In the best published social science writing you will be able to identify a clear how or why question at the heart of the research.
How and why questions are essential because they require the author to make an argument.
There are, however, gradations of primary evidence.
The best sources are those in original languages that are linked to persons directly involved in the event or development that you are researching.
If nothing else, begin with the Encyclopaedia Britannica, a wonderful but sadly neglected resource.
Read a few books or articles on topics you find of interest.
At the beginning of a course, you will probably not know enough about the major scholarly topics that are of most importance in the field, the topics that are most well-covered in the secondary literature or the topics that have already had the life beaten out of them by successive generations of writers.
You should begin by doing some general reading in the field.
How do different electoral systems affect the behavior of political parties?
The point is that you should attempt to identify either: Professional social scientistshistorians, political scientists, sociologists, international affairs expertswork on both these kinds of questions.