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SHSU POLS5377 POL577 - The Scope and Methods of Political Science

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Fall 2012: Tuesdays, 6:00 – 8:50 PM, TWC203I. RESEARCH DESIGNII. DESCRIBING DATAIII. TESTING HYPOTHESESIV. EXAMINING RELATIONSHIPSUlbig, POLS 5377W, Section 01 1 POLS5377W, Section 01 (CID: 80972) The Scope and Methods of Political Science Fall 2012: Tuesdays, 6:00 – 8:50 PM, TWC203 Dr. Stacy Ulbig Phone: 936-294-1468 Text to: 936-274-3040 E-mail: [email protected] Webpage: http://www.shsu.edu/~sgu001/ Course Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/POLS5377 Course Twitter Feed: www.twitter.com/POLS5377 Office Hours In CHSS489 TuTr 9:00-9:30AM, 1:00-2:00PM Wed 10:00-11:30AM In TWC310 Tue 5:00-5:50 By Appointment Everyday Course Description: This is a study of the discipline of modern political science and an inquiry into the literature, scope, and techniques of research with particular emphasis upon the mathematical and quantitative methods of empirical research. Course Objectives: Specific course objectives include: • gaining factual knowledge and information regarding quantitative statistical methods • learning fundamental principles and theories in the area of statistical methods • increasing analytical, critical thinking, and communication skills Textbooks & Required Materials: • Caldwell, Sally. 2007. Statistics Unplugged 3rd Edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth-Thomson Learning. • Additional readings posted on the course website. Optional Materials: SPSS(GradPack). This is the SPSS data analysis software we use in class, and is available on-line for $39.99 (see course website for link). This will allow you to load the software on your personal machine and use it for 6 months. Exams and Grading: Your grade in this course will be determined by your performance on 10 problem sets, practice exercises, a semester-long project, and a comprehensive final exam: Practice Exercises 10% Problem Sets ([email protected]% each) 40% Final Project Exercises 10% Full Final Project 20% Final Exam 20% The practice exercises will require students to work alone or in teams to apply concepts that are introduced in class. You should complete these exercises before we meet in class, and we will review the correct answers to each practice exercise in class together. These exercises are worth a maximum of 100 points each. Practice exercises must be completed and placed in the electronic dropbox before the start of class each week, and you should bring a copy (printed or electronic) of your practice exercise to class as well. Students submitting a completed practice exercise before the start of class and attending class will receive full credit (i.e., 100 points) for the assignment. Students who either submit a completed practice exercise before the start of class or attend class (but do not do both) will receive half credit (i.e., 50 points) for the assignment. Students who neither submit a completed practice exercise before the start of class nor attend class will receive no credit (i.e., 0 points) for the assignment. The problem sets will apply concepts discussed in the lectures and the practice exercises, and will often involve data analysis using SPSS. We will review the correct answers to each problem set in class together. So that you can review your graded problem set when we go over the correct answers, all problem sets are due by 11:59 PM on the day before we cover them in class (i.e., on the Monday before our Tuesday class meeting). Problem sets turned in after 11:59 PM and before the start of the class will earn a twenty (20) point penalty. Problem sets turned in after the start of class, as well as those not turned in, will earn a grade of zero (‘0’).Ulbig, POLS 5377W, Section 01 2 For the final project, each student will draft a professional research manuscript and create a PowerPoint presentation that is suitable for presentation at a professional conference. More detailed instructions on this project are posted on the course website and will be discussed in class. This project is worth a maximum of 100 points. Final project exercises will encompass different portions of the final project. There will be exercises for each of the following components: (a) research focus (research question, hypothesis, literature search) (b) literature review and theory (c) data, concepts, & measures; and (d) statistical methods. Each portion is worth a maximum of 25 points. More detailed instructions on the final project exercises are posted on the course website and will be discussed in class. The final exam is cumulative and will involve critique of a research design and interpretation of statistical output. It is a closed book, closed notes exam that is worth a maximum of 100 points. Course grades will be calculated according to the following scale: A=90.0-100.0; B=80.0-89.9999; C=70.0-79.9999; D=60.0-69.9999; F=less than 60. There will be no rounding on overall course grades. Students asking Dr. Ulbig to calculate their grades for them will be penalized 50 points on their overall course grade. Instructor Evaluations: Students will be given the opportunity to complete a course/instructor evaluation form near the end of the semester. You may also speak directly with Dr. Ulbig or the Chair of the Political Science Department if you have concerns about the quality of instruction you are receiving. Attendance Policy: Regular and punctual class attendance is expected of each student at Sam Houston State University. Because class attendance and course grade are demonstrably and positively related, I expect students to attend all class sessions of this course. Regular attendance is important because we will cover information in class that is not found in the texts. Attendance will be taken in every class meeting. If you are absent for any reason, it is your responsibility to become informed on what was covered in class. Please get class notes from a fellow student. It is not my policy to give out my lecture notes. Academic Dishonesty: All students are expected to engage in all academic pursuits in a manner that is above reproach. Students are expected to maintain honesty and integrity in the academic experiences both in and out of the classroom. Any student found guilty of dishonesty in any phase of academic work will be subject to disciplinary action. The University and its official representatives may initiate disciplinary proceedings against a student accused of any form of academic dishonesty including but not limited to, cheating on an


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