POLS 200 - Law & Society: Databases & Journals


Start with these resources


Pro & Con Databases (Essays plus articles)

Great starting sources for debate topics. These resources have pro/con essays along with news and magazines. Generally no academic articles. Helpful to issues laid out in pro con fashion with some supporting materials.

Article Databases

A good second stop for debate research. These article and e-book resources have articles from news, magazines and academic/scholarly resources along with ebooks. Most content is full text but sometimes items are only the title and abstract. We can check to see if we have teh full text in another resource. IDS is also available (use the tab to the left) to request and item RIT Library does not own.



  • All of the current library article and book products run what is called a lexical search. This means a search will look for words or word variants. So the words you choose are important. Brainstorm as many words or phrases based on the assignment, what you have learned in lectures, what you have read in your assigned readings and what you see in items you fins along the way.
  • Use quotation marks to keep words together
    • Example "cruel and unusual"
  • Use boolean connectors when search multiple terms, ideas, phrases. Most products want boolean in uppercase. Boolean is common and works the same in most library databases.
    • AND will find both words
      • example: "civil disobedience" AND democracy
    • OR will find either word
      • example: car OR automobile
    • NOT will exclude words
      • example: masks NOT halloween
  • Most products are case agnostic meaning proper nouns like names do not need to be upper case. Only boolean connectors need to be upper case.
  • Advanced Searching
    • ProQuest, EBSCO and other library databases usually have an advanced search option which will allow you to search for words or phrases in specific fields.
  • Proximity
    • Many electronic products allow for proximity searching. This means you can search for a word or phrase near another word or phrase across the full text. The proximity commands will vary from product to product.
      • examples in Academic Search Elite or Business Source Elite (both or EBSCO products)
        • covid N5 mask
        • juvenile N8 "life sentence"
        • "risk of harm" N3 consent
      • examples in ProQuest
        • covid NEAR/5 mask
        • juvenile NEAR/8 "life sentence"
        • "risk of harm" NEAR/3 consent


There are many ways to search the library ebook collections including all the links below. The print books can only be searched using the Library Catalog link or Summon. Part of the print book collection is in storage to provide more study space within the library. If a print book is listed as Wallace Library - Offsite Collections: Books you will see a REQUEST button at the top of the book record. Use that to ask for the book to be sent to the library for you to check out. The storage facilities are on campus and usually take 1 or 2 business days to retrieve books. Your RIT ID card is your library card.

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Use of RIT resources is reserved for current RIT students, faculty and staff for academic and teaching purposes only.
Please contact your librarian with any questions.

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