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Today's Hours

Political Science

Search Strategies



The weekly topics for your class as outlined in the syllabus are a good basis for developing search strategies. You may also find some of these terms helpful. Adding the name of your country of interest to your search will help narrow your topic and find relevant scholarship.

  • civil society
  • democracy
  • elections
  • government and politics
  • non-governmental organizations, or nongovernmental organizations, or ngo
  • political parties
  • political science
  • political sociology
  • public opinion
  • voting


  • Sometimes, spelling counts (labor vs. labour; ageing vs. aging)
  • Learn truncation syntax in databases you use a lot (*, !, ?). politic*
  • You may need to consider alternative terms (interest groups and nongovernmental organizations)
  • See what terms display under "subject headings" or "descriptors". All similar articles will use the same subject headings. This may vary from database to database.
  • AND is similar to "all the words". Use this to narrow a search.
  • OR is similar to "any of the words". Use this to broaden a search.
  • NOT means "none of these words" . Use this to narrow a search.
  • Add the name of a country or region to your search to focus your results.