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Political Science: Background Information

Tips, techniques & links to help you find answers for your research papers & projects

Background Info

Sometimes it is useful to get an overview of a topic before starting your research.  There are dozens of specialized encyclopedias and handbooks that cover the field of Political Science generally, and more specifically, its many subfields. 

One way to find out what's out there is to do a keyword search in the MERLIN catalog.  You can try a combination of terms such as

encyclopedia and politics  handbook and congress encyclopedia and politics and women


Gale Virtual Reference Library is an online collection of dozens of encyclopedias, handbooks, and guides.  From this site you can search by key word, subject and other ways.  Click on "Title List" to see a master list of all the reference works that are included, such as Encyclopedia of Politics, History Behind the Headlines: the Origins of Conflicts Worldwide, and Encyclopedia of U.S. National Security and many more.

CQ Researcher is a complete source for in-depth, analytical reporting on the most current and controversial issues of the day. Focusing on one topic, each weekly CQ Researcher provides extensive background information and discussion of the pro’s and con’s.