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.

From Research Question to Theory to Hypothesis

I remember an incident from my own undergraduate years that caused me some confusion both when it occurred and for some time thereafter. I took a class with a professor I admired, a well-spoken older man who seemingly knew everything. I don't remember what we were discussing, but one day, a particular guy with a less than stellar reputation (in my mind at least) raised his hand in the middle of class and asked, “Professor, where do theories come from?” The professor froze. I was sitting to the side of the room, and I could see his face clearly. It had the deer-in-the-headlights look of panic for a moment, and then it was gone. The professor ...

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