PSCI 350: What is the research assignment?

PSCI 350: What is the research assignment?

PSCI 350: Midterm Assignment (She)

For Professor She's midterm assignment, you will select one of the following questions and write an analytical essay independently:

Essay Question: 1. Which IR theory (realism/liberalism/radicalism/constructivism) AND level of analysis best explains the Iraq War and why? Support your argument with concrete evidence.

Essay Question 2: Which IR theory (realism/liberalism/radicalism/constructivism) AND level of analysis best explains the Russia-Ukraine Conflict and why? Support your argument with concrete evidence.

Your essay should be approximately 3-5 pages, double-spaced, with a 1-inch margin. Please make sure you: 

1) answer all parts of the question;

2) have a clear and well-organized argument;

3) provide concrete supporting evidence;

4) address at least one potential counterargument;

5) cite properly and consistently. 

The textbook is your starting point. You are also expected to cite at least TWO additional sources. At least ONE of the additional sources you cite has to be a PEER REVIEWED journal article. Any citation format is accepted as long as you cite correctly and consistently.


Additional information:

Writing in Political Science (Duke University)


PSCI 350: Identify and Find Scholarly Articles

PSCI 350: Identify and Find Scholarly Articles

GBST 300 - Identifying Scholarly Articles

A scholarly article is how researchers (scholars) communicate the findings and analysis of their research. Scholarly articles:

  • Provide original research and analysis - these articles are based on studies or experiments, or analyze an artifact or event. Every scholarly article presents something new about the world we didn't know before.
  • Are written by scholars - scholars tend to hold PhDs, or other advanced degrees and are professors at universities.
  • Are published in peer-reviewed journals - These are generally accessed via library databases.
  • Might be hard to read - they act as the primary conversation between scholars about a field of study. Since they are written by scholars, for scholars, they contain specialized language that might be hard for the lay person to understand.

Credit: Allison Carr 

Distinguishing scholarly articles from non-scholarly sources (USC Libraries)

TUTORIAL: How to find scholarly articles in the CSUSM library databases





PSCI 350: Find Scholarly Articles

Boolean Searching in the Databases


Image credit: Information Resource Center Blog

Tips on searching the databases

Here are some general tips on searching for articles for your report:

Tip Examples
Use keywords, not long search phrases

Instead of searching for "How was the U.S. invasion of Iraq a result of realist policy?" break down your search into the main keywords:

"United States," Iraq, realist or realism

Use quotation marks (" ") to keep phrases together

Use AND to combine different keywords

realism AND "United States" AND "Iraq War"
Use OR to combine similar/associated keywords Iraq OR Middle East
Look for ways to limit your search in the database You can often limit by type of article (scholarly and peer-reviewed), year of publicationsubject 


Library Databases for Political Science

Library Databases for Political Science

Most Useful

Database Full Text Coverage Scholarly
America: History & Life

Abstracts of journal articles covering American & Canadian history, from pre-history to the present.

Links to full-text via Get-It 1964 to current All
America's Historical Newspapers

United States newspapers including African American and Hispanic American interests. Languages other than English include Spanish and a limited number in French and German. Of special interest is the San Diego Union and its variants archive. The Los Angeles Times archives and New York Times archives are searchable as separate collections. Current newspapers are available in the Newspaper tab under the "Most Popular" databases link on the library homepage. 

Full-text 1670 to 1998
California Digital Newspaper Collection

Digitized full text newspapers consisting of lesser-known titles from cities and regions in California. Part of the IMLS-funded national effort to make historical newspapers freely available.

Full-text 1846 to 1920
Campbell Collaboration

Systematic reviews on the effects of social interventions in the areas of education, crime and justice, social welfare and international development.

Full-text 2004 to present
Ethnic NewsWatch

Full-text ethnic newspapers, searchable in English or Spanish.

Some full-text; plus links to full-text via Get-It 1992 to current None
HAPI: Hispanic American Periodicals Index

Indexes journals from 1970 on providing information about Central and South America, Mexico, the Caribbean and Hispanics in the United States.

None 1970 to current All
Hispanic American Newspapers, 1808-1980

Spanish and English language newspapers offering news, advertisements, opinion and more from across the nation reflecting contemporary thought and activity.

Full-text 1808 to 1980 None
Homeland Security Digital Library

The HSDL collection provides quick access to important U.S. policy documents, presidential directives, and national strategy documents as well as specialized resources such as theses and reports from various universities, organizations and agencies.

Full-text current to current Most
Military & Government Collection

Provides full text for hundreds of military related periodicals and general interest magazines.

Some full-text; plus links to full-text via Get-It 1975 to current Some

An important index to political, economic, and social issues in current debate.

Links to full-text via Get-It 1972 to current All
ProQuest Global Newsstream (formerly Newsstand)

Global Newsstream enables users to search the most recent global news content, as well as archives which stretch back into the 1980s featuring content from newspapers, newswires, and news sites in active full-text format. This product provides one of the largest collections of news from the US, Canada, Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Australia.

Full-text 1980 to current None
Public Policy Institute of California

This collection of California state policy, research and statistical reports covers subjects such as economic development, education, employment, environment, government/politics, health, housing, infrastructure (transportation, water, etc.), immigration.

Full-text 1996 to current Some

Also Useful

Database Full Text Coverage Scholarly
Academic Search Premier

This scholarly collection offers information in nearly every area of academic study including: computer sciences, engineering, physics, chemistry, language and linguistics, arts & literature, medical sciences, ethnic studies, and many more.

Some full-text; plus links to full-text via Get-It 1975 to current Most
CQ Researcher

Explores a single hot issue in the news in-depth each week. Topics range from social and teen issues to environment, health, education and science and technology.

Full-text 1991 to current None
Gale Virtual Reference Library

Gale Virtual Reference Library is a database of encyclopedias and specialized reference sources for multidisciplinary research.

Full-text current Some

Contains (EXCEPT for the latest five years) core scholarly journals in sociology, history, economics, political science, mathematics, African-American & Asian studies, literature, humanities, music, and biological, health & general sciences.

Full-text 1838 to most recent five years Most
Kanopy Video Library

Kanopy provides streaming on-demand access to thousands of documentaries, feature and independent films, and training videos. Licensing partners include Criterion Collection, Universal Paramount, The Great Courses, New Day Films, California Newsreel, PBS, First Run Features, Media Education Foundation, Documentary Educational Resources, and others. Kanopy videos can be viewed on a range of devices and platforms including Apple, Android, and Windows.

Full-text current

Citing Your Sources

Citing Your Sources

GBST 300 - Citing Sources

Professor Bozonelos has indicated that you may choose any citation style that works best for you, but you must consistently use that format.

Here are some citation resources you may consult: