Next meetings:

Monday, October 19 there is no regular meeting. Instead, please schedule an individual meeting with me for sometime during the week. Have an outline of your literature review that you can share with me at that meeting.

Thursday, October 22, we will have small group meetings in place of the regular class session.

Things to worry about now:



In this course students write individual research papers in which they present a question, review other scientific studies of the question, develop a research design, and test a hypothesis by making structured observations.

We complete these research papers in lots of little steps. To succeed in this course you need to:

  • Keep up with the smaller assignments earlier in the semester, as they are due. They may seem small, but they add up, and they are all components of the final paper.
  • Meet with me regularly to work through your ideas and to check on your progress.

The required textbook is Empirical Research and Writing: A Political Science Student’s Practical Guide, by Leanne C. Powner. ISBN: 9781483369631. You can get it directly from the publisher, from Amazon, and probably lots of other places too.

The meeting times for the class are Mondays and Thursdays from 2:00 to 3:15. There will be a mix of four types of class meetings:

  • Some meetings will be full hybrid meetings. These meetings will be held on campus, and students may attend either in-person or online, per their preference. They will be held at the scheduled class time. All students should sign on to the videoconference link I will share via email and calendar invitation, whether they are participating remotely or in-person.
  • Some meetings will be full online meetings. These meetings will be only online, at the scheduled class time. Use the videoconference link I will share via email and calendar invitation.
  • Some meetings will be small groups. I will assign students to groups of 4 to 6 per group, and meet with groups separately. Group meetings will be about 30 minutes. I am available to meet with groups in-person, although groups may decide to have their meetings with me fully online if they prefer. (I will try to group students together based on their preference for meeting in-person or online.) Groups will have the option of meeting with me during the regularly-scheduled class time or during some other time that works for them. I will rearrange groups several times during the semester.
  • Some meetings will be one-on-one meetings. During weeks when one or both class sessions are replaced with one-on-one meetings, everyone in the class must meet with me individually at least once. For those meetings you may use my appointment calendar (cal.chadrector.net) to reserve a time. These one-on-one meetings will usually be about 30 minutes long, and for each meeting I will assign a short paragraph for students to write before the meeting.

In addition to the required one-on-one meetings, I am also happy to meet with students at other times as well, at their convenience. I have lots of times to meet with students in the class, individually and in groups. These are all listed on my calendar, cal.chadrector.net. You can reserve a time directly on my calendar to meet with me.


Schedule of class meetings

Week of August 24  –  Overview and discussion
Monday: Full online meeting
Thursday: Full hybrid meeting
Reading: The crisis in political science education and How politics makes us stupid

Types of analysis assignment due August 30

Week of August 31  –  Reading journal articles
Monday: Full hybrid meeting Full online meeting
Thursday: Full online meeting

Week of September 7  –  Reading journal articles
Monday: No class (Labor Day)
Thursday: Small group meetings
Reading: Have chapters 1 and 2 from the Powner book read before Thursday meeting

Topic paragraph due September 9

Week of September 14  –  Finding journal articles
Monday: Full hybrid meeting
Thursday: One-on-one meetings (revision of topic paragraph)

Week of September 21  –  Understanding journal articles
Monday: Full online meeting
Thursday: Small group meetings

Article summary #1 due September 26

Week of September 28  –  Using journal articles
Monday and Thursday: One-on-one meetings (outline of article summary #2)

Article summary #2 due October 3

Week of October 5  –  Paper organization
Monday: Full online meeting
Thursday: Small group meetings

Article summary #3 due October 10

Week of October 12 (Tuesday is a “Monday”)  –  Literature review
Tuesday: Full online meeting
Thursday: Small group meetings

Week of October 19  –  Literature review
Monday: One-on-one meetings (outline of literature review)
Thursday: Small group meetings

Literature review due October 24

Week of October 26  –  Research design
Monday: Full hybrid meeting
Thursday: Small group meetings

Research design due October 31

Week of November 2  –  Observation
Monday: Small group meetings
Thursday: One-on-one meetings (outline of single observation)

Single observation due November 7

Week of November 9  – Draft preparation
Monday and Thursday: One-on-one meetings (outline of draft)

Draft due November 14

Week of November 16 – Draft discussion
Monday: Full online meeting
Thursday: Full hybrid meeting

Most peer reviews due sometime in the next week or so

Week of November 23
Monday: One-on-one meetings (presentation memo)
Thursday: No class (Thanksgiving)

Week of November 30
Monday: Full online meeting
Thursday: Full online meeting

Final Exam Week
One-on-one meetings (revision memo)

Term paper due December 11