RESEARCH METHODS

Course Details

Course Number: POLS 3213  Section Number: 201

Spring 2011

Location: Prothro-Yeager Hall

Classroom Number: 209

Days & Times:

TR 12.30-1.50 pm



Course Attachments

Syllabus  POLS3213-01TRSp2011-20120320-153735.docx

Textbooks

MSU Faculty Member
Dr. Sugumaran Narayanan   
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Course Objectives

Course Description

 

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?   

 

 

Course Objectives

 

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.


Course Expectations

Required Texts

1.    A Stata Companion to Political Analysis, latest ed. By Philip H. Pollock III. CQ                        Press.

  1. Writing in Political Science: A Practical Guide. Latest Edition. Diane Schmidt. 

Pearson Longman Publishing Company.

 

 

Supplementary Texts

 

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.


Grading Standards

Course Evaluation

 

Individual Paper Presentation                         30%

 

Attendance, Participation, and Quizzes         30% (15% for attendance and 15% for participation).

Term Paper/Other expectations           40% A research paper


Submission Format Policy

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).



Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

Late papers will not be accepted


Plagiarism Policy Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception. Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student. We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed. Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

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.


Writing Proficiency Requirement All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at http://academics.mwsu.edu/wpr, or call 397-4131.