
Northwestern University

Institute for Research on Poverty
University of Wisconsin-Madison

National Center for Children in Poverty
Columbia University

National Poverty Center
University of Michigan

Population Reference Bureau

Poverty Scorecard
Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law

State Health Facts
Kaiser Family Foundation

West Coast Poverty Research Center
University of Washington


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Citing Sources

Sociology researchers tend to use the ASA (American Sociology Association) citation format. Always check with your professor for the required citation style.

If you need to consult the ASA Style Guide while in the library stop at the reference desk and ask for call number: Ready Ref HM569 .A54.

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