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PSCI112-Comparative Policy: Get Started


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Your paper -- and the oral presentation later -- are the final products of this Comparative Policy research.

This guide will take you through the steps that will get you to the finished product.  Read through the steps to get an idea of the entire process. Skipping a step could cost you extra time when you have to backtrack to do work that was missed in order to move forward. 

To start, look through some general material to get an idea of the issues on the table and the locations that seem to be the best candidates for that particular issue's policy focus. 

  • Newspaper articles could illuminate which states or municipalities are most successful or stand out as ground breakers in certain areas of policy.  
  • Think Tanks also publish news on the issues of their focus. 
  • Broad EBSCO searches will also bring up articles on various issues to look through.

Read on for links to some of these resources.


Gather Background Information

The Benefits of Starting With Background Information

  • Get a better idea of the issues and how policy approaches differ.  
  • Determine the scope of an issue to help with narrowing or expanding the focus
  • Identify experts so that their names can be researched in article databases

Background Resources

Choose Your Comparison

I have an issue and want to know the best places to compare.

I have a location in mind and want to know their most critical issues.

I How do I identify another location that is handling this issue differently.

  • Try an EBSCO search for the policy issue + the word model or reform.  
    • Scroll down the left menu to the Geography heading.  Click the link to "show more" and note which states are coming up.  
    • Keep in mind that the "model" or "reformed" location won't always be the most successful! 
    • You may have to enter the word "city" in your search phrase if you have chosen to compare municipalities. For example "city education policy model"
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