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Sociology: Search Tips for Qualitative Studies Monographs

The library's sociology research guide contains information on library resources like books, e-books, data sources, scholarly, and peer-reviewed journals.

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Getting Started on Qualitative Research Monographs

How to Assess the Usefuleness of a Monograph

In our busy lives, we often don't have the time to read every book-length study we come across, no matter how interesting, brilliant, or relevant it is. If you are interested in using book-length studies in your research, this guide will provide some useful tips on how to skim and understand whether or not a book will be helpful for your paper, project, or dissertation.

Tip 1 Check the Publisher name
As a novice to an intermediate researcher, you will want to read studies from reputable academic publishers like presses that are affiliated with universities. Scholarly and professional associations like the American Sociological Association also publish high-quality monographs. There are also for-profit academic publishers like Elsevier, Springer, Routledge, Taylor & Francis, Sage, Emerald. Presses have editors curate content and often specialize in a particular research area in addition to ensuring the author is a qualified expert

Tip 2 Read the Table of Contents

The table of contents will give you an idea of how the book is structured and which chapters have titles and introductory paragraphs that are relevant to your topic.

Tip 3 If there is an Index and Reference section look to see if your topic is present and often mentioned in a particular chapter(s).

Tip 4 If the Table of Contents and the Index look promising, read the introduction to the book.

The introduction is usually the first chapter. The intro is a road map to how the chapters are organized, and the logic in the presentation of themes, topics, and research evidence. The introduction will also tell you if the author is working with a particular research method (ethnography for example), and if they are using specific theories to help them analyze the data so that it connects to ideas in their academic discipline(s)

Call Numbers for Sociology

Call Number Range

Subject Area

HM 1-299

general & theoretical

HM 251-291

social psychology

HN 1-981

social history, social problems, social reform,

HN 30-39

the church and social problems

HQ 1-2039

family, marriage, woman

HQ 12-449

sexual life

HQ 450-471


HQ 503-1064

family, marriage, home; including: child study, eugenics, desertion, adultery, divorce, polygamy, the aged, parenting.

HQ 1101-2030.7

women, feminism, women's clubs

HQ 2035-2039

life skills, coping skills, everyday living skills

HS 1-3369

Societies: secret, benevolent, etc. Clubs including freemasons, religious societies, ethnic societies, political societies, boy scouts

HT 51-1595

communities, classes, races

HT 51-65

human settlements

HT 101-395

urban sociology, the city

HT 390-395

regional planning

HT 401-485

rural sociology

HT 601-1445

social classes including middle class, serfdom, slavery

HT 1501-1595

races: here are classed works on the race as a social group and race relations in general

HV 1-9960

social pathology: social and public welfare, criminology

HV 40-696

social service, charities

HV 697-4959

protection, assistance and relief; arranged by special classes of persons, as determined by age, defects, occupation, race, economic status, etc. (e.g., homelessness)

HV 4961-4995


HV 4997-5000

substance abuse

HV 5001-5720.5

alcoholism, intemperance, temperance reform

HV 5725-5770

tobacco habit

HV 5800-5840

drug habits, drug abuse

HV 6001-7220.5


HV 6251-6773.3

crimes and offenses

HV 7231-9960

criminal justice administration

HV 8301-9920.5

penology; including police, prisons, punishment and reform, juvenile delinquency

HX 1-970.7

socialism, communism, anarchism

HX 806-811