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Political Science   Tags: political science  

a guide to finding information in Political Science
Last Updated: Nov 22, 2013 URL: http://info.library.okstate.edu/polisci Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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About This Guide

This guide will show you resources available for research in Political Science.

You will find information as follows:

  • Background Information - not an expert in Political Science? Here are some books and electronic sources to help you get up to speed.
  • Database Search Tips - tips and tricks to search databases more effectively and efficiently.
  • Finding Books - step one in research is locating books. Here you will find links to searching for books in the OSU Library, as well as other sources for identifying books in libraries around the world.
  • Dissertations - looking for Ph.D. dissertations done at OSU or elsewhere?
  • Finding Articles - to locate research articles, here are some databases and tips
  • Writing and Citing - now that you've collected your information, it's time to write the paper and cite your sources correctly.
  • Public Opinion Polls - a guide to public opinion polls

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The Nature of Political Science Research

Political Science, broadly, is a discipline concerned with the study of the state, government and politics.

Before beginning the process of conducting research in psychology, you need to be aware that political science is a social science. The social sciences are concerned with the study of human society and of individual relationships in and to society. The social sciences include (but are not limited to):

  • political science
  • sociology
  • psychology
  • anthropology
  • economics
  • history

The social sciences are inherently interdisciplinary, meaning they draw upon one another's research and use it as a part of their own.

  • Political scientists will study a given topic from a political science perspective - they will study envents and the underlying relationships in an attempt to define how the political world works.
  • Historians will often study the same events, but from a historical framework, in an attempt to understand the event itself.
  • Psychologists will study that political event an attempt to understand what drives the people to engage in that behavior.
  • Sociologists will study that event from a cultural or societal perspective - is there something in society or a culture which is leading to this situation?
  • Finally, political science also is interested in a variety of other disciplines, such as law, health, and medicine.

What does this mean for you as a political science researcher? You need to look in many places for your research, and in some cases more than one database. Remember: political scientists will research issues from one perspective, sociologists from another, educators from another, and so on.

Political Science Librarian


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