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PSCI 2306: American Government (for PSCI majors)

Library research guide for PSCI 2306
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Brea Henson
Willis Library, Room 080
Subjects: Political Science
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Welcome to the Class Page for PSCI 2306 (for majors)

This class page is for the Research Project in the PSCI 2603 course (American Government for majors); however, it has basic research steps and tools that are useful for any research you do. If you find you need more help, use the Ask Us services. Library reference staff members can be reached in person and through phone and email. You may also contact the Subject Librarian for the Political Science Department, Brea Henson.

Course Reserves

Your textbooks are on course reserve at Sycamore Library.  You can check them out for 2hrs at a time with your student ID. 

Research Project

From your course syllabus:


I am asking you to select a topic from three that I will provide, find some sources on the topic, and then make a poster that displays your information. I hope you enjoy this assignment. Don’t know how to get started? Don’t worry! Your professor, teaching assistant, and Political Science Librarian, Brea Henson, can help you. 

STEP #1: Select your topic.

I have selected three topics from which you will choose:

  1. Human Trafficking,
  2. Voting Rights in Texas, and
  3. Gun Laws in the United States.

The hardest part will be selecting just one. As you probably already know, each of these topics is incredibly interesting and important.

STEP #2: A Research Assignment. 

What I am asking you to do is assume that your professor knows nothing about your topic (not true, of course, as I hope you know!). Your assignment is to find three scholarly articles to recommend to her. The goal of this assignment is to introduce you to college-level research and the skills involved in selecting high-quality academic sources.

What to Submit: You will prepare a one-page report that includes the following:

  1.  an introductory paragraph; and
  2. citations for each of your three articles plus a brief summary of why each article is a good choice in helping your professor grasp the topic.

First, that introductory paragraph: please explain why you picked the topic and how you found your sources. Consider these questions when writing your paragraph:

  1. Why did you pick this topic over the other topics?
  2. What library resource or database did you use to find the sources?
  3. What search terms did you use to find the sources?
  4. How did you revise your search to narrow your results?

Next, provide a list of the citations in alphabetical order by author’s last name. Following each citation, write a short summary of the facts, insights, and value the source provides on your topic. Consider these questions when writing your summary:

  1. What does the source discuss related to the topic?

  2. Why is this discussion important?

Finally, after your summaries, provide a short conclusion that discusses what you learned about the topic from the resources you selected. Remember, you may submit only one printed page, and the font you use cannot be smaller than Times Roman 11. Your work is to be submitted in hard copy. Points will be deducted for papers submitted late and for papers that do not meet the standards of good writing.

More details about these assignments will be provided in class.

STEP #3: Prepare your academic poster. 

From time to time, I attend conferences or other events where students present their work in the form of a research poster. As a political science major, you will probably be asked to prepare a poster for one of your advanced classes.  My thinking, then, is that you will benefit from knowing how to design an academic poster. You will take what you learned from the research assignment and turn it into a poster. On December 2, you will share your poster with the class. (There may be prizes, incidentally.)

You will need to have your poster printed at Design Works in the Union. Your poster should be printed in color on 12”x18” paper. The poster does not need to be mounted or laminated. It should cost less than $1.00 to print. Please do not wait until the last minute to print your poster. Design Works requires at least a “three day turnaround” on print or shop jobs that can be expected during their busier times. See the Design Works Student Pricing Page for more information.

Still, want more help with this project? Ask your professor, teaching assistant, or Political Science librarian, Brea Henson, for help. 

General Library Information

General Library Information

UNT Libraries Locations

UNT has several libraries. Most Political Science materials can be found on the Mezzanine Level of Sycamore Library, which is located inside Sycamore Hall You can find a map of library locations here:

The UNT Libraries offer a variety of service for our students:

Additional Links