Books are typically longer works written by experts that are self-contained or published as themselves.
eBooks are "electronic books" that have been published in a digital format.
In general, books are best used when you are looking for in-depth background information.
|Books May be Useful When...
|Books May NOT be Useful When...
You need a broad overview
The topic is very recent
Your research topic is historical
You have a fairly narrow topic
| You want several opinions from one place
You will find there are books with "collected essays" that will give you several points of view in one compact source.
Example: Commentary and criticism on Shakespeare's Hamlet
(Table content from WCSU Libraries "Research Basics" guide, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) 4.0 International License)
|Scholarly Books (Monographs)
Single publication providing in-depth information on a specific, usually scholarly, subject written by experts in the field for an audience of their colleagues.
You might be reading a scholarly book if...
Good for when you need verified, in-depth background information.
Good for when you need in-depth analysis of a broad topic or lengthy period of time.
Fictional books written for a general audience.
You might be reading a novel if...
Good for when you are writing a literary criticism or review of the book.
Good when you want to read for personal enjoyment.
NOT good as a scholarly source for a research paper.
Publications that provide a broad overview of currently accepted knowledge within a particular academic subject for the purpose of explaining it to new learners.
You might be reading a textbook if...
Good for when you are just beginning to learn about a topic and need a broad, easily digestible overview.
Good for gathering background information and gaining an initial understanding of a subject.
Publications that contain general summaries, definitions, statistics, etc. on a broad subject area and is organized for easy information retrieval.
You might be reading a reference book if...
Good for when you are just beginning your research and need a basic understanding of your subject.
Good for when you need to look up quick, factual information.
Can help you find additional, more in-depth and/or scholarly resources.
Books that contain a collection of shorter written works.
You might be reading an anthology if...
Good for finding short stories or essays that may be difficult to find published elsewhere.
Good for comparing and contrasting similar works.
Can be good for getting a variety of perspectives on a single topic.
Search for physical books and ebooks owned by the library and request unowned books through interlibrary loan.
Books that fall within the following call-number ranges are likely to have information related to topics in political science:
For more information on the content that might be contained within books that have call numbers within the above ranges, click the links below: