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POLI SCI 3N06 Lecture4.docx

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Political Science
Todd Alway

Political Science 3N06 2013 Lecture 4 Research proposals have a number of elements All these elements should be included in the final product there is a certain logic to it  1. Research Question (first thing) o needs a specific research question o you have to start of with a topic or research area o something related to political science  international politics  local Politics  Canadian Politics  What research question will your study be answering?  Your question must  A. Be significant o Why is this an important area for research? o narrow it down  go through academic journals  look at graduate syllabi and see how they wrote about the topic to create a tentative research topic o you have to justify it o why are you interested in this question  B. Be researchable o It must (for this assignment at least) be capable of being answered through empirical study o it has to be possible to answer this question with emperical data one way or another o this assignment is fixated on empirical data o not political theory questions  C. Be innovative o In the sense of providing new answers to new questions o Or providing new answers to old questions o either it is a new question; like idle no more o take something that is happening right now in light of similar events o come up with an approach to an old question  to expand our knowledge o 2. Literature Review*  you cannot do this unless you have a research question  due in 3 weeks  start off with a research interest  Summarizes trends and themes in the academic literature surrounding a research question  A good literature review is critical, selective, comprehensive, and current  Establishes where your research fits into the existing debate  What it will add  3. Methods and data gathering strategies o What method will be used to gather/analyze data and why? o how are you going to gather your information one way or the other o there has to be something original o look at numerous different methods o how would you use a particular method to gather data  4. Ethical Considerations o Will your study have an impact on those being studied? o How will you protect the rights of research participants? o particular when looking at human subjects o you have to have a conscious discussion  to know whether it will infringe rights of others  5. Expected outcomes o What are you expecting to find? o sort of thing you think you will find at the end  6. Limitations and delimitations o What will your study do and not do? o In practice you will likely go back and forth – as each element helps to render concrete every other element ALL SIX WILL BE IN THE FINAL PRODUCT Literature review wrong way  to list articles and what they said  there is no rational how you have organized your thoughts Literature review the literature review has to be based on a debate on the topic this holistically It is a research essay; like any other except one difference; you are researching the readings of the topic; it will be about what others say about the topic; and then state what is missing when analyzing.  Start off with a research topic that is not too big to be realistically studied
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