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POLS 319 Political Parties   Tags: 2016, election, political parties, trump, united states  

Research writing assignment: 10-15 pages, 20+ different sources, including government documents, newspaper resources, scholarly articles, etc.
Last Updated: Sep 1, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
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Find Scholarly Articles

Scholarly Journals vs Popular Magazines 

Example article:

Jacobson, G. C. (2017). The Triumph of polarized partisanship in 2016: Donald Trump's improbable victory. Political Science Quarterly (Wiley-Blackwell), 132(1), 9-41. doi:10.1002/polq.12572

Find News

  • LexisNexis Academic Search - Legacy Interface see Nexis Uni
    Search current american and international newspapers, newswires and press releases, news, magazines, news transcripts.
  • Newspaper Resources_Morris Library

Find Books

Search I-Share @ Morris Library


Can't find it at Morris?

  • I-Share @ Morris Library
    Search and request books from colleges and universities all over Illinois. Your library bar code number is your network ID (siu + dawg tag number).
  • Interlibrary Loan
    Request books that you can't find at Morris Library or through I-Share. Books are delivered to the first floor circulation desk at Morris Library.
  • WorldCat Search
    Worldwide union catalog created and maintained collectively by more than 9,000 member institutions. If you find a resource in WorldCat, check in I-Share to see if you can order it. If not, try Interlibrary Loan.

Find Data/Statistics

  • Gallop Poll
    Gallup delivers analytics and advice to help leaders and organizations solve their most pressing problems. It has more than 80 years of experience, has the polls about the attitudes and behaviors of employees, customers, students and citizens.
  • 2016 Presidential Election (Pew Research Center)
    "Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. We conduct public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis and other data-driven social science research. We do not take policy positions."
  • 2016 Presidential Election (Rooper Center)
    The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research is located at Cornell University, is one of the world’s leading archives of social science data, specializing in data from public opinion surveys. It was founded in 1947, holds data ranging from the 1930s, when survey research was in its infancy, to the present. Its collection now includes over 23,000 datasets and adds hundreds more each year. In total, the archive contains responses from millions of individuals on a vast range of topics. Most of the surveys in the Roper Center were conducted on national samples, but there are also some state and local surveys, as well as a number of surveys of special populations of interest. Since its beginning, the Roper Center has focused on surveys conducted by the news media and commercial polling firms. However, it also holds many academic surveys, including important historical collections from the National Opinion Research Center and Princeton University’s Office of Public Opinion Research.
  • More Resources on Elections/Voting
  • More Resources on Polling
  • Data/Statistics

Government Documents

Government documents can be excellent primary sources for use in history papers and projects. We have created a guide with detailed information about the many different types of government documents available:

Web Resources

  • Election 2016 (Middletown Thrall Library Special Coverage)
    News & Information about the U.S. Presidential Election,
    Voting, Voters, and Other Related Topics
  • GOP Groups - Republican National Committee
  • United States Elections Project
    The United States Elections Project is an information source for the United States electoral system. The mission of the project is to provide timely and accurate election statistics, electoral laws, research reports, and other useful information regarding the United States electoral system. By providing this information, the project seeks to inform the people of the United States on how their electoral system works, how it may be improved, and how they can participate in it.

Evaluating Web Sites

Know your APC’s: Authority, Purpose, and Currency

Almost any kind of document can be found on the Web. Web sites can be official government documents, opinionated blogs, specialized academic research, advertisements, newspapers, parodies, and political lobbying sites, to name just a few. It is important to realize that not all information on the Web has the same degree of reliability. When evaluating Web sites, it is important to know your APC’s:


  • Who is the author?
  • What are the author’s credentials?
  • Is the author affiliated with a larger institution?
  • Is the contact information provided to either mail or email the creator for further information?

Knowing who the author is can establish how much expertise the author has on the topic and what biases the author might have. Information on authority often can be found in the “About” or “Contact” section of a Web site.


  • Why was this site created?
  • For whom is this site intended?
  • Is the author trying to sell a product or service?
  • Is the author affiliated with an organization interested in promoting its own ideas?
  • Does the site link to other authoritative sites on the same topic?

Sometimes a site will indicate its point of view in the “About” section. Other times, a site will have bias or errors that are harder to spot. Considering the tone of the site, comparing the site to information in other sources, and considering what sort of site it is are some ways to check.


  • When was the site created?
  • When was the last time the site was updated?
  • Are the links to other sites still active?

Tip: Dead links are a sign that the Web site is not updated regularly. This should lead you to question the currency of the other information on the site.

For many topics, old information can be out-of-date and no longer accurate. Information about currency is often found by scrolling to the bottom of the home page. It may contain a date created, date last updated, or a copyright date.


Search Strategies

Here are some tips if you found too much information, too little information, or the wrong information in your search.

Too Much Information

1.  Try looking at an irrelevant record your search retrieved

  Can you figure out why the database gave it to you? Did you use one word that the computer misunderstood? See if you can use a more specific term or maybe a short phrase that excludes the meaning you don't want. Try adding a new term which makes your old term more specific.

  Instead of  Japan and economy

  Try  Japan and economy and (auto or automobile or car)

2.  Check where in the record your search terms matched.

  The best matches for topics are in fields like Subject or Title. Look for an Advanced or Expert Search option in the database to search in specific fields only, if you can.

3.  Use limiters when they're available.

  Will the database let you ask for publications only in English? Can you ask for only peer reviewed journal articles? Want more recent information? Is there a subject heading that covers your topic? Can you get rid of book and film reviews? Play around with your options and see if they help. Try using the Boolean operator NOT.

  (Iran and Iraq) not war

  Hussein and not Saddam

  Clinton not Lewinsky

  +Jazz –Utah


Too Little Information

1. Did you spell your search terms correctly?

  Research databases are remarkable tools, but they don't come equipped with spell checkers. One misspelled word can sink an entire search. Check a dictionary.

2. Get rid of long phrases.

  When you type in a phrase, all the words must appear in exactly that order before the database will give you anything. Some databases automatically put the Boolean operator AND between the words you type, turning your phrase into a long Boolean search string.

  Instead of  discrimination against ethnic Chinese in Vietnam

  Try  discrimination and ethnic Chinese and Vietnam

3.  Try using alternative terms.

  That's what you gathered all the extra vocabulary for. Don't forget truncation or wildcards for variant forms of a word. Read help document in a database for more specific instruction.

4.  Try to come up with broader terms for the idea you need.

  Every so often, it happens that there's very little written on a specific topic, but a lot on the general area.

  Very narrow recombinant DNA and sheep

  Narrow  cloning and animals

  Broader  genetic engineering and animal*

  Very broad  genetic* and animal*


The Wrong Information

1. Check the coverage of the databases you're using.

  Do they cover the kinds of material you need? The right discipline(s)? The right kinds of documents? The right dates?


2. Check the Research Guide for your subject


  Linked under Find > OneSearch Beta > Databases by Subject on the Library's homepage, for recommended resources.


APA Citation


APA Citation Quick Guide

Citation Practice

Use different resources we talked about today in the class, find 3 reliable information sources on your assignment topics, consult the APA references taught in the class and cite your 3 sources correctly in APA format:

- Use OneSearch to find a peer reviewed journal article

- Select an official resource to find a government document

- Use LexisNexis Academic to find a newspaper article

- Email it to yourself. 


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