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SOC 448: Racial Profiling (Professor Ali) [Spring 2021]

Scholarly Journal Articles


How do we know a source we've found is a scholarly journal article? Look for these clues:

  • written by scholars (with affiliations to universities or research institutions)
  • written for other scholars and students (and therefore difficult to read)
  • published in an academic journal with a peer-review process
    • Here are some examples:
      • Critical Sociology
      • Journal of Applied Sociology
      • American Sociological Review
  • structured format (abstract, introduction, etc...)
  • extensive references at the end

Most Useful

Also Useful


Tips Examples
Use keywords, not long search phrases


Instead of searching for "How does food apartheid in the United States reflect systemic inequalities and racism in the food system?" break down your search into the main keywords:

food apartheid, United States, systemic inequalities, racism

To get more focused results:

Use quotation marks (" ") to keep phrases together

Use AND to combine different keywords

"food apartheid" AND "systemic inequalities"

To get broader results:

Use OR to combine similar/associated keywords

Truncate words that have a variety of endings with a *

("food apartheid" OR "food desert") AND racis*


racis* = racism, racist 

Look for ways to limit your search in the database You can often limit by type of article (scholarly and peer-reviewed) & year of publication