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Research Guides

POL 221: World Politics

This guide serves as an introduction to resources that you can use for your World Politics class. Do not hesitate to email Daria Hafner, your Research & Instruction Librarian, if you need help or have suggestions to improve this guide!

How to Start

  • browse for topic ideas
  • get a quick overview from an encyclopedia before going deeper
  • find key further readings in the brief bibliography
  • use articles for finding specialized terminology, important names, and other sources

 

Critically Evaluating Your Sources

Here are some criteria to keep in mind when choosing and using both print and online sources:

  • Accuracy - What is the purpose of the document and why was it produced? Does the author cite their sources and are the sources legitimate?
  • Authority - Who wrote the source? Is the author credible? What are the author's credentials (educational background, past writing, experience) in this area? Have you seen the author's name cited in other sources or bibliographies? Who published the source? Is the publisher scholarly (university press, scholarly associations)? Commercial? Government agency? Is the source self-published (“vanity”press)? For online information, check the domain of the document — what institution publishes this document?
  • Objectivity - Does the author have a bias, political or commercial or persuasive?
  • Currency - Is this information new or based on outdated sources? Can you tell how current it is? How up-to-date are the links (if any)?
  • Audience - Who is the information written for: a specific readership, level of expertise, or age/grade level? Is the audience focus appropriate for a research paper?

 

Unsure about a source? Ask me!

Student Library Research Award

Win up to $750!

These awards were created to reward those students who take the time to develop a thoughtful, methodical, and scholarly approach to the research needed for their papers and projects, as well as to encourage students to develop good research techniques.


Find out more at the
Student Library Research Award site