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SOSC 3520 - Understanding Comparative Politics: Search Strategies


These strategies are not "do it once in this order & be done". Instead, they are recommendations for approaches that are often done several times  at different points in your research .

  1. Start with what you have been given
    1. Ideas, information, data,  themes, methods of analysis from  lectures
    2. Ideas, information, data, themes, arguments, from readings
  2. Look for clues in your readings  (Check your class syllabus for readings, or related class syllabi)
    1. Main argument, findings  (in abstract? in conclusion?)
    2. Keywords, special terms?
    3. Important authors?
    4. References to other articles, books, statistics (for your follow-up)
  3. Use References from things you read (The Classic Scholarly Method)
    1. In your pre-session activity you learned to tell the difference between different types of citations. This was to make it quick & easy for you to find items cited in papers & books you read.
  4. Think about the arguments & evidence from the readings and lectures and other info
    1. See if/how they apply to your topic
    2. What questions do they give you?   Start to search for answers or evidence that might lead you to your answer, your theory, your argument.
  5. Search for more answers or evidence (or questions!)  in recommended search tool & sources tab
  6. Use smart-search techniques in those search tools
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