This course has two aims. One is to expose students to various approaches to conducting research in social science in general and political science in particular. The other is to provide students with a framework (both in terms of theorizing and in terms of writing) for identifying a problem to tackle in a thesis or another research project, placing the problem within the discipline, designing a methodology for investigating the problem, and proposing a tentative outline for an argument. Readings include introducing students to basic themes in social science research (types and theories of explanation, different research methods) and to exemplary pieces of political science research. Related assignments on the way include an initital bibliography which is used to find and focus on a specific research question, and a final annotated bibliography. Additional short assignments focus on the development hypotheses and on presenting data in various formats.
- Participation 10%;
- two 2-5 page writing assignments (20%);
- Research design portfolio, with the following components:
- Statement of the research question (5%);
- Bibliography (10%);
- Literature Review (15%);
- Draft Research Proposal (10%); and
- Final Research Proposal (30%).
All political science students interested in learning the basics of political science as a research discipline; all students hoping to enter the Political Science honors concentration. Expected enrollment: 45-60 students.
3 hpw recitation format. Interactive learning and discussion, including student group work.