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Global Issues in Women's Studies

Assignment  **  Background/Current Policy  **  The Future/Scholarly Thoughts


For your final project, you'll be writing a letter to someone (likely, but not limited to, an elected official) about a social issue of particular interest to you.  In order to write a through letter, you'll need to research:

1) the issue's background (to inform your audience)
2) current policies related to your issue
3) the likely future of the issue (to inform your suggested action plan)

Here are some ideas to get you started.

Background/Current Policy

CQ Researcher and CQ Global Researcher are databases that contains in-depth news articles, written by journalists, about current controversial issues. Find these by clicking the yellow "databases" tab, then "databases a-z," then "c."

1) Type in a word or short phrase related to your topic ("sex trafficking")
2) Choose an article that's high on the list (so it's relevant) but also is fairly recent (past ten years or so)
3) Notice the following sections: "Background," "Outlook," and "Bibliography

CQ Weekly is from the same publisher, but contains very different information; CQ Weekly reports on US Congressional activity, and can help you get an idea of how your issue is being viewed in terms of federal policy.

In Academic Search Premier, limit your search to "newspapers" and "magazines" only - this will give you an idea of how the issue is currently being discussed in the media.

The Future/Scholarly Thoughts

As you begin to think about how best to address your chosen issue, you may want to understand a bit about how scholars in WGS and related fields (political science, sociology, family studies, etc.) are viewing it.  They will often include predictions and suggestions in their analyses.

Most databases will enable you to narrow your search to only "scholarly" or "academic" sources. Places to look:

PAIS International (there's some good stuff in here that isn't scholarly, too, like gov't. documents)
Sociological Abstracts
Family and Society Studies Worldwide
Gender Studies
Political Science Complete

**Help! There's no link to the full text!**

1. If there's a full-text link in the database you're in, just click on it!

2. If you don't see a full-text link, go to the library homepage and click the "Journals & Magazines" tab. Enter the title of the journal to see if the full text is available somewhere else.

3. If Augustana doesn't own the article you're looking for, click on "Interlibrary Loan" under "Research Tools" on the left side of the homepage. It's free, and you'll usually get the article within 3-5 days.


Need help? Ask a librarian!

Created by Anne Earel, Reference Librarian. Updated April 2014.