The course provides an overview of some of the quantitative and qualitative research methods political scientists use to draw conclusions about the political world. It also teaches students the writing skills specific to political science. By the end of the course, it is expected that students would have learned how to find an interesting topic and pose a research question; how to obtain and analyze data (qualitative or quantitative); how to read and think critically and use various methods of inquiry--theoretical, historical, comparative, behavioral, and post-behavioral; and how to formulate a thesis statement and write a scholarly literature review. Students are required to (1) write a series of short essays that engage with a variety of research tools and methods (argument, critique, textual analysis, content analysis, discourse analysis, participant-observation method, interviews, etc.); (2) engage in peer review exercise, and (3) write a literature review, a research proposal, and/or an analytical or argumentative paper. They receive feedback from the instructor on each assignment and are expected to revise drafts in response to comments received. To satisfy the major's requirement in political science, a student must earn the grade of C+ or above in the course.
Spring Semester informationClarissa Peterson
318A: Research Design and Writing in Political Science