POL 201 Introduction to Political Science Research: American Government (3 credits)
This course introduces students to the logic and methods of social science inquiry and teaches them how to write a research paper in political science. To master the task of research paper writing, the class will expose students to some important literature in American politics and help students develop, in a step-by-step fashion, research-paper writing skills. Specifically, students will write a research paper, in multiple drafts, on some aspect of American government and politics. In the process they will learn how to use the library and internet for research, distinguish between different types of sources, construct and evaluate theses, develop an understanding of a few statistical tests, document sources properly, and edit and revise their papers. Majors typically take this writing-centered course (or its sibling POL 231) during their spring sophomore semester, after completing at least two POL introductory courses, at least one of which must be POL 101/111. Except under rare circumstances, majors will not be allowed to register for upper division courses if they have not completed either 201 or 231.