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PAD 704: Research Design

This guide was created for PAD 704 Research Design but includes resources that will be useful for anyone working on a lit review or other research project.

The Assignment

The major assignment for this course is a final research proposal, which will build on the work you do throughout the semester. This work includes a literature review of your research topic.

This guide will assist you in locating and utilizing library resources to complete your literature review. You will also find recommendations for keeping your work organized and contact information for your subject librarian.

Refer to your course syllabus for details about the assignments and other course policies.

Dewey Graduate Library

Ask Us!

Ask Us! is a chat reference service that is available 24 hours a day.

Research Consultation

Research consultations are available virtually by appointment. Email your Subject Librarian if you want to set up an individual research consultation.

  • Angela Hackstadt, Political Science, Public Policy, Public Administration and Law


Personalized Assistance With Searching is a consultation service provided by University Libraries. You can learn more about PAWS and sign up for an appointment here.

Research Trail

Keeping track of your research steps and findings is part of a good research strategy.

  • It will keep you from duplicating your efforts. Don't try to remember every search you've tried - write it down!
  • It is a handy way to keep track of information you will need for your bibliography.
  • It is an easy way to show a librarian what you have already tried.

How to keep a research trail

  1. Keep track of the database you used, the search terms you used, the filters or limits, and the date you conducted the search.
  2. Make a note of the number of results. It doesn't have to be exact; it can be as general as "too many" or "not enough."
  3. Save results worth reviewing in your preferred citation manager or copy and paste the permalinks in your research trail.
  4. If you have any thoughts or ideas about the resource or your research strategy, jot them down.
  5. Keep it simple.