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POLSC 110: American Government (Karapin)  

Last Updated: Apr 27, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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About this guide

For your final exam, you will be writing a letter to a national offiical on a public policy issue. In order to do so, you will need to do some research.  I have worked with Professor Karapin to set up this guide.  We will also be meeting together, in the library, in order to familiarize you with our resources. Our meeting is scheduled for November 21, 2014.

This guide provides help with finding:

and with Citing Sources


Finding your representatives

The League of Women Voters (a non-partisan organization that aims to get all citizens engaged in civics and voting) has this easy-to-use site to help you find your national (and local) representatives.  All you need to know is your zip code.

If you live in New York City, use this link:  Outside of the five boroughs, we recommend this link:

Background and general reference

  • Opposing Viewpoints in Context
    Covers controversial contemporary issues, with articles from a variety of sources and perspectives. With pros and cons arguments clearly displayed.
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library
    E-book library of reference sources. Comprehensive, another good place to start to get overview information, and suggestions for more specific topics.
  • Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History - Primary Source collection
    This collection includes more than 60,000 letters, diaries, maps, pamphlets, printed books, newspapers, photographs, and ephemera that document the political, social, and economic history of the United States.
  • Wikipedia
    We all know it and use it. Wikipedia is a good place to go for background on your topic -- but be careful: incorrect or biased information can sometimes be included. Also use Wikipedia for it's references to other sources (usually found at the bottom of the entry).
  • is a commercial site that helps its readers better understand the news. Using tools like infographics, maps and card stacks, this site can be an excellent place to get necessary background on a topic, though it likely won't be cited in final papers.

Recommended readings

Professor Karapin recommends these books by Page Smith.

A New Age Now Begins
Call Number: E208 .S67
ISBN: 0070590974
Publication Date: 1976

The Shaping of America
Call Number: E301 .S6 1980
ISBN: 0070590176
Publication Date: 1980

The Nation Comes of Age
Call Number: E338 .S59
ISBN: 0070590184
Publication Date: 1981

Trial by Fire
Call Number: E468 .S64 1982
ISBN: 0070585717
Publication Date: 1982

The Rise of Industrial America
Call Number: E661 .S58 1984
ISBN: 0070585725
Publication Date: 1984

America Enters the World
Call Number: E743 .S58 1985
ISBN: 0070585733
Publication Date: 1985

Redeeming the Time
Call Number: E784 .S65 1986
ISBN: 007058575X
Publication Date: 1987

Subject Guide

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