Political science

Here is the description of the final paper:

The best way to understand a methodology is to find a way to use it to answer an interesting question. For this paper, you will pose a research question pertaining to elite decision-making and outline a research proposal using one of the methodologies discussed in the course.

Identify a subject or problem that can be appropriately studied using elite decision-making analysis. After briefly summarizing the issue or problem and why it is important, then select and justify what method of analysis discussed in this course you would use to analyze the question. Finally, identify what kind of data or information you would need to analyze the question and where you might find that data. You will not be required to do the actual research or analysis you are proposing. This is a research design, not a completed paper. It should include hypotheses drawn from your understanding of the question and testable using the method you have identified.

Remember that the purpose of the assignment is to point to an interesting question and how to answer it using the tools we have learned about.

The final paper should be at minimum 5 full pages in length.

Elements to Include in the research proposal

  • Identify the subject or topic area. What is the problem or situation that you want to understand? Why is it important to understand it? Why are you interested in this?
  • Summarize what you know about this problem. Briefly explore where the boundaries of your knowledge are with this topic or problem. What do you know, and what do you not know?
  • State your question. Ideally, this would be in the form of a hypothesis, which states a relationship between variables, maybe using an if-then statement. The proposal does not have to be a formal hypothesis, but it must be able to be stated in the form of a testable statement question.
  • Identify the method of analysis from this class that you will use to explore your topic and test your hypothesis or question. Explain why it is appropriate for your topic.
  • Design your research. What kind of information would you need to be able to answer your research question? How would you go about finding that information? What sources would you draw from? This is how your proposal moves from a wild guess to a research proposal, so think this through.


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