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POL 450: Women's Global Politics

Research Guide for assignments in Women's Global Politics, including policy briefs on issues regarding women's health and public policy.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Issues of domestic violence and public policy use varied vocabulary to describe and discuss their findings. When searching the sources in this guide, try searching more than one term and using combinations of words. Use quotation marks to search phrases, and AND/OR to narrow or broaden a search. Below is a suggested list of terms found in several sources about public policy regarding the health of women:

  • "domestic violence"
  • "family violence"
  • "dating violence"
  • "intimate partner violence"
  • violence AND women
  • "violence against women"

Keywords v. Subjects

When searching online and in databases, look for the option to search using subjects. Keywords are a great way to get a broad list of results on related topics, but subjects and subject headings will get results that are more focused and relevant to your research.

Evaluating Sources

Many fantastic public policy resources--in particular, policy briefs from think tanks, NGOs, and research institutes--can be found online. Here are a few tips for more efficient, effective Google searches:

Include the phrase "policy brief" in your search. (Keep the quotation marks around "policy brief" to find this exact phrase.)

Use a site: search. This will limit your search to a broad domain (e.g., .org sites, .edu sites, .gov sites) or to a specific website (e.g.,


If you're not sure which think tank, NGO, or agency might have issued policy papers on your topic, try a search engine that's powered by Google but limited to a select group of sites.


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Hillary Richardson