Course Description

Course Name

Research Methods

Session: VSOF3221

Hours & Credits

3 Credits

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


This course aims to provide you with a general road map of the scientific study of social
inquiry. To that end, I have the following main goals in this course. First, we will focus on
establishing the central role of causal explanation in social science. It is important to understand
that any substantive research, whether it uses mathematical modeling, quantitative
analysis, or qualitative studies, remains incomplete unless it is grounded in a sound theoretical
understanding of causation and other related concepts. Second, while there are different
research models and approaches, we will concentrate on one of them: statistical explanation.
We will study how to do original statistical research using, for example, cross tabulation or
linear regression and how to understand and critique the empirical work done by other social
scientists. Note: We will not have separate lab sessions but the course involves the intensive
use of statistical softwares such as R or STATA.

Required texts:
? Kellstedt, Paul M. and Guy D. Whitten. 2013. The Fundamentals of Political Science
Research. Cambridge University Press.
? Phillip H. Pollock. 2011. The Essentials of Political Analysis. 4th Edition. Congressional
Quarterly Press, Washington, D.C.
Recommended texts:
? Daniel Little. 1991. Varieties of Social Explanation: An Introduction to the Philosophy.
? King Gary, Robert Keohane, and Sidney Verba. 1994. Designing Social Inquiry:
Scientific Inference in Qualitative Research. Princeton.

The required books are not currently available at the bookstore; I recommend purchasing
them online at, for example, amazon. Other professional articles not included in these books
can be found on the web through JSTOR, ProQuest, and Wilson.

*Course content subject to change