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Research Tutorial: How to Conduct Research for Politics & Legal Studies Majors

Research Tutorial

Take the Research Tutorial 

  • At the end of the tutorial provide your email address to email proof of completion to yourself


Videos to Prepare for Searching for Articles

Grab a pen and notepad. These videos include brief writing exercises. 

personVideo learning goals:

  1. Help you figure out questions you might want to ask in your research project
  2. Help you broaden and narrow your search terms 
  3. Help you share your ideas with your Professor or TA early to ensure they are framed within a Politics perspective 

Develop your research question

Mapping Your Research Ideas (2:53 minute video) - A good way to start a search is to enter words or phrases from your question(s) into the search boxes. This video provides useful strategies for developing research questions.

Evaluate your sources

Use the criteria to determine if the articles are suitable for your research needs.  Goals of Using the Criteria:

  1. To understand the source on a deeper level
  2. To understand how you will use the source in your research paper
     Note: The Evaluation Criteria may be useful for writing your Annotated Bibliography.

Search Strategy

Crafting A Savvy Search Strategy (3:25 minute video) - Keywords are your best guess at how a topic is discussed in the academic literature. Thinking up the right keywords is difficult. This video provides useful strategies for developing keywords 

Cite your sources and Writing your paper


The following guides provide examples specific to your assignment. Goals of Properly Citing in Chicago and MLA Format:

  1. Consistency with citiation format in all your In-Text and Reference List citations 
  2. Credit given to each author and their idea and words in your paper
  3. The reader is able to identify when you're writing about someone else's research and ideas in your paper
  4. The reader is able to distinguish each source listed in your References List