Identify independent and dependent variables and hypothesize possible relationships among them, specifying the likely type and direction of influence.

POLS 260 RESEARCH PROJECT

This assignment asks you to define, execute, and summarize in writing results of research done on a topic of your choosing.

Since this project is designed to complement the course readings and exercises, it should be structured according to the steps outlined below. As will be explained more completely during the semester, you should:

1) Formulate and state explicitly a specific question of historical, political or policy interest.

2) Define all important concepts and terms as expressed in the research question and relate these ideas and definitions to an appropriate body of theory.

3) Operationalize your ideas into variables and indicators that are valid and reliable measures of the concepts and terms as defined.

4) Identify independent and dependent variables and hypothesize possible relationships among them, specifying the likely type and direction of influence.

5) Identify and collect data relevant to the variables and their hypothesized relationships.

6) Use appropriate quantitative and/or statistical techniques on the data to test the existence, direction and strength of the hypothesized relationships among the variables.

7) Describe these findings, and apply them to the original research question, assessing the extent to which you have answered it.

8) Evaluate the theoretical and/or practical implications of your research design and its results.

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