Weekly Writing Assignments and Resources
Political Science 501, Fall 2002
Prof. Frank R. Baumgartner
Weekly writing assignments and discussion topics
- Week 2, Sept. 4: Scientific Approach
- Week 3, Sept. 11: Measurement Issues. Click
here to see a copy of a report from the 1917 Cost of Living Study
conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, used to calculate the Cost of Living Index.
- Week 4, Sept. 18: Sampling Issues. Click
here to see a useful spreadsheet
showing examples of sampling errors based on different sample sizes, variances, and
- Week 5, Sept. 25: Campbell and Stanley: Experimental and
Quasi-Experimental Research Designs. Click here
to see another cool spreadsheet with examples of regression toward the mean with different amounts of
measurement error from test to test.
- Week 6, Oct. 2: Quasi-experiments in the literature.
- Week 7, Oct. 9: Experiments. Click
to see the results from Iyengar's whack-a-pol study.
- Week 8, Oct. 16: Game Theory (optional; no class this week).
- Week 9, Oct. 23: Cross-level inference and the "ecological
- Week 10, Oct. 30: Five studies of voting turnout all with a
- Week 11, Nov. 6: Civic Engagement and Government Performance
(Putnam, Making Democracy Work)
- Week 12, Nov. 13: Testing the concept of "democratic peace"
(Gowa, Ballots and Bullets)
- Week 13, Nov. 20: Linking formal models and empirical tests
(Morton, Methods and Models)
- Week 14, Dec. 4: Problems and Paradigms (various authors)
Links to useful places and to some of the readings:
- JSTOR (You can get articles from APSR, JOP, AJPS, and
other major journals here for free. You'll need this for all your classes.)
- The NES Codebook
(Read the section on sampling carefully for our September 18 class meeting.)
- The Lobbying and Public Advocacy Project (Read the
section on sampling in the grant proposals, the questionnaire protocol, and other information
in the documentation section of the web site for our September 18 class meeting.)
- Whack-a-Pol (Play this game
and think about what the results might be like for our October 9 class meeting.)
Watch this space for additional resources and assignments throughout the term.