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Introduction to Political Science Research - Assignment


This assignment is designed to give students an introduction to real-life research done in the field of political science. This exercise may feel unfamiliar if you have not researched social science before, but after a couple of tries (literally), you will develop the ability to provide scientific evidence for important political issues. It is essential to know what the systematic studies in the field are finding, and to use them to make solid political decisions, as well as educate others.

For this exercise, you should select an article from a scholarly journal in political science and write a 1-2 page synopsis that includes: 1) Introduction of the article and the main subject of the article. Then discuss the main theories it addresses and discuss hypotheses being tested in the article 2) the methods used by the scientists to provide evidence--what type of data do they collect (and from where), and what tools do they use to analyze it (statistical analysis, qualitative investigation, etc.) 3) the most significant findings from the study 4) your own appraisal: what did you learn? Are you convinced by the findings? 5) works cited page You may conduct your own search using other methods and for titles not found in the list I provide (there are hundreds of scholarly journals), but for those unfamiliar with the process, I suggest that you select a title of a journal from below, and do a word search through UNCP libraries (you will have to sign in with your braveweb ID and password): to an external site. You can also search for your article in JSTOR through the library website.

Whichever search function you choose, you should attempt to locate an article that is testing hypotheses. Since hypotheses are generally positing a relationship between social variables, it is helpful to phrase your search in these terms. For example, if you are interested in drug policy, you might phrase your search around the relationship between drug use and crime, or drug use and poverty. If you are not sure which variables might be involved, you might try “influences” or “determinants of” + the issue you’re interested in (for example, determinants of women’s vote choice). Below is an example of an article I found that would work. It talks about an experiment, which I did not cover in depth because it’s a less common form of social science research, but it would be acceptable for this type of assignment. Notice the title discusses two major variables: race and white support for voter ID laws. That is the language you seek for a scientific article (all we mean by this is that it tests hypotheses, and isn’t merely a think piece).

Once you have selected a venue from which to view the journal, you should read it as carefully as possible and summarize it. If you do not understand the methods, do not be alarmed--simplify the discussion of methods in three to four sentences to the best of your ability (you are not responsible for knowing HOW to do these methods). List of top Political Science Journals:

American Journal of Political Science American Political Science Review Journal of Politics Journal of Peace Studies Latin American Research Review African Politics and Policy Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics Your grade will be assigned based on the accuracy of your summary--not necessarily how well you understand the components, but based on your ability to identify the proper components of the journal article.Research Article Example 1.docx Download Research Article Example 1.docx Tutorial: Research Article.

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