Introduction to Sociology I (Superle)

Course Instructor: 

Tamy Superle

Your task

For your paper, you are required to find at least two academic sources using Library resources.  You are to take the position that Canada is not a meritocracy, and to draw upon material that discusses some form of social inequality as related to race, class or gender as discussed in class.

Constructing searches

Before you start searching, consider your search terms.  You have the folliowing

  • meritocracy
  • social inequality
  • race
  • class
  • gender

Tip: Build your search expression slowly, over several searches, using the search results each time to help you to redirect the search depending on the terms that are being used to descriibe your topic.

Focusing the search

You may wish to construct searches using any or all of these terms.  If you are interested in issues of gender, for instance, you will be looking for resources that contain all of the following concepts: gender, Canada and social inequality.  When the concepts must be present in the results, join them using the operator AND.  For instance,

gender AND Canada AND "social inequality"

Tip: Note the use of the double quotation marks which tell the database to search the two words social and inequality together as one phrase.

Broadening the search

To allow for alternative ways of expressing a concept, use the operator OR.  For instance, 

gender OR male OR female

Tip: When constructing an advanced search expression, place round brackets around the words that describe one concept, so that the database can properly evaluate the search.  For instance,

(gender OR male OR female) AND Canada AND "social inequality"

You can also broaden a search by using truncation.  This allows for alternate words which have the same prefix or root.  For instance, Canad* can stand for Canada, Canadian, Canadians.  Therefore the search, as constructed over several iterations, becomes

(gender OR male OR female) AND Canad* AND "social inequality"

Your turn

Try developing your own search with your own topic of interest using this iterative method.  Consider which concepts you want to include, and how they relate to each other (AND, OR).  Consider alternative words that express the concept.  Consider related words using truncation.

Content last updated: January 15, 2018