This class is for students who wish to learn how to conduct, and evaluate, modern social science research. For students planning to write senior theses; considering graduate school; who would like to understand the concept of ``evidence'' for law school; or thinking about taking a job with a consulting firm, research is almost the only skill you need to learn. The goal will be to assess the state of a scholarly literature, identify the interesting questions, formulate strategies for answering them, acquire the methodological tools with which to conduct the research, and understand how to write up the results so they can be published.
Although most undergraduate, and even most graduate courses, address these issues indirectly, we provide an explicit analysis of each. We do this in the context of a variety of strategies of empirical political inquiry. Our examples cover American politics, international relations, comparative politics, and other subfields of political science and social science that rely on empirical evidence. We do not address certain research in political theory for which empirical evidence is not central, but our methodological emphases will be as varied as our substantive examples. We take empirical evidence to be historical, quantitative, or anthropological. Specific methodologies include survey research, experiments, non-experiments, intensive interviews, statistical analyses, case studies, and participant observation.