Welcome to POLS 256: Understanding Political Science Research! In this class, we are going to examine the dominant empirical research methods used in political science. We will explore the strengths and limitations of different methodological approaches, with particular attention to how research design impacts upon a given study’s ability to make causal claims and to make claims of being generalization to contexts beyond the specific research study. With this information, you will be better equipped to critically read political science research (and social science research more broadly) and to critically engage with political arguments that employ evidence to support their claims. This knowledge will aid you both in future classes and in your day to day life. Many students find it empowering and exciting to be able to critically assess evidence.

I am very pleased to have you as part of this class – thank you for being part of the POLS 256 community this term!