Blackwell Library

 

Holloway Hall

POSC480 Class Guide

  

Getting help:

Hi, I'm Krista Knapp, your friendly reference/instructional librarian, and I'm here to help you!
You can email me at
kmknapp@salisbury.edu or kristaknapp@gmail.com Trust me, you WANT to be friends with a librarian.  Not only are we extraordinarily cool, but we're here to help you with your research, and we actually enjoy doing it, as sick and twisted as that sounds!  Visit my website for more information about me: http://faculty.salisbury.edu/~kmknapp/

When I'm not teaching classes or rushing off to meetings, you can find me in my office in Blackwell Library 129 or at the research services desk.  My hours on the desk are Mondays 10am-12pm, Tuesdays 6pm-10pm, Wednesdays 12pm-2pm, Thursdays 10am-12pm, and Fridays 8am-10am.  Stop by and say hi!  You can also drop me an email to set up an appointment with me.  We can meet in my office and go over your research.


Background information:

Reference sources are a good place to start your research.  What is a reference source?  A reference source is something you consult for a specific piece of information, not something you read from cover-to-cover.  Reference sources include encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, thesauri, atlases, almanacs, directories, etc.  Blackwell Library's reference collection is located on the main floor.  Consult the Library of Congress Classification outline to see the call number area for your topic.

Why can't I just use Wikipedia, you ask? Well, anybody and their brother can get on Wikipedia and write whatever they want, for starters!  Plus, there are tons of more reliable, authoritative sources out there for you to use.  And, I just can't resist sharing my favorite Colbert Report clip about the downfalls of Wikipedia.  View it here (and please ignore the brief commercial at the beginning!):

http://www.comedycentral.com/motherload/index.jhtml?ml_video=72347


Finding books:

Find books in Blackwell Library using our online library catalog.  Books in our library are arranged using Library of Congress Classification.  The books you can check out are located on the second floor of the library.  If you ever have trouble finding a book you want, PLEASE ask for help at the Research Desk!

You can also borrow books from any of the USMAI affiliations by selecting the "choose campus" link at the top of the catalog page and then selecting "USMAI All Campuses."  When you find a book you want that is not in Blackwell, click the "request" button and use your ID number to login.  You can have the book delivered to Blackwell within 3 or 4 days.

How can you borrow a book that is not in a USMAI library?  Go to WorldCat, which is a ginormous catalog shared by libraries all over the world.  Search the catalog, and then when you find a book you want that is not owned by a USMAI library, use the Find It button to link to ILLiad.  Login to your ILLiad account and submit the request.  Don't request something via ILLiad that you can borrow directly from Blackwell or another USMAI library!


Finding articles:

Ask yourself if you need scholarly sources or popular sources for your assignment.  Many times, your professor will insist on scholarly sources.  What does that mean?  Find out using this handy-dandy chart from Duke Libraries.

Here are some databases that may be useful for topics in Political Science:

  • Academic Search Complete - a multidisciplinary database containing both scholarly and popular sources, many of which have full-text available.  ASP is a good place to start your research.  Use the FindIt button to locate articles that are not available full-text.
  • Lexis-Nexis Academic - a great source for full-text world news and legal information.
  • National Newspapers - a source of U.S. news from major papers including The New York Times and The Washington Post. 
  • JSTOR Arts & Sciences - a huge, wonderful database of scholarly communication from a wide variety of disciplines, including Political Science.  All of these sources are full-text, but the newest documents are 3-5 years old.
  • CQ Weekly - Congressional Quarterly's magazine on government, commerce and politics.
  • CIAO (Columbia International Affairs Online) - full-text access to journal articles, working papers and case studies in International Affairs from Columbia University Press.
  • EconLit - EBSCO database with economics-related articles, would be useful for gathering information about China's economy or economic relations between China and the U.S.
  • Social Sciences Abstracts - covers all the social sciences.  It's an EBSCO database, same as Academic Search Complete, so the interface will look familiar.  There are some full-text articles; for others, use the FindIt button.

  WHAT DOES THAT CUTE LITTLE FIND IT BUTTON DO, ANYWAY?

It's a bit like magic, really.  The Find It button does three things:

  • Looks in all of our databases to see if the document you want is available full-text in another of our databases.  If so, it links you to it!

  • Links you to the library catalog when we have the item you want in print or microform.

  • Links you to ILLiad (interlibrary loan) so you can borrow the item from another library if we don't have access electronically or in print.

The Find It button is YOUR FRIEND!!!


Citing your work:

Of course you want to make sure you give proper credit to any source that you use to write your papers, whether you directly quote or paraphrase.  This guide helps students understand what plagiarism is and how to avoid it: http://www.salisbury.edu/library/plagiarism/student.html

You are required to use Chicago style to cite your work in this course.  Here is a short guide to Chicago/Turabian style: http://www.salisbury.edu/library/citation/index.html#turabian

More citation help can be found here:
Citation Machine

Chicago Style from Colorado State

Or check at the reference desk!  Librarians answer citation questions all the time!


Evaluating Websites:

Always make sure that internet resources are appropriate for your project.  Look at the criteria listed on this website:  http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/Evaluate.html
If you have questions about the appropriateness of a website, please check with your professor or a librarian.


Subject Guide Home | Library Home

The librarian liaison to Political Science is Gaylord Robb,
ggrobb@salisbury.edu | 410-677-0118