POLSCI 381 - Political Science Research Design
Section: 001
Term: WN 2019
Subject: Political Science (POLSCI)
Department: LSA Political Science
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This course provides an introduction for undergraduate students to the methods that political scientists (and other social scientists) use to generate and answer questions about the world around us. The goals of this course are to:

  1. provide you with the tools to evaluate critically social science research, and
  2. improve your ability to pose and answer research questions of your own.
In order to conduct political science research, you need to know how to:
  1. formulate a research question,
  2. develop hypotheses,
  3. design a research plan appropriate to test those hypotheses,
  4. collect data, and
  5. analyze that data.

In order to evaluate social science research, you need to be able to identify and constructively critique all of these stages in someone else’s research.

This class is designed to help you begin to make a transition from being solely a consumer of knowledge to being a producer of knowledge. Along the way, I hope you will become a more thoughtful, critical, skeptical, and appreciative consumer of all types of information you receive in the world around you — whether from scholarly articles, news sources, or in the course of casual conversation. You will better be able to identify problems in the research of others — and also develop a greater understanding of just how hard it is to develop good research. The analytical skills you develop in this class should help you assess the quality of information that you encounter regardless of where you go after graduation — to graduate school, law school, government, or the business world. It is all required for all students intending to enter the Political Science Honors concentration: by the end of the academic term, you will have produced a research proposal that, with the guidance of your advisor, may form the basis of a proposal for your Honors thesis.

Course Requirements:

No data submitted

Intended Audience:

This class is for students who are Sophomores or Juniors with a 3.0 GPA or higher; Declared Political Science major.

Class Format:

Recitation meets twice a week for an hour and a half.

POLSCI 381 - Political Science Research Design
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
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