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PEAC 071B: Strategy and Nonviolent Struggle (SC)

Peace Studies / Sociology / Political Science 71B: Lee Smithey - Spring 2017

About this Guide

When you start researching a case, Google will probably be your first stop. It's a perfectly fine place to start your research. (Here are some tips for using Google effectively.

This guide highlights resources beyond Google, ranging from regional news sites (e.g. AfricaWide) to scholarly article databases (e.g. Worldwide Political Science Abstracts).

It's also important to understand that doing research is an iterative process! Expert researchers trace down leads, try out different keywords, and experiment to see what works. And if you get stuck, don't worry - help is available. Contact Sarah Elichko (selichk1) for research assistance.

Researching Cases: Doing a Preliminary Analysis

When you start researching case, do a preliminary analysis. What do you already know from the case description?  What can you learn from some quick initial searches?

  • Who was involved in case?  (advocates, opponents, individuals, organizations)
    • Which people? 
    • Which organizations, political parties, unions? 
      (consider different perspectives -- more info here)
  • What types of sources are most likely to have information about your case? 
  • When did the event(s) you're researching occur?  More recent events may only be covered by newspapers and social media, while events that happened a few months ago (or more) might be discussed in scholarly articles or books.
  • Where did the event(s) occur?  Where were participants and leaders from?  Local and regional news outlets and organizations are possible sources.

Slides from class, 2/2/17