The Political Science Toolbox: A Research Companion to American Government

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The authors of The Political Science Toolbox understand the dilemmas facing political science majors and the dilemmas facing political science instructors. Students yearn for a trusted guide to help them cope with the political science experience—a single reference work that contains the basic tools that an American government major needs to succeed. And instructors desire to help students ask meaningful political science questions, but are concerned about sacrificing valuable class time to 're-teach' basic research concepts. In other words, instructors desire a work that contains the basic tools that they hope their students bring to each class, but that experience tells them their students are unlikely to possess. The Political Science Toolbox is a reliable companion to students of American government as they navigate their undergraduate programs. It serves as a bridge between research methods classes and student research, making it a valuable supplement for an applied research methods class, as well as a useful supplement for introduction to American government courses or introduction to Political Science courses. Moreover, students completing honors papers, capstone assignments, or any substantial research projects in the field of American government will find the ideas and guidance provided in this work to be invaluable.

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Editorial Reviews

— R. Heineman, Alfred University
Bruce Larson
Finally-an undergraduate American Government text that fuses research design and substantive knowledge! Coherently integrating the study of American Government with social science analysis, the Frantzich and Ernst text teaches students how to do social science research in American Government. The Political Science Toolbox is an outstanding resource for American Government instructors interested in showing students how to produce knowledge about American Government rather than merely consume it.
Larry J. Sabato
The Political Science Toolbox is a fantastic new resource for students of American government. This one-of-a-kind text teaches students about American government by involving them in political inquiry. The work blends the substance of American politics with the tools of political science, and does it at a level that is well suited for undergraduates. Well-written and thoughtfully organized, the work is destined to become an indispensable resource for students. I wish it had been available when I was in college!
Zach Messitte
The Political Science Toolbox is a breakthrough text book that will benefit students and professors of American government. It is rare to find a text that can both anchor an introductory politics course and explain the complexity of the science of politics without dumbing-down the critical material. The Toolbox combines the modern — by making use of useful Internet links - with the traditional — by emphasizing history, theory and methodology. It is much more than a introductory text to political science; It is the kind of book that students will use again and again throughout their college careers.
CHOICE - R. Heineman
John Ishiyama
This is a very unique, and very useful book. It provides a user-friendly and practical guide for undergraduate students to access resources that will assist them in conducting research. This enhances their ability to engage in self directed learning, or, in other words, helps students "learn how to fish".
It is likely to become an indispensable supplement for any introduction to American government or politics class.
— R. Heineman, Alfred University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742547629
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/7/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen E. Frantzich is professor of political science at the U.S. Naval Academy where he was selected as the outstanding professor in 1990, runner-up as outstanding researcher in 2001 and as one of the first USNA Teaching Fellows in 2002. He is the author of over a dozen books, most recently Citizen Democracy: Citizen Activists in a Cynical Age (2008) and Founding Father: How C-span's Brian Lamb Changed Politics In America (2008). Long a practitioner of judicious use of new technology in teaching, he has won awards from the American Political Science Association, C-SPAN, and a variety of publishers. Howard R. Ernst is professor of political science at the United States Naval Academy and Senior Scholar at University of Virginia's Center for Politics. He teaches and researches in the areas of U.S. Government and Constitutional Development, Research Methods, Elections, and Environmental Politics. He is the co-editor of the Encyclopedia of American Political Parties and Elections (2007) and author of Chesapeake Bay Blues: Science, Politics, and the Struggle to Save the Bay (2003). As a Senior Scholar at the Center for Politics, Dr. Ernst advises the institute on issues related to electoral politics, environmental politics, and civic engagement.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction: Thinking Like a Political Scientist Chapter 2 The Constitution and Found Era Chapter 3 Congress and the Legislative Process Chapter 4 The Presidency and the Bureaucracy Chapter 5 The Federal Judiciary Chapter 6 State and Local Government Chapter 7 The Media Chapter 8 Political Parties and the Interest Groups Chapter 9 Elections, Public Opinion, and Voting

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