POLSCI 381 - Political Science Research Design
Section: 001
Term: FA 2017
Subject: Political Science (POLSCI)
Department: LSA Political Science
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

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.

Course Requirements:

  • Participation 10%;
  • two 2-5 page writing assignments (20%);
  • Research design portfolio, with the following components:
    1. Statement of the research question (5%);
    2. Bibliography (10%);
    3. Literature Review (15%);
    4. Draft Research Proposal (10%); and
    5. Final Research Proposal (30%).

Intended Audience:

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.

Class Format:

3 hpw recitation format. Interactive learning and discussion, including student group work.

POLSCI 381 - Political Science Research Design
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 1490201432
Mostly harmless econometrics : an empiricists companion, Author: Angrist, Joshua David, 1960-
ISBN: 0190203935
Writing in political science : a brief guide, Author: LaVaque-Manty, Danielle, 1968-
ISBN: 1515416151
The Elements of Style, Author: Strunk, William, Jr., Publisher: Dancing Unicorn Books 2017
ISBN: 9781351979429
Craft of Political Research, Author: Shively, W. Phillips., Publisher: Taylor and Francis 2017
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