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Political Science  

Find general resources for a variety of topics related to the political sciences.
Last Updated: Feb 9, 2016 URL: http://libguides.snc.edu/polisci Print Guide RSS Updates

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How to Evaluate Scholarly Sources

Questions to consider?

1.     What type of study is this (See the section below)?

2.     Does it provide the kind of “evidence” I need for my topic?

3.     How will this research help me develop my topic or thesis?

4.     Is the research current enough?

5.     Does it address or ignore other valid perspectives?

6.     Is this study cited in other relevant studies I’ve found?  

Types of Political Science Research

 Theory Proposing/Testing  Stock-Taking/Review Essays  Historical  Policy Analysis  Predictive

Focuses on presenting new political theories and testing those theories with the best evidence available.

Describes and evaluates what other scholars how other scholars have addressed specific research questions.

Examines the historical roots of specific political trends and behaviors. Explores the political, social, and/or economic effects of specific legislation and policies. Tries to anticipate specific outcomes based on existing data and historical evidence.

e.g: The economic status of voters of the United States usually determines which political party they identify with.  

e.g: How have scholars explored the voting behaviors of different voter blocs in the United States?

e.g:  What conditions have led to the realignments of major political parties in the United States?

e.g:  How do new voter ID laws affect the level of voter turnout in local and/or national elections?

 e.g: To what extent will the majority of African-American voters continue to support candidates from the Democratic Party?

Important Databases

  • Academic Search Complete
    An excellent database to begin searching for general scholarly articles on your topic. Academic Search Complete contains articles from journals across multiple disciplines, including but not just related to political science.
  • JSTOR
    Use this database to find full-text versions of scholarly articles from top academic journals in the humanities and social sciences. Users can conduct a variety of searches or browse specific publications. NOTE: JSTOR often does not provide access to the most current issues of many top journals.
  • Science Direct
    This database includes journals from the Life Sciences, Health Sciences, Social Sciences and the Humanities and content associated with the research, such as audio and video files, datasets and other supplementary content.
 

In-Class Activity

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