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International Studies


B for Background Source: Sources which are used to establish common ground with the reader, provide context, and for background information such as basic facts and general information. 

E for Exhibit Source: Sources which are used for analysis or to provide evidence. These sources may be used to provide examples to back up an argument, or may be presented and analyzed. May take the form of data, an image for analysis, quotations. 

A for Argument Source: Sources which are used when the writer engages in the ideas or claims of a source as part of an argument. Writers may use these sources to affirm, refute or refine an argument. 

M for Method Source: Sources which provide a model, definitions or perspective for understanding an argument.

This handout offers an overview of the library’s online research guide for international studies research. It lists several databases that will help you get started with your research: Political Science Complete (journal articles), Europa World  (country reports) and Scopus (journal articles). All of these databases can be accessed on the library’s Databases A to Z page. The handout also includes information on how to build your search strategy. Using the AND operator requires both terms (ex. remittances AND Africa). The OR operator searches for one or the other terms or both (ex. cost OR expense). NOT excludes a term (ex. NOT Canada). Placing an asterisk at the end of your term includes various word endings (ex. regulat*). Placing quotes around your term looks for the exact phrase (ex. “climate change”). Information about managing your research and creating a list of works cited is also included on the graphic. Find more information about creating a RefWorks account. Carol Spector is the library liaison for the International Studies program. She can be contacted by email at, by phone at 415.422.2040, and by appointment.