Skip to main content

POLS 024/105: Constitutional Law (SC)

Nackenoff (Spring 2015)

Evaluating potential sources

Even if you find a book listed in Tripod or an article in a scholarly database, evaluate the source. Is it published by a scholarly press? What is the author's discipline (e.g. historian, political scientist)?

Overviews and Reference

Tripod Tips for Constitutional Law Research

Browsing books by subject heading
These subject heading links will bring up a list of books (and other sources) in Tripod that have been categorized under the heading. You may find subject headings useful for browsing books, getting ideas, and encountering concepts you wouldn't have necessarily thought to search for.

Researching the law and politics
You can also use subject headings to aid your research on the intersections of law and politics. In the Library of Congress Classifcation system, the subheading "Law and legislation" is used to classify some works that discuss the legal aspects of a topic. Try adding this phrase to your search in Tripod. Enclose it in double quotes ("like this") to search for the exact phrase.
For example:

Researching the law and politics: a caveat
There are many books in Tripod that discuss the law and politics but have not been assigned the subject heading "law and legislation."

Finding scholarly sources (not government documents)
The easiest way to filter out government documents is to sort your Tripod search results list by call number. This will bring non-government documents (including scholarly books) up to the top of your search results. You'll still need to assess whether the books you find are scholarly.

Finding sources at the state level and the federal level
Particularly if you're interested in state-level politics and the law, keep in mind that books in Tripod are geographically classified under either "United States" or a specific state (or multiple states, if specific states are discussed).

For example:

Recommended Books