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Topic/Course Guides


This guide was created to support the course HW0221 – Essay Writing : Crafting an Argument.

This guide was created to support the course HW0201 – Research Writing for Social Sciences.

This guide is based on the Publication Manual of the American Sociological Association. It provides some commonly used citation examples to help you apply in your assignments.

The Budget is a technical document which can be difficult to interpret. This guide is created to introduce the reader to the various sections of the Budget document such as Budget Statement, Budget Highlights, and so on.

A guide on various sources to get Singapore’s crime statistics, an important social indicator that can shed light on subtle shifts in society.

Sociology undergraduates often consult Singapore Statistics when writing advanced undergraduate papers. This guide has been compiled for this reason, to guide undergraduates on locating and identifying statistical information.

Slides of the Library Session for HS1001 held at LT26 on 5 Sep 2016.


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Selected Resources


Information in Sociology is often published in books and journals. As a general rule of thumb, journal articles tend to be more quantitative in nature, involving figures and statistical analysis. Books and book chapters tend to be more qualitative in nature. In general, a book will provide a fuller coverage and analysis of an issue, simply as there is more space to analyse and expand on the issue discussed. However, journal articles will often contain new research and findings. It is therefore advisable to refer to both journal articles and books when writing papers.

The book collection in the Library is arranged in systematic order based on the Library of Congress Classification system. This A-Z classification system organizes books by subject and brings together books on the same or similar subjects. The following are the Sociology related subclasses of the Library of Congress Classification for “H” Social Sciences:

Subject Area Subclass
Social Sciences (General) H
Statistics HA
Economic Theory. Demography HB
Sociology (General) HM
Social History and Conditions. Social Problems. Social Reform HN
The Family. Marriage. Women HQ
Societies: Secret, Benevolent, Etc. HS
Communities. Classes. Races HT
Social Pathology. Social and Public Welfare. Criminology HV
Socialism. Communism. Anarchism HX

Looking for books?

You can either BROWSE the book collection in the Library or SEARCH the Library Catalogue for list of relevant books.

Browsing the Collection

The main Sociology book collection is located in the Humanities and Social Sciences Library. However, there are also some titles in the Business Library at the North Spine. Most titles related to Sociology are classified by call numbers beginning with the letter H. Note however that Sociology is such a wide discipline that relevant books may be found in other areas of the collection. For example, works on religion can be found under B, while works on Political Science can be found under J.

Below is a short list on relevant subject areas in Sociology with corresponding call number range.

Subject Area Call Number Range
Aging and the Elderly HQ1061 – HQ1064
Crime and Deviance HM811; HV6025
Culture HM621 – HM656
Demography and Population HB849; HB871
Economic Sociology HM548
Educational Sociology LC94; LC191
Gender and Sexuality HQ21; HQ1075 – HQ1075.5
Globalization JZ1318
Marriage and the Family HQ536; HQ675; HQ734
Organizational Sociology HM786 – HM806
Race and Ethnicity GN495.4 – GN496; HT1521 – HT1523
Religion and Sociology BL60; BL65
Singapore – Social Conditions HN700.67
Social Identity HM753
Social Medicine RA418
Social Movements HM881
Social Stratification and Inequality HM821
Sociological Research Methods HM511 – HM538; HM571
Sociology of Sports GV706.5
Women and Feminism HQ1111; HQ1121 – HQ1150

Searching for Books

Besides browsing the collection in Humanities and Social Sciences Library, you can find books by searching the Library Catalogue. If you know the title of the book that you need, you can enter the words or phrases of the title, and limit the search by Title. If you want to find a list of books by a particular author, you can limit the search by Author. If you perform a keyword search, you can add phrases like “social aspects”, “sociological aspects” or “sociology of” to search for books on Sociology. You can also use appropriate subject headings to find a list of books on specific topic.


Subject headings are a set of terms or phrases (controlled vocabulary) that describe the key topics of the books. Library of Congress Subject Headings are used for subject search in the Library Catalogue.

Selected Book Lists

Below are book lists based on some subject headings relating to Sociology that you may be interested in.

  1. Communities
  2. Criminology
  3. Deviant behavior
  4. Ethnic relations
  5. Ethnicity
  6. Gender identity
  7. Group identity
  8. Organizational sociology
  9. Political sociology
  10. Social change
  11. Social classes
  12. Social conflict
  13. Sociology
  14. Sociology Research
  15. Subculture

Need tips for better searching?

Please refer to these catalogue tips to improve your search results.

Library doesn’t have the book you need?

Recommend it to us!


Electronic books (e-books) are the digital version of print books, designed to be read on a personal computer with internet connection or on an e-book reader. Unfortunately, the e-books subscribed to by NTU are currently not available for viewing on e-book readers.

Browsing the collection

Unlike Engineering, the NTU Library does not subscribe to a large number of e-books for Sociology. However, you can search for and access individual e-books titles using the Library catalogue. See this step-by-step instruction guide for finding e-books. Below is a selection of Sociology e-book titles:

  1. Handbook of Social movements across disciplines
  2. Sociology of Loyalty
  3. Sexualities and identities of minority women
  4. Group effect: Social cohesion and health outcomes
  5. Sociological practice: Intervention and social change
  6. Economic Sociodynamics
  7. Handbook of the Sociology of Education
  8. Handbook of the Sociology of Gender


Searching for books

Looking for a specific e-book title?You can look for specific e-book titles at the Library Catalogue. Follow the instructions at the E-books Page.

Reference Works

Reference works refers to materials which are not intended to be read from cover to cover. In the Library, Reference works are also generally not available for loan. Some examples include dictionaries, encyclopedias and handbooks.

Directories are very useful in locating people, products, companies, statistics and specifications while encyclopedias, dictionaries provide both general and specific descriptions of events and terminology. Below is a description of some commonly used reference materials available in the Library.


A Sociology dictionary is not like a normal English dictionary. Instead, it defines and explains technical terms seen in Sociology. A Sociology dictionary is therefore more of a specialist dictionary. Some Sociology dictionaries are available in the form of electronic books (e-book) to facilitate their usage. However, both the print and electronic forms exist, for your convenience.

  1. The Cambridge dictionary of Sociology
    HSS Library
  2. The SAGE dictionary of Sociology
    HSS Library
  3. The Blackwell dictionary of Sociology
    HSS Library
  4. A dictionary of Sociology [e-book]



  1. The Oxford handbook of Sociology and organization studies: classical foundations
    HSS Library
  2. Handbook of Public Sociology
    HSS Library
  3. Handbook of Historical Sociology
    HSS Library

Databases are online resources which enable you to search across different journal titles simultaneously. In addition, databases have the unique advantage of allowing you to search by the journal article (instead of the journal title). It is therefore recommended for students to use databases.

Core databases

  1. Sociological Abstracts (via ProQuest)
    Abstracts and indexes the international literature in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioural sciences. View its Database information page.
  2. Social Services Abstracts (via ProQuest)
    Provides bibliographic coverage of current research focused on social work, human services, and related areas, including social welfare, social policy, and community development. View its Database information page.
  3. Social Sciences Citation Index (via Web of Knowledge – Web of Science)
    This citation database covers 2,697 journals across 55 social sciences disciplines. View its Database information page.
  4. AnthroSource
    This is an online service of American Anthropological Association that offers access to more than a century of full-text anthropological resources across the breadth and depth of the discipline. View its Database information page.
  5. Bibliography of Asian Studies
    Contains nearly 900,000 citations of Western-language journal articles, monographs, chapters in edited volumes, conference proceedings, anthologies and Festschriften, pertaining to all parts of Asia published worldwide since 1971. View its Database information page.

Other useful databases

  1. JSTOR
    JSTOR is one of the strongly recommended databases to browse, due to the very wide coverage of subjects that it covers. In addition, JSTOR has excellent retrospective access to journal articles, in some cases going back to the 1800s. Another unique feature is that it also displays any images, graphs and charts that were originally present in the article. This is unlike many other databases which solely preserve the text of the article. JSTOR thus has a very large repository of articles for students to browse and refer to.In addition, all the articles found on JSTOR are available as full text, which means that they can be downloaded and printed on the spot. JSTOR is thus an excellent source to begin your research with. The only main disadvantage is that it generally does not have access to the most recent articles published. Generally, this “moving wall” has a span of five years. View its Database information page.
  2. EBSCOhost
    Like JSTOR, EBSCOhost is also a huge database with a very large selection of articles. Unlike JSTOR, EBSCO may have access to more recent journal articles. However, full text linking may not be available for all articles listed on EBSCO. If this is the case, you can try copying the journal title and searching in the Electronic Journals A-Z list to check if we have access to the journal article from other sources. EBSCOhost also has access to magazine articles such as the Economist and Newsweek. However, these articles will not have any of the original images attached. View its Database information page.
  3. Factiva
    Factiva is unlike EBSCO and JSTOR in that it archives newspaper articles instead of journal articles. This means you can use Factiva to research for articles published, for example, in the Straits Times. This is useful for students attempting to analyze a society for topics covered by the media. This can be useful as it also contains a snapshot of issues which a society is interested in. A point to note is that articles archived in Factiva often do not contain any images, graphs or pictures. Only the text is reproduced. Therefore, it may still be necessary to refer to the actual newspaper articles (if they are elsewhere). View its Database information page.

Journals are an important means for communicating new research in Sociology. However, journal articles tend to be more technical in nature and may not be suitable for freshmen, due to their comparative difficulty. However, it will often prove useful to browse journals for useful articles to support higher level term papers.

Journal Ranking

Sociology is a very wide discipline and it can be difficult to decide which journal to refer to. A list of the top 10 Sociology journals according to Journal Citation Reports 2011 is available. I have also prepared a couple of guide documents on two of the more important journals in Sociology, namely the American Sociological Review and the Annual review of Sociology. Read the documents to find out more about these two important journals.

American Sociological Review

Download PDF.

Annual Review of Sociology

Download PDF.

There are a few methods to locate journal articles at the library:

  • NTU Library Subscribed E-journals A-to-Z list
    If you have a specific journal in mind, always try to find the electronic copy in the NTU Library Subscribed E-journals A-to-Z list first. There are four ways to search the A-to-Z list:
  1. Search for titles subscribed by the library. It is generally suggested to search by the Title Name.
  2. Browse the index of e-journal providers (if you are familiar with the journal publishers)
  3. Browse by subjects
  4. Browse a list of free e-journals

The search result will present the databases that the journal can be found in and the period covered. Click on the database title to proceed.


The image above shows a search result for the ‘American Sociological Review’. Note the different coverage offered by different providers: JSTOR allows access to issues from 1936-2007. Important note: An embargo of one year means that the last one year of journal articles will not be available for viewing. Therefore, at July 2010 you will only be able to access articles up to July 2009. However, this does not mean that NTU has no access to the most current issues. The most current issues can be accessed in the print format, as described below.

  • Print Journals
    We also have some journals in print format. Currently, print journals are located at the HSS Library, on the right of the HSS Library entrance. The NTU Library still retains print copies for the most important Sociology journals. Therefore, it is important to know where to locate them. If you have a specific title in mind, find the call number and location via the library catalogue. Search using the journal title and selecting to search by ‘Journal Title’ from the drop down menu. Important Note: Articles titles are not searchable in the library catalogue. You can only search for the journal titles. If you want to search via the article title, use the databases instead.



AV refers to the Audiovisual collection. In general most of the Audio Visual collection is located at Level B2 in the Business Library. Most of the AV titles are not stored at the HSS Library, as the Library lacks the equipment for students to view the materials. Staff and Masters/PhD students can borrow the titles home while undergraduate students can approach the service desk to borrow a title and view it within the library.

AV and Sociology

Note that many Sociology courses require students to view AV titles as part of their assessment. These AV titles may be placed at the HSS RBR for lecturers’ use. Such AV titles may not be available for loan as the lecturers may need to use the material for class screenings.

Certain AV titles are also flagged as restricted materials. Such materials have been flagged as objectionable by the Media Development Authority (MDA), not by the Library. Due to MDA regulations, only students who are enrolled in the course which requires the viewing of the restricted AV will be allowed to view the titles.

Locating AV titles

One method of locating AV titles is to search for the title you need AND the search term “videorecording”. For example, the search for the AV title ‘Sepet’.
The screen capture below shows one method of searchng for an AV title. ‘Sepet’ is the title of the videorecording. You could replace ‘Sepet’ with ‘Star Wars’, if you are looking for the movie ‘Star Wars’. As an aside, the Library does have movies and cartoons such as ‘Batman’ and ‘Star Wars’.

Another method of locating AV titles is detailed in this instruction guide.

Web Resources

Listed below are some selected resources pertaining to Sociology. Note that you should only use the data from reliable Web resources. As a rule of thumb, any information published by official agencies such as government ministries is regarded as reliable. Information published by NGOs such as Doctors Without Borders is also generally considered to be reliable.

In contrast information published on Wikipedia is generally NOT considered reliable. This is because the authorship of the article is often not known.


Official statistics on Singapore can be located from a number of government websites. Below is a selection:

  1. Singapore Statistics
    This website contains official statistical publications. Prominent statistical series available here include the General Household Survey, the Population Census and the Household Expenditure Survey. Access these publications by hovering over the Publications tab near the top of the Singapore statistics page.
  2. Singapore Crime Statistics
    Statistics on crime in Singapore can be accessed via the Singapore Police Force website. SPF has published these data since 2005. There is also a short introduction on the updated crime situation per year and identified special areas of concern.
  3. Singapore Social Statistics
    The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) also publishes statistics and research articles on Singapore society. These include the biennial State of the Family report and the Demographic Characteristics of the Singapore population. The publications of MFS, may also be of special interest to students.
  4. Singapore Budget Statistics
    The Ministry of Finance archives the annual Budget statements from 1996 to the present. Access the Budget archives directly. Budget statements are useful for analysis as it can shed light on the concerns of Singapore society at that particular point of time. For example, additional funds set aside to subsidies employee training may suggest a tighter labour market at that time.
  5. Singapore Manpower Statistics
    View the statistics pertaining to employment, unemployment and wages published by the Ministry of Manpower. For example, you could refer to the Earnings and Wage Statistics to find out whether the average monthly incomes have been rising or falling in any particular year. These statistics will be useful for any individual seeking to understand more of Singapore society at any point in time.

More Ministry Websites

There are many other ministry websites which publish more statistical information. You can also browse through a list of these websites, as well as gain a snapshot of the important individuals in each ministry. For a general idea of which ministry website to visit for official statistics, do consult this table for more information.

Sociology Organizations

  1. American Sociological Association (ASA)
  2. British Sociological Association (BSA)
  3. International Sociological Association (ISA)

What are the reserves?

Reserves are also known as RBR titles or Red-spot books. These consist of titles recommended for your course modules by your lecturers.


Browsing the Reserves collection

All RBR titles for Sociology are located in the Reserves section in the HSS Library. They are marked with a red dot on the spine. All RBR titles can only be loaned for two hours. Do return them on time as overdue fines are set at S$0.50 per hour.


Searching for Reserves

In general, the course outline for each course will provide details on the required RBR readings. However, you can also retrieve Reserves titles via their Course Codes from the Library Catalogue.

  1. Go to the Library Catalogue and click on the Reserves tab
  2. Enter the course code in the search box
  3. Click on Lookup Items on Reserves by Course Number

Please refer to the image below:


Student Works

You can access the historical Graduation Projects of Sociology students in our Digital Repository (DR-NTU Restricted Access). Please note that the Graduation projects are stored in the ‘Restricted Access’ and not in the ‘Open Access’. Do log in using NTU network user name and password to view the full text.

One of the important points to establish when writing your Graduation Project proposal is the uniqueness of your project. That is to say, you should not be writing on the exact same topic that has been covered by one of your seniors. Students are therefore strongly recommended to browse through the search the Digital Repository to ensure that their topic has not been already written on.

View the Collection Page for the HSS Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI). Enter your search terms and click ‘Go’. Or browse by ‘author’, ‘title’, ‘subject’ and ‘date’. A screen capture of the search interface is attached below:


Staff Publications

The publications of NTU faculty consisting of journal articles and conference papers are available in the Digital Repository (DR-NTU Open Access). This collection is searchable in Google.

Note however that the publications of the Sociology faculty are not restricted to journal articles alone. Some of the Sociology professors have also written and published books which can be found in the print collection at the HSS Library. To locate these titles, search for the respective professor’s name in the Library Catalogue.

The Library also has a collection of working papers published by the department of Sociology from the National University of Singapore. You can browse the working papers by searching the Library Catalogue for this call number: HM15.W926

A screen capture of some of the working papers


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