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.

Practicing Peer Review

Students often struggle with paper writing in general, and with some of the specific writing tasks associated with this kind of assignment. Chapter 9 focused on the content portion of writing this paper; this chapter focuses instead on the process of writing. In particular, it addresses the postwriting processes often associated with major papers—self-editing and peer review—and the specific ways these occur in empirical social science writing. The paper isn't done when you write the last word of the conclusion, but most students find themselves at a loss for how to proceed with revising or rewriting their papers.

This chapter has three major sections. The first section gives some general tips for successful paper writing, drawn from my own experience and ...

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