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PSCI 415: U.S. State Politics (Professor Nash)

Scholarly Journal Articles

How do we know a source we've found is a scholarly journal article? Look for these clues:

  • written by scholars (with affiliations to universities or research institutions)
  • written for other scholars and students (and therefore difficult to read)
  • published in an academic journal with a peer-review process
    • Here are some examples:
      • The American Political Science Review
      • Political Science Quarterly
      • International Journal of Politics, Culture, & Society
      • International Journal of Politics and Security
  • structured format (from A Political Science Guide):
    • (ex. introduction, theoretical framework/literature review, case study, conclusion)
  • extensive references at the end

Most Useful

Also Useful

Tips Examples
Use keywords, not long search phrases


Instead of searching for "What are the most effective anti-poverty policies and programs for combating homelessness among veterans in America??" break down your search into the main keywords:

anti-poverty, policies, programs, homelessness, veterans, America

To get more focused results:

Use quotation marks (" ") to keep phrases together

Use AND to combine different keywords

anti-poverty AND "United States" AND policies AND homelessness AND veterans

To get broader results:

Use OR to combine similar/associated keywords

Truncate words that have a                          variety of endings with a *

(America or "United States) AND anti-poverty AND (policies OR programs) AND veterans


homeless* = homeless, homelessness

Look for ways to limit your search in the database You can often limit by type of article (scholarly and peer-reviewed) & year of publication