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.

POSI 5340: Balanoff: Finding Books

This guide was created for Dr. Howard Balanoff's POSI 5340: Problems in American Public Policy class.

Tips for Finding Books

Types of Searches


  • Combine terms using AND.
  • This search returns records that contain words that match exactly what you typed in.
  • This is often (but not always) the best place to start.


  • Catalog uses pre-defined subjects. 
  • This type of search works well if you are browsing for a particular subject that you know or a broad term. So if you aren't finding anything, switch to the keyword search instead.
  • Subjects are arranged using the Library of Congress Classification system.


  • Author searches are for looking for items a particular person has authored or written.
  • The library catalog works best if you type in searches in the format "Lastname, Firstname."
  • If you want books about a person, search for their name by subject.


  • Use this search if you know the title of the material that you want.

Background Information | Reference Material

Reference material in the form of subject dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks typically provide background essays, definitions, broad overviews of various topics, or other pertinent facts. The four bullets below list collections of searchable eReference titles:

Blackwell Reference Online

Covers language, linguistics, sociology, anthropology, and psychology.

Credo eReference

More than 580 reference books, including encyclopedias, dictionaries (English and foreign language), thesauri, books of quotations, as well as a range of subject-specific reference books.

Gale Virtual Reference Library

Subject areas include Africa, African-American Culture and History, American Law, Business and Finance, Cancer, Cultures and Daily Life, E-Commerce, Environmental Ethics and Philosophy, Global Warming, Human Geography, Judaica, Latin American History and Culture, LGBT History in America, Management, Modern China, Multicultural America, Nation & World, Philosophy, Phobias/Fears/Anxieties, Police Forces and Correctional Systems, Religion, Small Business, Social and Cultural Foundations of Education, Social Sciences, and Sociology.

SAGE eReference

Covers sociology, social work, multicultural and gender studies, political science, psychology, anthropology, criminal justice, health, and medicine.

Where to Search

Use Research Databases to find articles on your topic.


Many of the articles contain full-text, meaning that the actual article is available in the database.  

Databases contain proprietary content from a variety of scholarly journals, conference proceedings, books, dissertations, and more.

Some databases contain content from only one publisher, such as Elsevier or Wiley, while others have content, or index articles, from a variety of publishers.

Anthony Guardado, Head RRC Librarian

Anthony Guardado's picture
Anthony Guardado


Texas State University
Round Rock Campus
Avery 255A