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Regular version of the site
Bachelor 2020/2021

Research Seminar

Type: Compulsory course (Political Science and World Politics)
Area of studies: Political Science
When: 1 year, 3 module
Mode of studies: offline
Language: English
ECTS credits: 5

Course Syllabus

Abstract

This class is a freshmen introduction into the craft of academic research. The class is divided into two substantive blocks. The first one attempts to engage students into a broad discussion of what the research is and how working with academic literature contributes to producing original research. The second block covers some major elements of research design, thus, providing students with the general understanding of how the research process looks like and where it is expected to lead.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • The main goal of this course is to introduce students to the basic steps of conducting an academic research
  • As a subgoal the course aims at developing the skill of writing a literature review as one of the steps of any research process
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • The students will look into several literature reviews and distinguish their structure, their elements and what kind of literature reviews may be found in political science and as well as in social sciences in general.
  • The students will learn with several practical exercises how to download, use and administrate citation manager systems
  • The students will learn the differences between subject and topic in the world of research by looking into several examples
  • The students will learn what kind of research questions can be formulated and what kind of research problems there are.
  • The students will learn to write their own literature reviews on their own research topics, using all the knowledge they have adquired on research, knowing how to quote and how to structure the text while properly linking concepts, ideas and theories related to their own research
  • The students will learn what theory and hypotheses are in social sciences and how to work with them in their own research.
  • The students will learn how to form a research design in social sciences, with all its elements and with all its parts, by looking into specific examples
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • What is research: Introduction
  • What is research: Research as a process
  • What is research: Reading a research paper
  • What is a literature review?
  • What is a literature review: Reading a literature review
  • What is plagiarism?
  • Working in a library: what for and how?
  • Citation manager: Using the Zotero Software
  • Citation manager: Zotero workshop
  • Topics and research questions
  • Research questions and research problems
  • Is there a place for a literature review?
  • Theories and hypotheses
  • Operationalization
  • Designing your research: how the number of cases affects the design of your paper?
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking 1. In-class participation
  • non-blocking 2. Written Assignment: Team Literature Review
    A literature review is a written assignment on a topic proposed by the team themselves and approved by your DG instructor. Writing a paper on a chosen topic develops skills of written argumentation and critical thinking. A review has to include a clear statement of a question / thesis statement and of a broader research problem; be explicit as regard the structuring principle of your review and briefly describe avenues for further research in the concluding section of your review. Review structure: (1) Introduction which includes your question / thesis statement, broader research problem and the structuring principle of your text. (2) Body of the review which reviews the selected pieces of literature according to the selected structuring principle and in a way which allows your team to illuminate the question / thesis statement of your review. (3) Conclusion which sums up your review, provides an answer to your question or major arguments for your thesis statement, and elaborates on several avenues for further research.
  • blocking 3. Exam test
    The test takes place in online format.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (3 module)
    0.25 * 1. In-class participation + 0.4 * 2. Written Assignment: Team Literature Review + 0.35 * 3. Exam test
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Wayne C. Booth et al. The Craft of Research (4th ed.). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2016.

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Ralph Berry. The Research Project. How to Write It (5th ed.). London: Routledge, 2004