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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.

How to Find Political Cartoons

For this assignment, you must start with a political cartoon of your choice. Consider browsing these sources for a political cartoon that interests you.

Your Topic

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 above.

How to Search Issues & Controversies

It's helpful to gain background information about the topic about which you are writing. What is the controversy? What are the arguments on different sides of that controversy? What evidence exists to support each side? An excellent source of introductory information is the database Issues & Controversies. The above video shows you who to search it. There is a link to the database below.

In-Depth Articles from Other Databases

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 9 Documentation

How to Cite Your Sources in MLA

You must cite your sources according to the MLA style of documentation.

This is our video that introduces MLA documentation. I urge you to watch the entire video carefully before starting to write your paper. It is much easier to cite correctly as you go along, rather than try to fix your documentation after you have written your paper.

This is our sample paper. You can model the formatting of your paper after this one. If you are unsure how to set up the formatting in Microsoft Word so that it fits the requirements for MLA formatting, you could instead download this blank Word document that has the formatting already set up for you.

This is our 2-page handout that summarizes the MLA style. It includes most of the types of sources that students commonly use.

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