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Research Guides

PADM 623: Research Methods for Government and Public Affairs

Nia Rodgers

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Nia Rodgers
Public Affairs Research Librarian
Contact:
slrodgers@vcu.edu
(804) 828-8565
Cabell Library, Room 121

Starting Points

When thinking about your research project, it is helpful to think about your possible topics in a logical manner. Open Sage Research Methods (linked below). Click on the link for Design a Research Project. Notice that on the left side of the page, there are linear steps to help you develop and define a topic.

Datasets and Variables

Studying other researcher's datasets might help you to narrow your variables. Asking the right question gets you the right answer! 

The Literature Review

Now that you have a reasonable topic that can be covered in your time/page/research allotment, you need to conduct a literature review. Lit reviews are a discussion of where the current literature stands on a topic - include all angles possible to get the most coverage. Instead of searching for "benefits", search for a more neutral term, like "outcomes" or "impacts".