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Empirical Research and Writing

Empirical Research and Writing
A Political Science Student’s Practical Guide

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January 2015 | 320 pages | CQ Press
Students can easily misstep when they first begin to do research. Leanne C. Powner’s new title Empirical Research and Writing: A Student's Practical Guide provides valuable advice and guidance on conducting and writing about empirical research. Chapter by chapter, students are guided through the key steps in the research process. Written in a lively and engaging manner and with a dose of humor, this practical text shows students exactly how to choose a research topic, conduct a literature review, make research design decisions, collect and analyze data, and then write up and present the results. The book's approachable style and just-in-time information delivery make it a text students will want to read, and its wide-ranging and surprisingly sophisticated coverage will make it an important resource for their later coursework.
Part I: The Preliminaries
Chapter 1: From Research Topic to Research Question
Doing Social Science  
Research Questions and This Course’s Research Project  
From Research Topic to Research Question  
Finding and Refining a Research Question  
Writing Your Paper  
Key Terms  
Chapter 2: From Research Question to Theory to Hypothesis
What Is a Theory?  
From Question to Theory  
From Theory to Hypothesis  
Writing Your Theory Section  
Key Terms  
Part II: The Practicalities
Chapter 3: Doing Pre-Research
The Parts of an Empirical Paper  
How to Think About Literature(s)  
How to Find Literature(s)  
How to Organize Literature(s)  
How to Write the Literature Review  
Key Terms  
Chapter 4: Choosing a Design that Fits Your Question
Types of Hypotheses  
What Type of Analysis Should I Conduct?  
Overview of Techniques  
Key Terms  
Chapter 5: Case Selection and Study Design for Qualitative Research
Qualitative Study Design  
Hypothesis-Testing Techniques and Case Selection  
Writing Your Methodology Section  
Key Terms  
Chapter 6: Qualitative Data Collection and Management
Information, Data, and Evidence  
Maximizing Leverage Over Your Hypotheses  
Data Collection Techniques  
Sources and Resources  
Data Management Options  
Writing About Data Collection  
Key Terms  
Chapter 7: Quantitative Data Collection and Management
Identifying Data Needs: What Cases?  
Identifying Data Needs: What Variables?  
Measurement: Matching Concepts to Indicators  
Getting Ready-to-Use Data  
Collecting and Managing Your Own Data  
Key Terms  
Chapter 8: Preparing Quantitative Data for Analysis
Transferring Data into Your Stats Program  
Dealing With Missing Data  
Preparing to Analyze Your Data  
Other Data Manipulations  
The Theory-Data Danger Zone: Endogeneity, Simultaneity, and Omitted Variable Bias  
Key Terms  
Chapter 9: Writing up Your Research
The Abstract  
The Bookends  
The Results: Conventions of Reporting and Discussing Quantitative Analysis  
Discussing Qualitative Evidence and Claims  
Key Terms  
Part III: Post-paper Processes
Chapter 10: Practicing Peer Review
Writing Without Whining  
Practicing Peer Review  
Writing Your Review of Peer Research  
Key Terms  
Chapter 11: Posters, Presentations, and Publishing
Slip ‘n’ Slide  
Post-paper Possibilities  
Brief Remarks on Graduate Study in Political Science and International Relations  


Instructor Resource Site
Password-protected INSTRUCTOR RESOURCES you’ll actually use!
Save time and ease class preparation with the additional guidance and tools, including:
  • Graphics from the text
  • Classroom activities
  • Instructor's Manual
Student Study Site
Open-access STUDENT RESOURCES put knowledge to the test, featuring:
  • Mobile-friendly eFlashcards strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts
  • Chapter Summaries
  • Over 40 additional sections, essays, and examples to expand on book material
  • Research paper template
  • Extensive collection of linked and annotated data site links to facilitate student research

This is an excellent introduction for students starting a PhD

Department of Peace Studies, Bradford University
October 20, 2015

The students preferred this over Johnson et al, we will keep it on the syllabus for next year.

Ms Sophia Hatz
Dept of Peace & Conflict Research, Uppsala University
July 6, 2015

A well written and thoughtful piece for thesis preparation. I will use chapters of the book to advice my students to write empirical papers.

Mr Christopher Kaan
BITS Berlin, Business and Information Technology School
June 16, 2015

Sample Materials & Chapters

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ISBN: 9781483369631

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