PSCI 350: What is the research assignment?
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.
Writing in Political Science (Duke University)
PSCI 350: Identify and Find 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)
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:
|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 publication, subject|
Library Databases for Political Science
| 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|
| 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.
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.
Citing Your 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:
- In Text Citations by APA (Video)
- APA Formatting and Style Guide by Purdue Online Writing Lab (Comprehensive online guide with examples)
- APA Sample Paper by Purdue Online Writing Lab (PDF)