Political Science 102
Introduction to Political Inquiry
Social Sciences 136
406 Perkins Library
Monday & Wednesday 3:05-3:55 with discussion section Thurs or Fri
Office Hours: Wednesday 10:00-11:00 & 2:00-3:00
This class teaches you how to be a Political Scientist!
Student performance will be evaluated on the following basis:
1) A 75 minute , in-class midterm exam covering the sections of the course on politics as science, research design, measurement, sampling, and conducting a literature review. The exam will be in class on WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 23rd.The mid-term exam will account for 25% of your grade.
2) 3 brief problem set exercises applying basic statistical tools learned in weeks 10, 11 and 12 - such as graphs, tables, cross-tabs, and bivariate regression analysis - to political sciences datasets. Data and instructions for the problem sets will be made available on the course blackboard page. Data analysis can be conducted in STATA, which is available in the Data GIS Cluster (Perkins Library 2nd Floor), the computer cluster in Perkins L1 across from B023 (near The Link), and Social Sciences Bldg. 229. Your teaching assistants will use discussion sections to help students learn to operate STATA and access the datasets. Each problem set will account for 5% of your final grade. Problem sets will be reduced 1 letter grade for each day they are late.
3) A research design paper is due on FRIDAY APRIL 29. Students will be expected to identify a topic that is of interest to them, conduct a brief literature review, identify testable hypotheses, describe the data that they would collect in order to test their hypotheses, describe their measurements of the key concepts, and describe the methods that they would use to analyze their data and draw conclusions. The research paper will account for 30% of your grade. The research design paper will be reduced 1/3 of a letter grade for each day it is late.
It is important that students cite the material that they have relied upon in writing these papers. If you have questions about when you need to provide citation for a source, please see the Duke Libraries' guide on avoiding plagaiarism. If you have questions about how to provide citation on your sources, please see the Duke Libraries' guide on citation formats. Use any citation format that you prefer, what is important is that you give credit to the sources you used.
4) A final exam, is scheduled for MONDAY MAY 2. This exam will be cumulative across the entire semester. The date of the exam is set by the University and no changes can be made. This exam will account for the final 30% of your grade.
EXTRA CREDIT! In addition to these graded assignments, students enrolled in PS 102 are strongly encouraged to participate in the Political Science experimental subject pool. Students will need to participate in 3 hours of Political Science Research Pool (PSRP) studies over the course of the semester to receive a 3% extra credit toward their final grade. More information on this option is available at http://www.duke.edu/web/psrp. If you wish to participate, you can register at: http://duke-psrp.sona-systems.com.
Each student should be enrolled in one of the discussion sections for this course. Each teaching assistant will be available to students in their sections for one hour of office hours per week.
The text book for this course (listed below) is available for purchase at the Bryan Center bookstore and is also available at various online bookstores. Buying the textbook will also give you access to a variety of online resources, such as study materials, chapter quizes, and so on. All readings other than the Johnson and Reynolds textbook are available online through Duke University Libraries. Students may also locate the readings through Google Scholar. Click on the "Get it @ Duke" icon to be directed to the relevant pdf file through Duke Libraries.
Schedule of Readings and Lectures - All listed readings are required
Week 1 - January 12 & 19: What is Political Science?
Week 2 - January 24 & 26: Studying Politics Scientifically
Week 3 - January 31 & February 2: Measuring Political Concepts
Week 4 - February 7 & 9: Designing Scientific Political Research
Week 5 - February 14 & 16: How to Choose What to Look At (a.k.a. Sampling)
Week 6a - February 21: Reviewing the Literature
Week 6b - February 23: MIDTERM EXAM
Week 7 - February 28 & March 2: How to Look at Things Scientifically (a.k.a Empirical Observation)
March 4 - 13: SPRING BREAK!
Week 8 - March 14 & 16: Measuring the Written Record (a.k.a Document Analysis)
Week 9 - March 21 & 23: Survey Research Methodology
Week 10 - March 28 & 30: How to Count Things in Politics (a.k.a Statistics)
Week 11 - April 4 & 6: Measuring Political Relationships (a.k.a. Bivariate Statistics)
Week 12 - April 11 & 13: The Regression Model for Describing Political Behavior
Week 13 - April 18 & 20: Multivariate Regression
Week 14a - April 25: The Final Product (a.k.a. Writing the Research Report)
Week 14b - April 27: REVIEW SESSION FOR FINAL EXAM
April 29 - Final Paper Due at 5:00 PM.
May 2 - FINAL EXAM in classroom 9:00 AM to Noon