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Public Affairs, Public Service, and Public Administration

This guide includes resources for studying public affairs, public service, and public administration.

Capstone Research Overview

About Literature Reviews

Serious academic papers require a literature review.  The lit review does two things:

1.Shows the reader that you know what scholarship came before you.  What do scholars study about your subject and how do they study it?

2. Prepares the reader for what you are going to say (argument, thesis) and possibly provides some background for the kind of research you are going to do. (qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods). 

Your literature review might incorporate academic, peer-reviewed articles, government reports and websites, datasets, and news sources, among other forms of literature.  Begin with the scholarly, peer-reviewed items as much as possible to get an overview of the field. Then move into other sources of information with a better sense of direction.

Approaching Research for the Capstone

The following videos will introduce you to the process of doing academic research for the SPAA capstone or other public administration papers.

SPAA Capstone  Part 1 - Approaches to thinking about the capstone project. Intro to ProQuest Social Science Premium Collection.

SPAA Capstone Part 2More searching in the ProQuest Social Science Premium Collection.

SPAA Capstone Part 3 - Getting database output and making an APA list of references.


Begin here:

ProQuest Social Science Premium Collection  – ProQuest Social Science Premium Collection abstracts and indexes over 10,000 titles in the social sciences while also providing access to over 1,800 scholarly journals.  International in scope, content covers education, language and linguistics, sociology, and political science from 1871 to the present.  Updating varies.

Where to go from here?

Depends upon your subject.  Browse our PA databases at the Finding Articles tab.



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