Start your research by collecting background information. During this stage you will:
Your goal is to find an overview of the issue(s). Try this exercise:
From your preliminary research, identify a state of interest and a relevant election issue. (Example: Florida and disenfranchisement of felons)
Turn this topic into a question. (Example: What actions have been taken to address disenfranchisement of felons in Florida?)
The purpose of your research will be to find answers to this question.
To answer this question, you may need to answer several more specific questions. Use your assignment sheet for guidance. For example:
With your research questions in mind, identify the sources of information you will need. Consider:
This is where your librarians can help you! See the boxes below for suggestions.
Take notes on the information you have found. Evaluate:
If the answer to any of these is no, seek additional sources! If yes to all, you are ready to begin writing.
If you've done a thorough job, you will have a variety of credible sources that help answer your question(s) about the topic. Review your notes:
Your library or the writing center can help you with MLA Citations. See the library's MLA Citation Guides.
Interest groups are organizations that advocate for a cause. Most have informative websites. Try the following strategy: search Google with your keywords, the word advocacy, and site:.org (Example: colorado marijuana advocacy site:.org).
The following websites may also be helpful:
You can find news sources through Google, but library databases are more effective for searching across many major newspapers. To use databases, you must log in to the library.
There are many ways to research state and local legislation. Interest groups and news sources will have information about new bills and laws. For primary sources (actual text of bills and laws), try the following:
Government agencies are excellent sources for statistics. Try the following strategies:
The following website may also be helpful:
Think tanks are also useful sources for statistics. These are independent organizations that research issues and trends. The following websites may be helpful: