POLI 490-003
Advanced Undergraduate Seminar: Research on Race and Criminal Justice
452 Hamilton Hall, Mondays and Wednesdays, 3:35-4:50pm
Fall 2018

Prof. Frank R. Baumgartner

This course is designed for students who have already taken POLI 203, POLI 248, or equivalent coursework and who are interested in conducting their own research project into an aspect of the criminal justice system with a focus on racial differences. Each student will pick a particular research project and play a lead role on that, as well as participate in another project led by other students. Everyone will also participate in an on-going project throughout the term, which we will use as a running example and illustration. Readings will be specific to the research projects themselves, with some common background reading for all. Each student group will make periodic presentations to the class on the progress on their research and be expected to follow the research of their colleagues in the class as well. Grades will be based on participation, presentations, and a final group project. The final project must be written in the form of whatever publication outlet one seeks: law review, book chapter, academic article, etc. Each project will also lead to a popular publication such as an op-ed or significant blog contribution. In the last two weeks of class and again during the final exam period, the leaders of each group will present the project in the format of an academic conference presentation, and everyone involved will answer questions from the audience.

click here for the syllabus. Look here for our final schedule of presentations for the end of the semester. Look here for the slides associated with our collective paper, and here for the current draft of that paper. These are, of course, templates for your own projects as well.

See this site for GIS resources through the university: https://unc.maps.arcgis.com

See below for the weekly assignments. During the semester, readings and other assignments will be posted below. Stay current with this.

Week 1.  Aug 22, introductions.

Week 2.  Aug 27, 29. A semester long collaboration: Officer Characteristics and Search Rates.

Week 3. Sep 5. Develop testable research hypotheses from the readings last week.

Week 4. Sept 10, 12. Test the theory you developed last week.

Week 5. Sep 17, 19. Decide on the “Hook.”

Week 6. Sep 24, 26. Develop a more powerful theoretical perspective on the precise question.

Week 7. Oct 1, 3. Formalize the theory and hypotheses.

Week 8. Oct 8, 10. Structure the presentation of the data and results.

Week 9. Oct 15, 17. Write the results.

Week 10. Oct 22, 24. Write the conclusions.

Week 11. Oct 29, 31. Finalize the article.

Week 12. Nov 5, 7. Draw out an op-ed.

Week 13. Nov 12, 14. Group projects and working in class.

Week 14. Nov 19. Group projects and working in class

Week 15. Nov 26, 28. Final Projects I.

Week 16. Dec 3, 5. Final Projects II.

Final Exam: Saturday December 8, 4:00pm, regular classroom.

The final exam will consist of conference-style presentations of each research project. The lead authors will present and all members will answer questions from the professor and the other students, serving as audience members. Timing for the presentation and the q&a will be determined by the number of projects to be presented. Time permitting, this will be a 12 minute presentation followed by 7 minutes of questions.

page last updated November 21, 2018