TR 12.30-1.50 pm
This course is designed that it assumes students have no proper background in methods. It combines both theory and practice. You do better by doing things than just reading and memorizing. The course provides a basic grounding in political science methods for students who are exposed to political research for the first time. The course is designed in such a way as to enable students to understand and evaluate reports on both qualitative and quantitative research. The journal articles assigned expose students to a wide variety of articles in the extant literature written in a style consistent with scientific research. While the course cuts through a wide range of chapters in methods, it connects those to political theories. Students will learn to connect research to topics like democracy, elections, public opinion, war, relations among states, foreign policy, etc. After all, what is learning political research without being able to relate it to politics?
Upon completion of this course, students are required to have a grasp of the above. At the end of the course students are required to be able to identify key concepts and terms in American government. Further, the student should exhibit an ability to apply these in explaining development within the field. In addition, students are also required to understand and analyze political events and trends. Hopefully, what has been learned may give you a better understanding of what happens in your everyday life, for example, when you pay taxes, when you elect representatives, the questions posed by political scientists, etc. The reading assignments should prepare you for higher level and graduate courses and in political science and government. The writing assignment/term paper is designed to improve both your scholarly writing skills as well as research skills.
1. A Stata Companion to Political Analysis, latest ed. By Philip H. Pollock III. CQ Press.
Pearson Longman Publishing Company.
There are no supplementary texts for this class. This will be substituted with weekly reading materials which will be announced in class or sent to you via email. The instructor will recommend books, articles, and other reading materials (e.g. journal articles) in the course of the semester.
Some Important Expectations
Each member of the class will show due respect for one another. Ideas may be challenged, but individual attacks are unacceptable. I will not tolerate rude and/or abusive language in class. A student who makes fun of the instructor directly or indirectly, for example, in the form of a slang or a jargon will be dealt with seriously.I will also not tolerate any other unacceptable behavior in class, for example, the habit of talking to others when the instructor is talking, or while another student is engaged in a discussion with the instructor. Because there is a long list of negative behaviors, whenever there is a dispute on what constitutes negative behavior, the instructor reserves the right to decide. As college students, you are expected to discriminate between normal and not so normal behavior.
In keeping with the theme of respect, all students must adhere to the code of academic conduct in order to maintain appropriate and acceptable conduct when class is in session. In addition, students are also required to understand the seriousness of plagiarism in the academic world. Failure to do so, as evidenced by plagiarism or other honor violations will result in a failing grade or more serious consequences. Please read “Code of Student Conduct” (Section VI) in the Student Handbook.
No person will be discriminated based on age, race, religion, national origin, sex, or disability. (Any student with a disability certified by the University disability office should notify the instructor immediately for proper arrangements to be made)
I refer to any form of participation which is negatively distracting, inappropriate, or rude, negative participation. Students who commit negative participation are at risk of losing some or all participation points and face other appropriate actions. Other examples of negative participations are sleeping in class, whistling, regular grinning, and regular silent giggles. If you are grinning or giggling when a joke is not cracked, you may be busy conducting negative non-verbal communication with other students, reading/sending text messages, or other undesirable conduct. In any case these behaviors are considered negative participation. Because there is a long list of negative behaviors, whenever there is a dispute on what constitutes negative participation, the instructor reserves the right to decide.
Individual Paper Presentation 30%
Attendance, Participation, and Quizzes 30% (15% for attendance and 15% for participation).
Term Paper/Other expectations 40% A research paper
The research paper:
The objective is not to ensure ability to write a regular paper but the ability to understand search techniques, correct style of scholarly writing, ability to construct graphs and charts, correlation tables, regression results and interpretation, avoiding plagiarism, etc. Papers must adhere strictly to requirements- Page numbering, Paper length, Introduction and Conclusion, Scholarly style, stapled (not clips), and not late. Failure to follow this can result in either reduced paper grade or fail (Will be discussed in greater detail in class).
Late papers will not be accepted
You are allowed one absence. For every additional absence, 3 percentage points will be deducted from the overall attendance points. Attendance will be taken at random. The instructor reserves the right to deduct attendance points for students who are regularly late for class or regularly enter and leave class while lecture is in session. The number of points deducted is at the sole discretion of the instructor. It could range from 1 percentage point to the entire 15 percentage points. If you are late, it is your responsibility to find out what announcements you missed. You are at a risk of losing some of your participation points if you are unable to provide a correct answer when asked in class or if you did not prepare an assignment to be discussed in class. Although I sometimes repeat important announcements, it is solely your responsibility to find out missed information. The instructor is not responsible for repeating announcements already made in class, nor respond to emails about missed announcements.