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POLS 155 - American Government: National, State, and Local

Search Steps

Welcome to the POLS 155 Library Guide. This guide is intended to help students locate articles for the Town Hall assignment. The Town Hall assignment requires students to find relevant, trustworthy, factually accurate, and current news articles.

Use Keywords to search for articles on your topic.

For Example:

Topic: Firearm Policy

  • Keywords- use similar words such as guns, weapons, gun control, specific types of firearms
  • Find alternative keywords: assault weapons, gun violence
  • Use related keywords: community, police, 2nd amendment, self protection

Combine terms with AND, OR example:

  • guns AND violence
  • guns OR assault weapons

When evaluating articles, look for articles that address the five W's:

  • Who
  • What
  • When
  • Where
  • Why

A few reminders about what you are looking for:


  • Articles must have a human author (not anonymous, AP, or not listed).

  • Find articles that are NEWS.  Opinion, Editorials, Personal Interest, OP-Ed, Blogs, Movie Reviews are not acceptable.

  • Use articles that are long enough to provide some detail and background on your issue.

Evaluating Articles

Find and read articles that give you an understanding of the aspects of the issue:

  • What has happened most recently regarding your issue?
  • What has happened in the last 12 months regarding your issue?
  • Who does your issue affect?
  • What influences your issue?
  • Are there "sides" to your issue? What is the other side?
  • How many people does your issue affect?
  • Who is dealing with your issue the most?
  • Why is your issue important?

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