Pick a research topic:
- Read your syllabus (assignment instructions).
- Pick a topic that interests you and meets the assignment instructions.
- Narrow or broaden the scope of your topic so that it is "doable."
What's scope? Scope refers to the "people, places and things" or "who, what, when and where" that you are studying.
Explore this guides to learn more about choosing a topic and how to write an outline for your essay.
Identify key concepts:
Define and get an overview of your topic or find definitions of key terms and concepts:
- Oxford Reference - Use dictionaries to help with terminology. Encyclopedias provide background information, an overview of topics and issues and often lead you to further readings
- Encyclopedia of Government and Politics (online)
- The Longman handbook of twentieth century Europe
- Handbook of the economics and political economy of transition
- Greenwood Encyclopedia of International Relations
- Putin's Russia
- Perspectives on EU-Russia relations
- Nation Building : Why Some Countries Come Together While Others Fall Apart
- Europe's role in nation-building from the Balkans to the Congo
- Encyclopedia of International Relations and Global Politics (online)
- EIU.com (country information)
- Europe since 1945: an Encyclopedia (online)
Tips for searching newspaper databases.
Think Tanks - can give an appreciation of government action or inaction in an area, they are research institutes which perform research and advocacy concerning topics such as social policy, political strategy, economics, military, technology, and culture.
Develop a search statement to search databases (including news databases), the catalogue, and other academic sources
A search statement includes a list of keywords, combined using Boolean Operators (AND; OR; NOT)
- AND - this will combine concepts, all of which must be found in your list of results
- media AND children
- OR - either this concept or that concept (or both). This is helpful for generating a list of synonyms. Use synonyms to anticipate the different ways different authors may refer to the same idea. A thesaurus can be helpful for this
- internet OR web OR online
- NOT - do not include this concept
- migration NOT bird
- Quote marks - find a specific phrase
- "human rights"
- Truncation - any other combination of letters to follow
- Canad* - will find Canada, Canadian, Canadian's, etc.
- journalis* - will find journalism, journalist, journalistic, etc.
- Combine one or more of these operators
- Put a list of synonyms in brackets
(smartphone OR "mobile phone" OR "cell phone") AND (societ* OR cultur*)
OMNI Search engine located on the library home page
use filters on the left hand site and narrow down to:
- Books and select option "Available online"
Cambridge University Press eBooks
Columbia International Affairs Online
Oxford University Press eBooks
eBook Collection (EBSCOhost)
Canadian Publishers Collection
Why use journal articles?
- They are more up-to-date than most books.
- They are “peer reviewed” by other scholars in the field who check for academic integrity.
- Every article will contain cited references that appear as footnotes and/or bibliographies.
OMNI Search engine located on the library home page, allows you to search across many of the library's collections simultaneously. Including books, ebooks, journal titles, games, music, videos, government information, maps, and more.
See our list of recommended databases on the European, Russian, and Eurasian studies subject guide, which includes:
- American Bibliography of Slavic and East European Studies
- International Political Science Abstracts
- PAIS Index
- Historical Abstracts
- Taylor & Francis Journals Online
Carleton University Chicago Style tip sheet
Carleton University tip sheet for citing primary sources in Chicago style
Chicago Manual of Style (ebook)
Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL)