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University of Ottawa
Political Science
Stephanie Mullen

FOUNDATIONS OF RESEARCH IN POLITICAL SCIENCE POL 2156B DR. STEPHANIE MULLEN FALL 2013 Course schedule: Wednesday 7-10 pm Office: Social Science Building, Room Office hours: By appt. any weekday or by email any weekday or weekend. E-mail: [email protected] Assistant: TBA OFFICIAL COURSE DESCRIPTION Introduction to the fundamental dimensions of research. Presentation of several epistemological approaches and the questions they raise. Study of diverse logics of enquiry and their modes of inference. Introduction to some techniques and methods. Elaboration of a research project covering all of the required steps. GENERAL COURSE DESCRIPTION This course provides an introduction and overview of the research process and helps develop critical perspectives (e.g., methodological, ethical, practical) on the ways that research methods are implicated in the production of knowledge in political science. It is intended to provide students with a sound foundation in the general principles of research methods (i.e., both qualitative and quantitative techniques used to gather and analyze data) and their application in political science (e.g., surveys, interviews and field research). Students will learn the steps necessary to undertake a research project: what questions to ask, how to design and proceed through the research project, how to operationalize theoretical concepts, and how to gather and analyze data. EVALUATION Course Material: The Research Process, Canadian Edition. Bouma, Ling & Wilkinson. Grade Distribution 25 % Research WorkshopthAttendance (5 Workshops X 5 Mark Each) 35 % Midterm (Oct. 9 ) 40% Final Exam (During University Exam Period) For useful tips on how to write a University paper, please refer to the following Website: Foundations of Research in Political Science (POL 2156) Page 1 of 5 COURSE OUTLINE Sept.4 - Theme 1: Introduction to the Course Required Reading: Chapter 1 Sept. 11 - Theme 1: Ethics in Research Required Reading: Chapter 9 Supplemental Reading: Barrie Thorne “You Still Takin’ Notes?” Fieldwork and Problems of Informed Consent” Chapter 7 in Sharlene Nagy Hesse-Biber & Patricia Leavy’s Approaches to Qualitative Research pg 159-176. th Sept. 18 – Theme 1: Theories and Paradigms & Qualitative & Quantitative Research Designs Required Reading: Chapters 2 & 4 Supplemental Reading: Mark Rank “The Blending of Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Understanding Childbearing among Welfare Recipients” Chapter 4 in Sharlene Nagy Hesse-Biber & Patricia Leavy’s Approaches to Qualitative Research pg 81-96. Sept. 25 – Theme 1: Steps in Research Design & Causal Models Required Reading: Chapter 3 Supplemental Reading: M. Neil Browne, Asking the Right Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking. Any Chapter nd Oct. 2 – Theme 1: Concepts to Variables to Indicators, Theme 2: Sampling & Exam Review Required Reading: Chapter 5 Supplemental Reading: Charles Gallagher “White Like Me? Methods, Meaning, and Manipulation…” Chapter 10 in Sharlene Nagy Hesse-Biber & Patricia Leavy’s Approaches to Qualitative Research. Oct. 9 – Midterm (On material from Theme 1 including all required readings, class lecture material, guest lectures, and lab work. Takes approx. 2 weeks to mark and post grades) Required Reading: Chapter 8 Oct. 16 - Study Break Foundations of Research in Political Science (POL 2156) Page 2 of 5 Oct 23 - Theme 2: Research Process – Observation & Lab Required Reading: Chapters 6 & 7 Workshop: Lab 1: Field Observation Supplemental Reading: Kath Weston “Fieldwork in Lesbian and Gay Communities” Chapter 8 in Sharlene Nagy Hesse- Biber & Patricia Leavy’s Approaches to Qualitative Research pg 177-184. Oct. 30 - Theme 2: Research Process – Interview & Lab Required Reading: Chapter 7 con’t Workshop: Lab 2: Mock Interview Supplemental Reading: William Miller & Benjamin Crabtree “Depth Interviewing” Chapter 24 in Sharlene Nagy Hesse- Biber & Patricia Leavy’s Approaches to Qualitative Research pg 185-202. Nov. 6 - Theme 2: Research Process – Survey Required Reading: Chapter 7 con’t Supplemental Reading: Smith, Tom W., "That Which We Call Welfare By Any Other Name, An Analysis of the Impact of Question Wording on Response Patterns," Public Opinion Quarterly, vol. 51, number 1, 1987. Nov. 13 – Theme 3: Research Task – Literature Review & Bibliographies & Lab Required Reading: Chapter 10 Workshop: Lab 3: Literature Review Supplemental Reading: Carlson & Hyde, Doing Empirical Political Research Chapter 4 and 5 th Nov. 20 - Theme 3: Research Task – Data Coding & Archiving & Lab Required Reading: Chapter 10 con’t Workshop: Lab 4: Data Collection & Archiving (Interview) Supplemental Reading: Nov. 27 –Theme 3: Research Task – Data Collecting, Presentation, Lab, Exam Review & Concluding Thoughts Required Reading: Chapters 11 & 12 Workshop: Lab 5: Introduction to SPSS Supplemental Reading: Foundations of Research in Political Science (POL 2156) Page 3 of 5 Class attendance is necessary to successfully complete this course. You will also be judged on your writing abilities. It is recommended to take the appropriate measures to avoid mistakes such as spelling, syntax, punctuation, inappropriate use of terms, etc. You may be penalized up to 15%, to the professor’s discretion. Late submissions are not tolerated. Exceptions are made only for illness or other serious situations deemed as such by the professor. There will be a penalty for late submissions. University regulations require all absences from exams and all late submissions due to illness to be supported by a medical certificate. Absence for any other serious reason must be justified in writing, to the academic assistants of the Faculty, within five business days following the date of the exam or submission of an assignment. The Facu
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