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Political Science: POLS140 (Prof. Meinke)

Background information

Background information may be found in a variety of places, including news articles, books, opinion pieces, subject encyclopedias, and more.  Below are some possibilities - as always, evaluate your sources!  See side tabs of this guide for additional resources.

Suggested databases for scholarly articles

Academic books - Use WorldCat!

When evaluating books, check the credentials of the author.  The book may be published by a scholarly press (University of Chicago, Yale University Press, etc.)

When searching for scholarly articles via WorldCat, limit to peer reviewed articles. 

Connecting Google Scholar to Bucknell Library

Students who are not on campus can still link directly from Google Scholar to Bertrand Library subscription content. Here's how.

APSA Style Guidelines

Key Features of Empirical Research

These are some key features to look for when identifying empirical research in political science.

NOTE: Not all of these features will be in every empirical research article, some may be excluded, use this only as a guide.

  • Statement of methodology
  • Research questions are clear and measurable
  • Individuals, group, subjects which are being studied are identified/defined
  • Data is presented regarding the findings
  • Controls or instruments such as surveys or tests were conducted
  • There is a literature review
  • There is discussion of the results included
  • Citations/references are included

Some useful keywords may be...

  • Action Research
  • Case Studies
  • Ethnography
  • Evaluation Methods
  • Evaluation Research
  • Experiments
  • Focus Groups
  • Field Studies
  • Interviews
  • Surveys
  • Qualitative Research
  • Research