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MPA502: Public Management in a Political Environment

M1: Current Event Discussion

This guide is designed to help you with your research and discussion posts for MPA502, introducing a range of library resources available to you.

First, let's look at your Module 1 discussion. You've been asked to find a current event where a community is facing pressure from citizens and elected officials to change police and community relations. You may know of a current event in your community or one making headlines in the news. If so, you are well on your way to completing this discussion post. Others of you may want to try the suggestions below to explore what's been reported on this topic recently.

1) Read a CQ Researcher report to learn more about the topic

CQ Researcher publishes weekly reports about hot topics in the news. Read Police Under Scrutiny (2020), and any more recent updates, to learn more about the topic and brainstorm keywords (names of people/places and descriptive words) to use when searching for additional information in OneSearch and other databases.

2) Use OneSearch to find recent magazine and news articles

Here is one an example search strategy to get you started:

  • Under the OneSearch search box, click Advanced Search
  • Use the three search boxes to divide your topic into its main ideas. For example:
    • 1st search box: police N3 (change OR reform)
    • 2nd search box: "community leader*" OR "public manage*"
      • Alternatively, enter keywords related to a specific current event (names of people/places) into the 2nd search box.

search results for search described above

  • Click Search
  • On the left side of the results list, under Source Types, check the boxes next to News and Magazines

Notice the advanced search strategies used above:

  1. Divide your topic into its main ideas and place each idea into a separate search box. Most advanced search interfaces start with two or three search boxes, but you can always add more for more complex topics. In both EBSCO and ProQuest, click the plus sign symbol to add additional search boxes.
  2. Use the word OR between synonyms and like-terms to tell the database to search for either term. Example, change OR reform.
  3. N3 stands for 'near 3' and tells the database to search for one of the search terms inside the parenthesis (change OR reform) within 3 words of police.
  4. Use quotation marks around phrases of two or more words to tell the database to search for those words right next to one another.
  5. Use an asterisk (*) at the end of a root word to tell the database to search for the various endings to the word. For example, a search for manage* will find manages, manager, management, etc.