The goal of this course is for you understand how we study politics and to show you how political scientists conduct original research. Essentially, the purpose of this course is to explain the “science” in political science. The course will provide you with a general understanding of what science is and a foundation in the logic and practice of research methods. We will cover fundamental issues such as arriving at a research question, theory building, hypothesis development, variable measurement, identifying and dealing with confounding factors, and causality. The topics covered in this course are crucial to any research project, but this is only the first step towards you being able to conduct your own research.
Below you will find the course syllabus as well as readings for the class.