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GOVT 2305 -- Dr. Scruggs

The purpose of this research guide is to help students find information for their GOVT 2305 political opinion papers.


What Is Your Research Topic?

You may need to refine your topic from a very broad concern to a narrow one, or possibly reverse. If you're looking at a broad topic, such as gun rights, consider:

  • Who is affected by this issue?
  • What policies have been proposed for this issue?
  • What locations are impacted by this issue?

As a result, you might narrow your topic with results such as:

  • Gun rights and African Americans
  • Open carry laws, gun magazine limit laws, gun purchase waiting periods
  • Gun rights in Texas, gun rights in Harris County

Introductory Articles from Databases

Database Basics

Now that you have keywords, it's time to search the databases. Have you used the databases before? If you don't have recent experience with our library's databases, then I suggest watching this introductory video.

How to Use Opposing Viewpoints

When doing research about government policies, at least in the context of the United States, you're participating in a broad conversation across our republic. It's helpful to see what other thoughtful people have said about the government policy you are advocating or opposing. For that task, I recommend exploring Opposing Viewpoints. Its resources include statistics, news stories, scholarly journal articles, and viewpoint arguments on a wide variety of current issues.

In-Depth Articles from Other Databases

How to Search In Depth

Opposing Viewpoints provide sound introductions to controversial issues, but you should dig deeper. These next three databases will help you do so. 

Searching Additional Databases

Academic Search Complete, the Military & Government Collection, and the Legal Collection are databases with with newspaper, magazine, and scholarly journal articles. They are structured the same way, so this video tutorial will show you how to search all three.

MLA 8 Documentation

Dr. Scruggs provides many MLA 8 citation and formatting resources in her course. Consider also watching this video, which explains how the MLA 8 system works.

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