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Research Guides

POM ID 1 - Running For Office - Professor Amanda Hollis-Brusky - FA 2017

Explaining Keywords with HeadsUp

Your Assignment

Welcome! This guide is designed specifically to support you in doing background research for your PO ID 1 class.

The assignment in this course that involves library research is –

3. Synthetic analysis including outside sources & research (10 pages)

Draft due: Sunday, November 12th / Final due: Sunday, November 26th

This library session is to introduce you to library resources in general, as well as more specifically for your research paper.

Use the menu to the left to find a list of recommended places to start your research and tips and tricks to access and choose your sources. 

Examples of sources you might use include:

Background sources for information on theories;

Books and scholarly articles for secondary sources and empirical articles;

Primary sources (first-hand accounts, data, etc.) for additional information.

See the menu on your left for additional guidance on finding these sources.

Defining Your Information Need

What is your topic for this paper? Consider this chart prior to searching for information. Pair with another student and share.


Finding Scholarly, Peer Reviewed Articles

When you want to find articles about topics in your area of interest, use the databases for that subject. Lots of things we'll own online, but for the things we do not own online, make sure to place a request for that item through Resource Sharing (ILL).

NOTE: If you already have a citation to an article, search Library Search or the Electronic Journal List instead of a database. Search for the journal title, and if we have the journal, see if we have the date, then (if the article is available online) drill down to to the article level.

Below are just some of our databases. If you are researching a subject which doesn't have a database listed here, check our complete databases list and subject list of databases.


The library’s online catalog (Library Search) does NOT contain all individual articles within periodicals or journals. If you want to find articles on a particular topic or by a particular author, you should use an indexed database. An index is a collection of article citations organized by subject matter. Indexes are compiled by human indexers, who actually read or review each article and then select the subjects covered by the article from a list of established subject descriptors. That is, they use a “controlled vocabulary” in much the same way that the online catalog (Library Search) uses the Library of Congress subject headings for indexing the subjects of books. In fact, if you find a relevant subject heading in Library Search, you can often use it in an indexed database, and vice versa.

Examples of indexed databases include: Academic Search Premier (or any EBSCO database) and Ethnic NewsWatch (or any ProQuest database).


Kind-of like searching Google, full-text databases can be tricky to search and you can end up with thousands of results, many of which aren't relevant to your topic. Since they usually aren't indexed (like the Indexed Databases above), they don't have a common language. This means you need to think about synonyms for your search terms. For example, if you are searching for "Children," and not finding relevant information, try related terms such as "juvenile," "adolescent," etc...

Examples of full-text databases include: JSTOR.

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Mary Martin