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POLS 311: Order and Institutions in American Politics (HC): Background Information

Political Science 311: Order and Institutions in American Politics (Wooten) Fall 2013

Literature Reviews

Literature reviews are a particularly useful kind of journal article when doing research. They address the issues involved in a particular question and the debates among scholars. They map out the intellectual terrain succinctly for a topic and give you the major landmarks in terms of key authors and significant titles for greater understanding. 

Oxford Bibliographies


Doctoral students go through an exhaustive literature search when writing their dissertations. They also tend to work on new questions, sometimes ones that have received very little attention from scholars before.  Check Dissertations & Theses to identify dissertations on your topic and benefit from all the bibliographic treasues and new ideas.

Many of the titles listed in Dissertations & Theses will include a link to the full text PDF.  If you want one that does not have the PDF link, request it through the FindIt button.

Gathering Background Information about the U.S.

The following sources summarize political and legislative activities and provide a good overview of the national policy debate on issues including education, poverty, health care, and other policy issues.  They provide an excellent resource for quickly identifying relevant legislation, key players, terminology, and points of view.  To find how to obtain the related congressional reports, hearings, laws and other materials, see the tab for Congressional Materials.

Conference Papers

Subject Guide

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Margaret Schaus

Resources on Issues