Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

RM 2140 Research Guide

How to Use This Guide

About This Guide

  • This guide was designed to support the research assignments in McLaughlin's RM 2140 classes.
  • It is divided into two pages: Research Resources and Understanding the Open Web. Use the tabs near the top of the guide to navigate between pages.

Research Resources is just that. It offers lists of options for students to use to find sources for their three major assignments. These lists aren't exhaustive and are meant as starting points. They include recommendations from both the open web as well as ones provided by the AppState Library. If you don't know how to use the library's databases and other search tools, check out our tutorials page or ask a librarian.

Understanding the Open Web is dedicated to giving some background on things like the deep vs open webs, algorithms, and fake news as well as tips on avoiding mis- and disinformation.

All links on this guide should open in a new window.

Take Action

Take Action Assignment - Research Resources

Choosing and Analyzing a Topic

Local/State News Sources
National/Government News Sources

Why use library newspaper databases when you can go to the newspaper websites via Google?

Local, state, and national newspaper websites are often subscription-only or have a limited amount of content freely available on their websites. The AppState Library likely already pays and provides full and historical access to these newspapers through one of our many databases.

Want more than news sources for your analysis?

The AppState Library provides full-text access to all sorts of research including magazine articles, academic journal articles, government reports, and more. Get started by searching the multi-source one-search tool on our homepage, APPsearch.

Don't know who the elected officials are in the area where your topic exists?

Start here to get more information about local, state, and federal elected officials.

Resources for Know Your Legislation

Country Profile

Country Profile Project - Research Resources

Step 1: Pick a country.

Beyond picking a country of interest off the top of your head and Googling information about it, there are some resources available to get you started.

Step 2: Research your country.

Open Web Research
  • Google or Google Advanced - to get historical, general, and background information on your country. Here are some potential search ideas: your country's name +
    • environmental policy history
    • natural resource management history
    • outdoor recreation history
    • PRO-TIP: These suggestions are very broad. The more you learn, subsequent searches should become increasingly narrower/more focused on specific events, laws, people, etc.
  • Wikipedia - if you're having trouble finding the name of the relevant agency in your country, see if it's listed on one of these pages. 
  • PRO-TIP: Find something you want to use? Before you commit, it pays to double-check things like when the information was published (out of date?) and who wrote/published it (bias? lack of authority?). Don't forget the fact-checking strategies (SIFT) covered here.
Library Research

Once you have the names of government agencies, natural resources, laws, or other key pieces of background information about your country, take a deeper dive into the scholarly literature. The most direct way to start is with APPsearch, the library's one-search tool that combines research from our most popular databases (in the form of articles) as well as our online catalog (in the form of books, ebooks, films). Search with APPsearch now:


Advanced search

APPsearch logo finds books, ebooks, streaming media, and articles from several dozen databases.


Advanced search

Pro-Tips for using APPsearch
  • Search using simple, specific terms based on what you have learned about your country so far. Broad terms lead to more generic (and less useful) results. You may have to try different combinations of terms (or related synonyms) before you get relevant results.
  • If you click the yellow "Find@ASU" button and get a message saying your source was not found, try checking Google Scholar for it first. Then, contact a librarian if you can't access it.
  • Use the filters to narrow down overwhelming numbers of search results by date, geographic location, source type, and more.

For more information on using APPsearch, watch these short tutorial videos. While the examples shown aren't specific to this assignment, how the tool works with your Country Profile research will be the same. If you get stuck, contact your librarian.

Using APPsearch to Find Articles (2:51) | Transcript
Using APPsearch to find Books & eBooks (4:11) | Transcript

Belk Library Homepage

Belk Library Homepage, link opens in window


An incomplete sphere made of large, white, jigsaw puzzle pieces. Each puzzle piece contains one glyph from a different writing system, with each glyph written in black.

A Note about Wikipedia

Wikipedia is rarely an acceptable source to cite in a college research paper. However, Wikipedia is a wonderful source for background information about research topics and a source for some of the research already done on certain topics.  

Research Advisory Program

Research Advisory Program

The Research Advisory Program (RAP) provides one-on-one research assistance for students. Sessions are conducted in person, by phone, or online.

Library Video Tutorials

Library Video Tutorials

video tutorial icon with link

Video tutorials on how to use APPsearch, library databases, evaluate sources, and more!

Quick Links

Quick Links

Library Research Guides

Created by librarians for students to take the guesswork out of finding the right research resources