Resources for Political Science Research
About this guide
This guide provides students with recommended resources for conducting research on topics related to Political Science. Use the tabs above to navigate through the pages of the guide.
Paper Writing Assistance:
Consult these campus resources for help with writing and editing:
About SBCC’s Writing Center
The SBCC Learning Resource Center online writing tools
Need more help?
Online Reference Sources
The library subscribes to many online reference sources, including the following database of general reference books and subject-specific books. When accessing this resource from off campus, you’ll be prompted for your pipeline username and password.
- Credo Reference: Contains the full text of nearly 600 encyclopedias, dictionaries, bilingual dictionaries, and other reference books covering all major subject areas. Thousands of Topics Pages provide articles from different reference sources, arranged by subject.
Print Reference Sources
Reference books are also a good place to begin your research. These resources are available in the Luria Library Reference section. Ask a librarian for additional help finding reference books related to your topic.
- The Oxford Handbook of Political Theory – R 320 D811o 2008
- Encyclopedia of Political Science – R 320.03 K96e 2011
- Encyclopedia of China today – 951.0503 E56e
- Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations – Available electronically within database. Access Online
- Encyclopedia of Politics : The Left and the Right – R 320.03 C283e
- Polling America : An Encyclopedia of Public Opinion – R 303.38 B561p
- The Europa world year book — R 341.184 E89ew
Search the library catalog for books on your topic. The library’s collection includes both print books and online eBooks. Search for books on your topic by keyword.
- Political Science
- Statecraft AND Democracy
- Iraq War AND Terrorism
- Vietnam War OR Second Indochina War
Articles from periodicals (journals, magazines, and newspapers) often provide current information on a topic.
To find articles on your topic, search through the library’s databases listed below.
- Academic Search Premier: A great starting point for research on any topic.
- JSTOR: provides access to the full text of hundreds of scholarly journals from the first volume up until five years ago. Our library subscribes to the Arts and Sciences II and II and Life Sciences collections.
- Country Watch: Contains information about countries, including news and briefings on the latest political, economic, corporate, and environmental events as they occur.
- CQ Researcher Online: An excellent source of pro/con information, containing single-themed reports on issues in the news. Provides in-depth, unbiased coverage of both sides of controversial issues related to health, social trends, criminal justice, international affairs, education, the environment, technology, and the economy. Each 12,000-word report includes: an introductory overview; background and chronology on the topic; an assessment of the current situation; tables and maps; pro/con statements from representatives of opposing positions; and bibliographies of key sources. Offers access to CQ Researcher reports dating back to 1991, and access to CQ Global Researcher articles, which provide in-depth coverage of global affairs from a number of international viewpoints.
- Military & Government Collection: Contains reports, published monthly, covering pressing political, social, environmental, and regional issues from around the globe, written by journalists with years of international experience. Each report includes sections such as “Issue Questions” and “Pro-Con,” along with chronologies of major events, excerpts from primary source materials, visual aides such as maps, charts, and graphs, and a glossary and bibliography
- National Newspapers Expanded: Provides the full text of five of the most read and widely-respected newspapers in the U.S: New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, and Washington Post.
- Religion & Philosophy Collection:
Provides full text articles from more than 300 magazines and journals, covering topics such as world religions, major denominations, biblical studies, religious history, epistemology, political philosophy, philosophy of language, moral philosophy and the history of philosophy.
Figuring out whether the information you find online is credible enough for college research can be challenging. Use the P.R.O.V.E.N. Source Evaluation Questions to help you determine whether the sources you find are credible:
- Purpose: How and why the source was created. Is it intended to educate, inform, persuade, sell, or entertain? Do the authors, publishers, or sponsors state this purpose, or try to disguise it? Why was this information published in this particular type of source (book, article, website, blog, etc.)? Is the source designed for the general public, students, or experts?
- Relevance: The value of the source for your needs. Does the type of source meet your assignment’s requirements? Does the information answer your question, support your argument, or add something to your knowledge of the topic? Is it too general or too specific? Is it too basic or too advanced?
- Objectivity: The reasonableness and completeness of the information. Do the authors present the information thoroughly and professionally? Is it fact or opinion? Is it biased? Do the authors use strong, emotional, manipulative, or offensive language? Do they leave out, or make fun of, important facts or alternative perspectives?
- Verifiability: The accuracy and truthfulness of the information. Do the authors support the information they present with strong factual evidence? Do they cite or provide links to other sources? What do experts say about the topic? Can you verify the information in other credible sources? Does the source contradict itself, include false statements, or misrepresent other sources?
- Expertise: The authority of the creators of the source. What makes the authors, publishers, or sponsors of the source authorities on the topic? Do they have related education, experience, or other expertise? Do they provide an important alternative perspective? Has the source been reviewed in some way, such as by an editor or through peer review?
- Newness: The age of the information. Is your topic in an area that requires current information (such as science, technology, or current events), or could information found in older sources still be useful? When was the information presented in the source first published or posted? Are newer sources available that would add important information to your understanding of the topic?
Below are recommendations for exploring political science topics on the web:
- C-SPAN: C-SPAN is a non-profit public service of the cable television industry that covers the political process. This page covers the gamut of political affairs and offers a large podcast and streaming video collection.
- Understanding 9/11: A Television News Archive
- Occupational Outlook Handbook — Political Scientists: Overview and quick facts about a career in Political Science, from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- American Political Science Association: “The American Political Science Association, founded in 1903, is the leading professional organization for the study of political science and serves more than 15,000 members in over 80 countries.”
- National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration: Find information about schools and careers in public administration, public policy, and public affairs.
How to Cite
Always check with your professor about which citation style is required for your assignments.
Modern Language Association (MLA) citation style is most typically used when writing papers in the liberal arts or humanities. The following resources will help you construct MLA citations:
- The MLA formatting and style guide: broad overview of MLA style from Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab.
- NoodleTools Citation Builder: use this resource to help construct citations.
American Psychological Association (APA) citation style is most typically used when writing papers in the social sciences. The following resources will help you construct APA citations: