Book only: Find an interesting study of the following:
Provide full citations. NO textbooks.
Similar to the work of historians, scholars in the field of international relations address big, interconnected, and complex issues that require extensive research and documentation. The predominant format to disseminate this type of in-depth research is in books; a journal article is too short and a research center or think tank report typically only examines a particular topic. As a researcher, you must know how to locate books on your topic. A book can also provide important background information and act as a source of prior research about the topic.
Why no textbooks? Textbooks are intended to cover a particular subject area that is used for studying and learning in school. While textbooks may be useful in learning about something you are unfamiliar with, textbooks are not an appropriate research tool because they often only provide an overview of past studies about a subject area. They contain no original or new research or provide a new understanding about the subject area [i.e., they offer no new interpretive understanding of topics; they only summarize prior research].
By asking that you provide the "full citation," you are gaining practice in how to properly cite sources used for your own research.
Enter a topic in the search box on the main page of the USC Libraries. When records appear, click on the link for books in the left-hand column under MATERIAL TYPE. Choose a title that matches your interests.
When you enter a topic, be sure to put the word "and" in between each word or short phrase [i.e., "global terrorism and Europe"]. This will ensure that you bring up the most relevant search results.
HINT: Citation styles vary--there's APA, MLA, Harvard, Chicago, etc. In the field of international relations, the predominant style used to organize papers and to cite sources is based on the Chicago Manual of Style. Information about how to properly cite a source, can be found here: