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.

Case Selection and Study Design for Qualitative Research

This chapter begins our foray into the practicalities—the nitty-gritty details—of performing qualitative analysis. A lot of beginning researchers think that qualitative research is somehow easier because you don't have to do statistics, by which I assume they mean estimate relationships between variables. Since hypothesis testing is at its core about estimating and comparing relationships among variables, I'm not really sure where that belief comes from. I think it might stem from ideas that since we can all read and understand words, we can all therefore use words effectively as evidence, and so we can all do qualitative analysis without any special training. This belief really isn't correct, either. Good qualitative research design is at least as ...

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