Resources for Political Science Research

Map of 2008 United States Presidential Election Results from the collections at the Library of Congress

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?

Have a question? Stop by the Reference Desk, or contact a librarian by phone, text, or chat for more help.Contact Us

Online Reference Sources

The library subscribes to some 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 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.

  • Encyclopedia of Political Science – R 320.03 K96e 2011
  • Encyclopedia of China today – 951.0503 E56e
  • Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations – Available as an eBook. 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.

Suggested Keywords:

  • 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.

Library Databases:

  • 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.
  • 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.


Finding good websites for college research can be difficult and time-consuming. Use the C.A.R.S. system to evaluate any websites you find:

  • Credibility: Is an author listed? What are the author’s credentials? Is there evidence of positive peer evaluation?
  • Accuracy: Is the date of the site current? Is the information complete and not too vague? Does the author acknowledge all views?
  • Reasonableness: Is the author fair and objective? Is the author concerned with the truth?
  • Support: Does the author provide support for the information? Are the sources listed?

Below are recommendations for exploring political science topics on the web:

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:


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: