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PSCI 210 - Introduction to American Government

Library Databases

Op-Ed Assignment

You're writing a op-ed piece on one of 5 topics:

  • Thesis 1: The Constitution should be amended to provide for term limits for members of Congress in both houses.
  • Thesis 2: The Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United has been beneficial for democracy. 
  • Thesis 3: Congressional earmarks should be banned. 
  • Thesis 4: The United States should adopt multimember congressional districts with seats apportioned proportionally according to the number of votes cast. 
  • Thesis 5: Campaigns do not affect election outcomes. 

The Library has databases that can help you gather information on your topic:


Many organizations have websites from which you may be able to download studies or reports. Below are links to some think tanks. Think tanks often have a distinct ideological perspective; you will want to keep that in mind as you evaluate their reports. The same applies to documents on trade association or similar websites that describe these organization’s positions on particular issues.

A definition:

A quasi-private, non-teaching academic and policy institute usually, though not always, affiliated with a major political party. At best, they can be generators of legislative and foreign policy ideas. More often, they are career parking places for potential officials in a new administration who are affixed to the party currently in opposition. (Source: think tank. (2002). In Greenwood Encyclopedia of International Relations. Retrieved from

Examples of think tanks: