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GO111 Maisel: Intro to American Government and Politics: Data

This stage of the research process

You find data to test your hypothesis in the real world. Sometimes the data you look at will support what you've already read in the literature, and sometimes it will surprise you- do some more research to consider what additional factors might explain the difference (eg. Doug Jones' win in Alabama).

Data Sources

Data Search Tips

If you don't find the data you're looking for through one of the data sources on this guide, try searching your keywords in Google followed by "filetype:xls" or "filetype:csv" to get spreadsheet data.

Data doesn't always need to be a spreadsheet full of numbers- transcripts of hearings, text of op-eds, etc. can all be excellent sources of data. This guide focuses more on quantitative data, but don't shy away from using qualitative sources if they will be the best way to test your hypothesis.

Data needs to be assessed too- make sure the data is from a reputable organization/researcher without significant incentives to publish inaccurate results.

For tips on citing data in different styles, see this guide.

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