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SOC 268 Assignment Playbook

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Project 1: Social Problems

For this assignment, you will

  • write a 3-5 page paper (the page count excludes the References page)
  • select a social problem of your choosing
  • discuss how it is framed in a newspaper of your choosing
  • select at least 10 newspaper articles
  • assess the following elements, if present: grounds (identification of the problem), warrants (why should we care?), and conclusions (what needs to be done)

Finding News Articles: Factiva

Factiva is a powerful database that offers full text access to magazines, journals, leading local, national and international newspapers, and news wires.

Searching Factiva can be tricky -- ask the librarians for help with this database if you are having trouble with your searches.

How to search:

Click the Factiva link

Enter your search terms -- note that Factiva requires Boolean.  For a simple Boolean search, use AND between terms. To keep terms together, use quotation marks.  Example: "gender neutral" AND bathrooms

Boolean search example


Now select a newspaper by clicking the plus sign next to "Group: major news sources"


red arrow pointing to plus sign selection example


Select the newspaper you want to search by clicking on its name.


newspaper search results list


Scroll back up and click the Search button.  Now all your results will be from the one newspaper.


search results from New York Times


Finding News Articles: Newspaper Source Plus

  • You can also find news articles using  the Newspaper Source Plus database, which is provided by EBSCO.
  • To search this database, enter your term in the first search box, and the name of the newspaper in the second search box.


search box example


Finding News Articles: Newspapers on the Web

To find news using newspapers sites on the Web:

  • Navigate to the site
  • Find the search box
  • Type in your terms
  • Select your sources

Note that many newspapers limit the number of articles you can read for free.

Here's a list of selected newspaper sites:

NOTE: Many newspapers now limit the number of articles you can read for free, so you may not be able to find all the necessary articles by going to the newspapers' websites.

Citing Sources

The most appropriate citation style for sociology is the ASA style, from the American Sociological Association.  Your instructor may permit other citation styles, such as MLA or APA.