A step-by-step guide to writing empirically-focused research papers. Powner, an expert teacher, offers clear, detailed, and often entertaining instructions for formulating hypothesis, doing pre-research, selecting appropriate research designs, selecting cases, collecting and managing both qualitative and quantitative data, preparing data for analysis, writing up research findings, practicing peer review, and delivering findings in posters and presentations, and preparing work for publication. Each chapter contains interesting and useful examples (both hypothetical and real), exercises to help students apply what they've learned, and pedagogical features to inspire, instructor, and aid further research, including “Peer Pointers” (quotes from former students that illustrate “aha!” moments), “Talking Tips” (fundamental and surprising tip for research), and appendix materials that include formatting guidelines and a list of major data sources for political science. Making the book as turnkey as possible are downloadable student and instructor resources, including lesson plans and activities for instructors, solutions manual to in-text exercises, links to common citation guides, data sources, journals that publish student papers, and conferences where students can share papers and posters.

Writing up your Research

This chapter's focus is the writing of the paper itself. Many of the previous chapters have included sections on writing about their particular topics; this chapter fills in the gaps between those. Much of this chapter focuses on writing about your findings and on effective presentation of evidence, both qualitative and quantitative. But we also consider the crucially important but often overlooked introduction, conclusion, and abstract.

The typical empirical research paper contains six sections, as Chapter 3 noted: introduction, literature review, theory, research design, analysis, and conclusion. These papers also commonly contain an abstract, which is a succinct, paragraph-length summary of the paper. The abstract is particularly useful as a framing device for writing the paper, so we begin there. ...

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