Department of Political Science, Queens College

How to Research a Political Science Paper
Peter Liberman, Queens College Dept. of Political Science, September 2001

This brief memo provides some guidance for students embarking on research projects in political science, perhaps their first. It addresses several questions beginning researchers must grapple with as they decide what to work on and how to proceed:

* What is a political science research paper? There are several different types, and understanding this is helpful for choosing a research topic.
* What kind of information is most useful for the various kinds of research papers? Thinking this through will help orient students toward the kind of sources they will need.
* Where can college students find the best sources for their research? The library, of course. This seems obvious, but many students these days have inflated expectations for internet-only research.
* How can students find relevant and quality sources? The library is a haystack and you are looking for a needle. Here's how.
* Article indexes, abstracts, and full-text on-line collections at Rosenthal Library;
* Recommended further reading on how to do political science research.