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Government 2305/2306 - Smith, Wanda-Lee

Writing your political science research paper

Your Research Toolbox

Reference sources provide BASIC OVERVIEWS of and FACTS on a topic. These are great tools to start with! Use them to help you create a list of keywords for searching and fill in the Who? What? When? Where? Why? story of your topic.

Journal articles really zero in on specific aspects of a topic. Academic articles (aka: peer reviewed or scholarly) in particular present a very narrow focus and report on actual research done by experts in that field of study. Peer reviewed articles have to go through a rigorous process of review by other experts in that field before publication.

Books generally provide IN-DEPTH overviews, background and specific information on a topic. In other words, books provide a very holistic view of a topic.

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