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Political Science / Public Policy Resources: Library Basics

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Background Info

The MSU Libraries home page is your gateway to the extensive resources and services of the Main Library and its branches.  Search the online catalog or explore our electronic resources pages and discover online indexes, full-text journal articles, e-books, and much more.

Research Basic Modules.  (Note: Requires Adobe Flash Player.)  A series of Camtasia tutorials by Sara Miller to help undergraduates understand the basics of library research, including:

More Guides and Tutorials

Citation Guides and Generators.

How to choose the best indexes/databases

The Information Cycle : How Today's Events Are Tomorrow's Information.  Based on Columbine School Shooting Incident, April 20, 2001.  Rebecca Bichel and Debra Cheney, Penn State University.

MARS : the MSU Article Retrieval Service.  This new service provides copies of non-electronic journal articles and individual book chapters that the MSU Libraries own to MSU faculty, staff, and graduate students for personal research.  If the article cannot be scanned, a photocopy will be sent.  Allow two to three days for delivery.

Field Research in Political Science: Practices and Principles. Diana Kapiszewski.  Cambridge University Press, 2015.  480pp.  On order : Field research - leaving one's home institution in order to acquire data, information or insights that significantly inform one's research - remains indispensable, even in a digitally networked era. This book, the first of its kind in political science, reconsiders the design and execution of field research and explores its role in producing knowledge. First, it offers an empirical overview of fieldwork in the discipline based on a large-scale survey and extensive interviews. Good fieldwork takes diverse forms yet follows a set of common practices and principles. Second, the book demonstrates the analytic benefits of fieldwork, showing how it contributes to our understanding of politics. Finally, it provides intellectual and practical guidance, with chapters on preparing for field research, operating in the field and making analytic progress while collecting data, and on data collection techniques including archival research, interviewing, ethnography and participant observation, surveys, and field experiments.

The fundamentals of political science researchPaul M. Kellstedt, Texas A&M University, Guy D. Whitten, Texas A&M University.   Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2013.  2nd ed.,  316pp.  Main Library Stacks JA86 .K45 2013 :  An introduction to the scientific study of politics. It offers the basic tools necessary for readers to become both critical consumers and beginning producers of scientific research on politics. Professors Kellstedt and Whitten present an integrated approach to research design and empirical analyses in which researchers can develop and test causal theories. The authors use examples from political science research that students will find interesting and inspiring, and that will help them understand key concepts. The book makes technical material accessible to students who might otherwise be intimidated by mathematical examples. This revised second edition refines discussions from the first edition, with a new chapter on how to write an original research project. The second edition also contains an additional forty exercises and adds definitions for terms discussed in each chapter.

Ebook: Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Political Science.  Edward Elgar, 2016.  on order. :  This Handbook offers a comprehensive overview of state-of-the-art research methods and applications currently in use in political science. It combines theory and methodology (qualitative and quantitative), and offers insights into the major approaches and their roots in the philosophy of scientific knowledge. Including a comprehensive discussion of the relevance of a host of digital data sources, plus the do's and don'ts of data collection in general, the book also explains how to use diverse research tools and highlights when and how to apply these techniques.  With wide-ranging coverage of general political science topics and systemic approaches to politics, the editors showcase research methods that can be used at the micro, meso and macro levels. Chapters explore applied and fundamental knowledge, approaches and their usefulness, meta-theoretical issues, and the art and practice of undertaking research. This highly accessible book provides hands-on information on research topics and methods, and offers the reader extensive bibliographies for in-depth exploration of cutting edge techniques. Finally, it discusses the relevance of political science research, as well as the art of publishing, reporting and submitting your research findings.

Political science research methods / Janet Buttolph Johnson, H.T. Reynolds, Jason D. Mycoff.  Thousand Oaks, California : CQ Press, an imprint of SAGE Publications, Inc., [2016]  8th ed., 632pp.  Main Library Stacks JA71 .J55 2016 : Understand the "how" and the "why" behind research in political science. Step by step, Political Science Research Methods walks students through the logic of research design, carefully explaining how researchers choose which method to employ. The Eighth Edition of this trusted resource offers a greater emphasis on the ways in which particular methods are used by undergraduates, expanded coverage of the role of the Internet in research and analysis, and more international examples. New to this edition: *Streamlined content that delivers greater clarity of concepts and a tighter focus on what matters most *Learning objectives encourage close, focused reading and measurable takeaways *New and updated examples of research serve as touchstones throughout the book and demonstrate a greater variety of data collection methods: *Greater emphasis on how particular research methods are used by undergraduate students.

Understanding political science research methods : the challenge of inference / Maryann Barakso, Daniel M. Sabet, Brian F. Schaffner.  New York : Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group, 2014.  231pp.  Main Library Stacks JA86 .B28 2014 : This text starts by explaining the fundamental goal of good political science research―the ability to answer interesting and important questions by generating valid inferences about political phenomena. Before the text even discusses the process of developing a research question, the authors introduce the reader to what it means to make an inference and the different challenges that social scientists face when confronting this task. Only with this ultimate goal in mind will students be able to ask appropriate questions, conduct fruitful literature reviews, select and execute the proper research design, and critically evaluate the work of others.  The authors' primary goal is to teach students to critically evaluate their own research designs and others’ and analyze the extent to which they overcome the classic challenges to making inference: internal and external validity concerns, omitted variable bias, endogeneity, measurement, sampling, and case selection errors, and poor research questions or theory. As such, students will not only be better able to conduct political science research, but they will also be more savvy consumers of the constant flow of causal assertions that they confront in scholarship, in the media, and in conversations with others.

Writing a research paper in political science : a practical guide to inquiry, structure, and methods / Lisa A. Baglione.  Thousand Oaks, Calif. : CQ Press, [2012].  2nd ed., 192pp.  Main Library Stacks JA86 .B24 2012  : Writing an introduction, coming up with effective headings and titles, presenting a conclusion, and the important steps of editing and revising are covered with class-tested advice and know-how in this book. In addition to using updated examples of student topics that pull from both American government and international relations, Baglione also includes examples of actual student writing to show readers how someone "just like them" accomplished tasks while writing their papers. Practical summaries, calendars, exercises, and a series of handy checklists make this a must-have supplement for any writing-intensive political science course.

Writing in Anthropology : Practical advice from the University of North Carolina Writing Center.  Don't forget that MSU also has a writing center that can provide assistance.  Or talk to your teacher.

Writing in History : Practical advice from the University of North Carolina Writing Center.  Don't forget that MSU also has a writing center that can provide assistance.  Or talk to your teacher.

Writing in Literature : Practical advice from the University of North Carolina Writing Center.  Don't forget that MSU also has a writing center that can provide assistance.  Or talk to your teacher.

Writing in Political Science : Practical advice from the University of North Carolina Writing Center.  Don't forget that MSU also has a writing center that can provide assistance.  Or talk to your teacher.

Writing in Religious Studies : Practical advice from the University of North Carolina Writing Center.  Don't forget that MSU also has a writing center that can provide assistance.  Or talk to your teacher.

Writing in Sociology : Practical advice from the University of North Carolina Writing Center.  Don't forget that MSU also has a writing center that can provide assistance.  Or talk to your teacher.

 

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