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SOCL 1246 Environment and Society

Suggested research tools for the social, political, and economic forces behind the global environmental crisis, such as global warming and climate disruption, world resource availability and the global economic crisis, environmental justice

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Getting Started with Research

Sage Research Methods link

with a tutorial on Using Sage Research Methods to do a Literature Review
NOTE: It is normal for your research question to change or evolve as you work on the literature review and find more information about your topic.

Looking for a topic?

Global Issues in Context 

Click on this link in the upper right side of the webpage to see the entire list of issues, such as    

 Agribusiness, Climate Change, Fracking,  Marine Pollution, Overfishing, Recycling, etc.    


EIU (Economist Intelligence Unit) Viewpoint, has curated international/national content. Current themes include:

Screenshot of Current Themes dropdown menu for EIU Viewpoint database


I​A quick read of popular (non-academic) articles can provide some research leads and links to reports, studies, journal articles. The National Geographic article mentioned an engineer who wrote a report on the topic of recycling plastic.

Local online resources may also help describe the impact of China no longer recycling plastics from the West, such as the article, "The Recyling Market is Broken" from The Argonaut, a Southern California newspaper.

Local resources may also provide 

Keep your search simple

  • Search the most obvious, broad term first; see what you get. You can narrow your results from there.
  • Don't complicate your search. 1-2 terms may suffice.
  • If you need to retrieve more information, then expand the number of terms you use

This is when it helps to keep track of your search terms and resources. Here's a sample search table on this research topic


Part of the research process is asking the question "what about . . . .. ?" to narrow down the topic.

A possible approach could be researching zero-waste--read about a zero-waste city Kamikatsu, Japan 

Maybe get a more specifc research question, such as What can be done to reduce the use of plastic? 

click on image below to see video.