Pick a research topic:
- Read your syllabus (assignment instructions).
- Pick a topic that interests you and meets the assignment instructions.
- Narrow or broaden the scope of your topic so that it is "doable."
What's scope? Scope refers to the "people, places and things" or "who, what, when and where" that you are studying.
Identify key concepts:
Define and get an overview of your topic or find definitions of key terms and concepts:
- Oxford Reference - Use dictionaries to help with terminology. Encyclopedias provide background information, an overview of topics and issues and often lead you to further readings
- New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics (online)
- The Oxford handbook of political economy
- Reconstructing political economy the great divide in economic thought
- International encyclopedia of the social & behavioral sciences
- The emergence of the global political economy
- Global political economy : contemporary theories
- Encyclopedia of Government and Politics (online)
- Encyclopedia of International Relations and Global Politics (online)
- SAGE Research Methods ( supports beginning and advanced researchers throughout a research project, from writing a research question, choosing a method, gathering and analyzing data, to writing up and publishing the findings)
- IMF (International Monetary Fund)
- OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development)
- United Nations Economic and Social Council
- United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
- World Bank
- World Trade Organization
- Group of Twenty
Government Information - covers a world of subjects including public policy issues, legislative documents and statistics that enrich research.
Think Tank Search - search limited to think tanks dealing in public policy, including NGOs (non-governmental organizations)
Develop a search statement to search databases (including news databases), the catalogue, and other academic sources
A search statement includes a list of keywords, combined using Boolean Operators (AND; OR; NOT)
- AND - this will combine concepts, all of which must be found in your list of results
- media AND children
- OR - either this concept or that concept (or both). This is helpful for generating a list of synonyms. Use synonyms to anticipate the different ways different authors may refer to the same idea. A thesaurus can be helpful for this
- internet OR web OR online
- NOT - do not include this concept
- Mexico NOT city
- Quote marks - find a specific phrase
- "human rights"
- Truncation - any other combination of letters to follow
- Canad* - will find Canada, Canadian, Canadian's, etc.
- journalis* - will find journalism, journalist, journalistic, etc.
- Combine one or more of these operators
- Put a list of synonyms in brackets
(smartphone OR "mobile phone" OR "cell phone") AND (societ* OR cultur*)
OMNI Search engine located on the library home page
use filters on the left hand site and narrow down to:
- Books and select option "Available online"
Why use journal articles?
- They are more up-to-date than most books.
- They are “peer reviewed” by other scholars in the field who check for academic integrity.
- Every article will contain cited references that appear as footnotes and/or bibliographies.
Search engine located on the library home page, allows you to search across many of the library's collections simultaneously. Including books, ebooks, journal titles, games, music, videos, government information, maps, and more.
See also our list of recommended databases on the Political Economy subject guide, which includes:
Subject specific databases
- EconLit with Full Text
- PAIS Index
- International Political Science Abstracts
- Asia-Studies Full-Text Online
- Columbia International Affairs Online
- World Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology Abstracts
- Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
- CEPR Discussion Papers
- Conference Board of Canada e-Library
- World Development Indicators
- World Competitiveness Online
- Gender & Work Database
For current Canadian newspapers/news
To search a specific newspaper, choose "Journals" option, type the exact title, then "Search inside" to retrieve articles within that single newspaper.
- Research and Writing in International Relations
- A Student's Guide for Writing in Political Science
- The craft of research
- Conducting your literature review
- Mining social media : finding stories in internet data
This guide provides basic information on how to cite sources and examples for formatting citations in common citation styles.
You do not need to cite common knowledge (widely-known, generally-accepted information that is not attributable to one source).
Why is Citing Sources Important?
- To give credit to ideas that are not your own
- To provide support for your argument
- To enable your reader to find and read the sources you used
- To avoid infractions
What Needs to be Cited?
- Exact wording taken from any source, including freely available websites
- Paraphrases of passages
- Summaries of another person's work
- Use of another student's work
- Use of your own previous work