University of Guelph
College of Social and Applied Human Sciences
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Tues & Thurs: 8:30-9:50 am – RICH-2520 Fall 2013
Instructor: Michelle Dumas
Office: MACK – 632
E-mail: [email protected]
(course code required in subject line)
Office Hours: Thursdays 10:15-11:45 am
Teaching Assistants: TBA
This course aims to introduce students to descriptive and inferential statistical
techniques used in social research. The primary goal of the course is to introduce
students to the fundamentals of statistical reasoning and the role of statistics in social
research. At the end of the term, students will acquire the skills necessary to perform
basic analyses and to evaluate quantitative analyses in research literature in the social
ORGANIZATION OF COURSE
Class time will be devoted primarily to lectures, which seek to explain the general
principles and fundamental procedures, but also to reviewing homework (on
Thursdays) and answering questions.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND EVALUATION
Assignments: 15% (3 x 5% each)
Midterm 1: 20%
Midterm 2: 25%
Final Exam (take home TBA): 30%
1 There will be 3 assignments required for the course, each worth 5%. They will be
available through CourseLink and will require you to hand in a hard copy; one or more
of these assignments will require the use of SPSS. There is access to SPSS in the
computer lab in MACK-028.
There are weekly homework assignments due in the Tuesday class after the topic(s) has
been completed. These problems are in the course text and included in the schedule in
this course schedule (page 5). Homework will be collected, but not graded. You will
receive full credit for homework assignments that are handed in on time (first 5 minutes
of class) and that reflect some reasonable effort; half-credit will be awarded for
homework that is late. Late homework will only be accepted up to and including the
following Thursday lecture after they are originally due (2 days later) at the beginning
of class. I will go over the homework from the previous week on Thursdays and
therefore will not accept homework after that time. They may or may not appear on the
midterm and/or final exams. You will need a calculator for homework problems.
The two midterm exams will be held in class. You will require a statistical calculator for
these exams (it must be an actual calculator and not one on your smart phone or other
related device) and they are closed-book. Any formulas or tables you may require will
be provided for you in the exam. These midterm exams are non-cumulative. The format
will be discussed in class, but will include both multiple-choice and written answers.
The final exam will be a take home exam and is cumulative. There will be a discussion
about the requirements in the last class.
It may appear that there is a lot being asked of you in this course. There is some truth to
that; however, statistics is something you “get” by doing, not just reading. In doing the
statistical work, you will be more successful on your exams, where a large proportion of
your grade is coming from (75%).
Some helpful advice:
First, some of you will find statistics interesting while some might feel apathy.
Regardless, we are surrounded, even bombarded, by statistics outside the classroom. It
is important to be able to appropriately evaluate those numbers in meaningful ways.
Second, some of you may be apprehensive about the math that statistics employs. Know
that you will require only some basic elementary mathematics (arithmetic and simple
algebra), and know that you can do it! The most important part of statistics is in their
And lastly, while it is a bad idea to fall behind in any course, it is fatal to do so in this
course. The course teaches skills and techniques and material that is cumulative.
2 Because of the one-semester format, the course moves at a rapid pace. As stated above, I
have designed the course to have you do work each week to help you along this
journey. If you miss classes, skip homework or other assignments and then cram for
the exams, you will almost surely not do well. Congruently, it is also possible to receive
an A+ in this course.
Moore, David, William Notz and Michael Flinger. 2012. The Basic Practice of Statistics, 6e.
NOTE THE FOLLOWING :
Email: I am best reached by email. Please put the course code or course name in the
subject line.If you omit this, I will not reply. If you do not receive a reply from me
within 48 hours, then there was a problem (e.g., I did not receive your email or my reply
did not go through. It happens. Technology is not perfect) and you need to email me
again. Also note that in your emails to me, you must spell out all of your words (i.e., no
“ur” or “u no”), as these emails should be professional in nature.
Please do not email me questions about course content (or homework or assignments);
please address them in CourseLink so that they can be shared with the class or in
person during my office hours. Folders have been set up for each chapter under the
Discussion tab for this purpose.
CourseLink: is an integral part of the course and includes information about lectures,
assignment information, and discussions. Any questions you have about the material
should be asked in Courselink (or during my office hours). Please use it to your
advantage, but remain respectful.
Lectures: You will need to attend all of the lectures to be successful in this course. As a
rule, I do not make copies of my lecture notes available to students. While there will be
overlap between material from lectures and from the text, this overlap is by no means
complete. You are strongly urged to both attend lectures and to read the material
3 Make-Up Exams: Students will not be exempt from an exam without medical reasons
accompanied by official wr