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Political Studies and Policy and Development Studies: Research support

Research methodology books in print and online

Books on research methodology : 001.45 and 300.72...

Books on research methodology in politics: 320.072

Key texts are often kept in Academic Reserves

Some key methodology books in print in the UKZN libraries are:


Steps in the research process

Identify the research area
What kind of research are you doing and what is the research question/s and / or hypothesis that you wish to answer?

Design the research study
There are various broad types of research in political studies which may be qualitative or quantitative and each requires a particular methodology:

  Undertake a preliminary literature review and draw up a research proposal for your supervisor. Check whether ethical clearance is needed

Carry out research
Know your library collection in both print and electronic, know the tools for searching for information and understand how to evaluate resources. Situate your research within current research. Collect your evidence to answer your research question. Click on the Books, Journals, Databases and Theses tabs above for more information on sources of information and tools. A very useful  brief guide to aspects of the literature review and types of reviews etc has been put together by Chimene Tucker of the Unviersity of S California.
Analyse research results
What does your research / data collection tell you and in relation to your research question?
Publish research results
In what format / style must your thesis be written; ensure your referencing is correct and you have avoided plagiarism (click on the Referencing tab above)

Thesis/dissertation writing - books

  • Books on thesis writing and referencing: 808.02 +
  • Key texts are often kept in Academic Reserves

             Some examples:

Existing theses are useful for structure, methodology and references.

Research Space

Click on the Theses and dissertations tab above for a useful list of theses databases. Below is the link to ResearchSpace, the UKZN online thesis site.

UKZN Research Office

UKZN Research Office is a place to access UKZN Research Policies, Grant Application Forms and Guidelines, Research-related news, and innovative research ideas.

Reference works in print and online

These are books that are not loanable and may only be used in the library, for example, encyclopaedias and dictionaries. They are identified by the letter 'R' preceding the Dewey number on the spine.

Some examples:

Ethical clearance form

All ethical clearance applications are now to be done online via RIG:

All postgrads are automatically registered on RIG (Research Information Gateway) and you login with your UKZN login details. At the next page, top right, click on the arrow next to 'add new content' and then ethical applications.

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