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Research Methods Week 3

by: Lauren Jones

Research Methods Week 3 Pols 201

Lauren Jones
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About this Document

This covers Tuesday's notes (we didn't have class Thursday), as well as what I've continued on Chapter 3
Research Methods in Political Science
Adam Eckerd
Class Notes
research methods, Poli Sci 201




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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lauren Jones on Friday January 29, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Pols 201 at University of Tennessee - Knoxville taught by Adam Eckerd in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 99 views. For similar materials see Research Methods in Political Science in Political Science at University of Tennessee - Knoxville.


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Date Created: 01/29/16
1.26  Project find out o Each memo builds on the other o Going through literature review we will discuss next week  What approaches we should take  How to read it, how to interpret it  Keep current on the syllabus o Keep on the one on blackboard  First Memo o Five pages or so  Key areas  Each one of these topics, should be plenty of stuf  Find the ones are cited the most  Go through and read them  Find the most relevant stuf  Articulate your argument o The trickiest part of doing research  A literature review is not a summary  But our argument  Looking for ability to take what’s been done and looking to make your own argument o We should end up with  “Our research question is…”  Second Memo o A research design  You will take the research question and start out memo 2 by staring with hypothesis  Say which is independent and dependent  How would you collect data and measure  Third Memo o This is where you get specific  Look for data sources to find it  Well thought out plan to actually get data  if you can’t find data o tell how you would go about it  Fourth Memo o Talk to somebody who is relevant  Go through how to conduct the interview  Then, make a transcript  Systems Map o Systems thinking and the interconnectedness of everything  Start thinking about the biggest picture  Think about all the social processes o All the ways that your dependent variable is afected by a million other things  Draw a systems map  Try to connect the dots o Positive negative or reinforcing loops  For this, that will not be turned in online, but on paper o 1-2 pages  Peer assessment o Way of acknowledging who is carrying the load  Recommendation o The groups that do the best, set some time aside to do it  Instead of chunking i  Collaborate as much as possible o Start Broad  If you have the hypothesis ready in memo one  You can come up with two variables that you have to measure o Chapter Three: Research Proposal and Literature Review  A research proposal is the first and formal way of clarifying your ideas o Helps define the problem and helps narrow in on the topic  The first part of a research proposal is the Literature review, the second is the methodology, which is the next chapters field  3.1 Research Proposal o Each department might have its own requirements for the style of each proposal  This helps provide a format  Shorter studies have 1-2 pages for a research proposal  Longer studies have 4-10 pages for a proposal o See if you can get your proposal down in thirty seconds, which gives you a good idea of what your goals are  Table 3.1 Contents of Research Proposal o 1- Title o 2 -Introduction o 3-Problem Statement  Gives the purpose of the study  Gives the rundown of the issues/questions that will be asked  Structured by textbooks, research, and general concerns o 4-Context  Identify the context of the study  Review important literature and cite key references in dealing with possible issues that may arise with each variable  Relate the results of the research study to previous literature and show the differences  Show how the proposed study relates to other research and how will attempt to fix gaps in previous research  Textbooks, articles, research reports, library indexes, and databases like Google Scholar and JSTOR for good sources o 5-Researh Problem and Hypotheses  These statements of problems are for both quantitative and qualitative studies. They focus a study when stated clearly and concisely  Questions should be manageable  Formal hypotheses are especially important for quantitative based research  Guidance on how to narrow research problems can be found in this text and others o 6- Assumptions and Limitations  Identify limitations, assumptions, and biases  Use this textbook to help you do that o 7- Significance of the /problem  Describe plausible relevance or potential significance of the potential findings  Frame this by theory, previous research, or social concerns o 8-Research Methods  Techniques to collect and analyze data  Participants get involved  Tasks, if needed are assigned  Procedural order is used, as well as timing  Data gathering and statistical designs and analyses are used here  Conduct a pilot study, while ensuring a high degree of validity and reliability  Use research methods textbooks, statistics textbooks, handbooks, research reports, research articles, examining if instruments have protocols to follow  Choose your supervisor if you can  Research proposals are quality control devices for supervisors o Some supervisors can be demanding  3.2 The Literature Review o Analysis of relevant publication  Helps set the context for the research topic  Narrow the field  Avoid putting a lot of time into the theory because it is only one part of the research proposal  It is also difficult to narrow down to figure out how to collect data for the available time  Narrower the focus, the more likely the research will actually happen, and is more practical o For example, instead of asking why college students choose their subjects, ask why postgrad engineering students specialize in the branches they do.  Find an existing study, replicate it, and use its own methods to retest its findings  3.3 Levels of Analysis o More than just a regurgitating of articles  Creating: Generating new ideas and patterns  Construct  Design  Devise  Formulate  Propose  Syntheses  Evaluating: making judgements  Assess  Critique  Interpret  Judge  Justify  Rate  Analyzing  Breaking material into parts to explore understandings and relationships o Classify o Compare o Contrast o Distinguish o Illustrate o Investigate o Analyze literature  Evaluate its relevance  Create a conceptual framework for the project  3.4 Using the library and internet o Use both if available o Some universities have seamless transition between internal and external course materials  Google, think tanks, etc o Libraries filter material  Do not cite ephemeral material  Make use of professional search engines  Websites with open access publications are great  Academic journals, publisher’s lists  3.5 Abstracting o What is the relevance, principles?  Use a technique of analyzing that contains active and critical thinking about words  Improves clarity of literacy o Finding legal principles matter  Abstract o Presents key concepts o Only the outline here.  A summary o Shows understanding by representing o For an Abstract  Words should be short, accurate, straightforward, necessary  Active voice, direct  Meaningful short paragraphs  Avoid footnotes  3.6 Word Processing o See Page 34 for extensive list on how to:  Set standard language  Set standard document features  Set bullets and numbering  Cut and paste, copy  Set up cross references  Lay out tables evenly  Align columns in tables  Set up contents and tables lists  Spell check  Update contents page  Accepting editing changes before electronic submission if Track Changes has been used


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