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POL 280: Research Methods in Politics and International Affairs: Getting Started


This research guide is designed for students doing research for Research Methods classes. If you run into any problems, or need more assistance, don't hesitate to use the calendar to request a personal research session. If you cannot find a time when I am available, feel free to find a time on one of the other social science librarians' calendars

Search Tips for Politics

Good searching can shorten your research time significantly. Here are my top five tips for Politics researchers:

  • When researching people (or two word countries), put the name in quotes "Nelson Mandela" or "South Africa"
  • When researching countries, truncate: 'Mexic*' will find items that have 'Mexico' AND ones with 'Mexican'.
  • Be specific: A search for 'female suicide bombers.' is much better  than one for 'terrorist methods.'
  • Use the various ways of limiting a search that appear on your results screen - most interfaces let you limit by publication date, subject, format and more. Use these to narrow your results list as much as possible.
  • Finally, ZSR Librarians are very skilled in helping you find the best search for your topic - just request a meeting!

Rosalind Tedford

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Rosalind Tedford
ZSR Library
Room 457A
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