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PLS 2000 - Dr. Green Fall 2018: Introduction/Overview of the Problem

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Point/Counterpoint sources

These resources provide overview to current topics of social and political interest. Pay careful attention to whether the information you're using is part of factual overview or the persuasive argument. 

Subject Specific Encyclopedias

Subject-specific encyclopedias are often a great way to understand the scope and significance of an issue. These are written by experts for those who are new to a topic. They provide authoritative, academic treatments of subjects in an accessible way. Search these collections for introductions to and overviews of the issue.

  • For these databases of encyclopedia entries, keep your search terms fairly broad. 

  • Look at article titles, but also at the encyclopedia it appears in to get a sense of what the coverage will focus on.

  • Do pay particular attention to the publication date. Political issues change quickly and you don't want to use information that's out of date. 


QuickSearch, the default search on the library's home page has access to a huge amount of information. It will be especially important to use the tools in the left column to limit your results. For more information on searching with QuickSearch, use the "How do I search the catalog and other resources" link in the left column, or try the Stop Searching and Start Finding workshop in Pilot.

Finding statistics

Finding statistics that are accurate and authoritative can be challenging. The US government has a great deal of statistical data. I recommend starting your search for your topic in Google, adding the term "statistics" and limiting your results to government websites. In the search below, simply add the issue you're investigating. 

Google Web Search

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