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.

Choosing a Design That Fits your Question

By now, you have established a research question, created a theory to answer your question, identified observable implications, and developed testable hypotheses to see if your answer is right. This chapter moves into the next stage of going from idea to paper: identifying an appropriate research design to test your hypotheses. We have two main groups of empirical research tools, qualitative and quantitative. The choice between these, and between different techniques within these groups, depends on your research question and hypotheses. So let's get two common misperceptions out of the way. First, very few research questions explicitly need one form or another. We can test virtually all hypotheses using both quantitative methods and qualitative methods. If you've ...

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