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.

Quantitative Data Collection and Management

In this chapter, we transition from pre-research and research design tasks to preparing for analysis. The crucial intermediate step in that process is assembling the data to analyze. That's not a small task, but it needn't be an overwhelming one. As with everything else in this book, thinking before doing can save you a lot of time, headache, and hassle. A lot of data exist in ready-to-use form, thanks to the efforts of other researchers and data collection organizations. Knowing what you need and knowing where to get it is half the battle. If you do need to collect a variable or two of data for yourself, we have a lot of strategies and tips for making that necessary ...

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