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Political Science

Guide to Political Science library research

Getting Started

Think about what you are trying to research in Political Science. Are you interested in learning about the Belt and Road Initiative? Do you want to learn about IMF funding in developing countries or different expressions of populism? Deciding on your research topic will give you a jumping-off point to dig deeper.

For more information about finding your research topic, see Choosing a Research Topic in our Research Essentials Guide.

Once you have your research topic, it's time to dive into the literature. Determine some keywords that describe the most important concepts for your topic, and use those keywords to search for articles, books, or other materials that cover your topic. 

Using Boolean operators along with your keywords, such as AND or OR, can also help you refine your search. 

For a deeper dive into finding sources for your topic, see Finding Books and Articles in our Research Essentials Guide.

As you find materials to help you in your research, you may start to find that you are drifting away from your original research topic. That's okay! This can be a great chance to refine your topic. For example, if you start out researching affects of climate change on trade agreements in Africa, but wind up becoming more interested in writing about negotiations around the Great Green Wall as you read, that can turn into a great opportunity to pursue a topic that interests you more. Alternatively, if you look for materials on your topic and have a hard time finding much research on it, or finding conclusive research, that might be a sign that you can fill a gap in the field's knowledge by collecting your own data.

At this point it is also a great idea to sit back and take stock. Always remember to evaluate your sources, and reach out if you still need help.

Where Are the Library Books related to Political Science?

  • 320 Political Science
  • 321 Systems of governments and states
  • 322 Relations of state to organized groups
  • 323 Civil and Political Rights
  • 324 The Political Process
  • 325 International migration and colonization
  • 326 Slavery and emancipation
  • 327 International Relations
  • 328 The legislative Process 

The 320's (books on political science) are found in Ryan Library, 3rd Floor, South Wing.  
The 900's (books on history, including political science) are found in Ryan Library, 2nd Floor, West Wing.

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