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Politics and International Relations: Researching and writing essays

This guide will introduce you to resources for politics and international relations.

Focused research?

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Writing successful essays

Successful essay writing takes time and requires specific skills. Look at this mind map, which contains helpful tips and tricks, and just click on the topic that interests you to learn more.

Citing & referencing in Politics

The Department is not prescriptive about styles. Either an in-text/author-date OR a footnote style can be used. The emphasis is on consistency.

In general APA, Chicago, Harvard or MLA  are recommended for in-text/author-date, while Chicago or MLA are recommended for footnote styles.

The Library provides information on styles with specific examples in the citing and referencing tutorial.

International relations databases

Smart search strategies

What are the key concepts of your topic?

(1) United Nations     (2) Future

Are there alternative terms which may also describe the topic?

  1. Global organization; International organization; World organization
  2. Plans; Prospects; Models; Success; Changes; Forthcoming; Directions

Construct the search into a logical structure to ensure you retrieve relevant results. For example:

("United Nations" OR "Global organization" OR "World organization") AND ("future Plans" OR prospects OR directions OR models)

All synonyms joined by "OR"; all concepts joined by "AND"


Other tips:

  • Consider American spelling, (organiZation or organiSation)
  • Plurals (organization(S); prospect(S); Plan(S); model(S) etc
  • Wildcard and truncation symbols in Databases which save typing in all variations of words, for example:
    organi?ation (for organisation or organization); success* (for successive, successful, successes)
  • Too many search results?
    reduce by narrowing the topic eg consider a part of the United Nations for example the General Assembly or the Security Council; search for material published in the past 5 years.