Sam Houston State University           Fall Semester 2006


POL 379.03 Research and Writing in Political Science

Wednesdays, 6:00 pm 8:50 pm, The University Center

  Professor : Robin Marshall Bittick, M.P.A., Ph.D.

Class Website : Go to Blackboard < >. This can also be accessed on the SHSU webpage < >. Students are required to access this website before each class .

Contacting Me : Below are the best ways to contact me:

•  Office Hour: Wednesdays. I am willing to meet with students at mutually agreeable times. Office : AB1 319G.

•  E-mail : .

•  Phone : 936-294-4105. Messages may be left with the Political Science Department at 936-294-1457.

Course Description : the following is from the SHSU University Catalog:

POL 379 Research and Writing in Political Science . This course has two primary objectives. First, students will gain knowledge of basic research methods and design in the social sciences. Particular attention will be given to survey research. Second, students will learn research and writing skills including: how to locate, evaluate, and cite electronic and printed sources; how to conduct a literature review; how to write proposals, reports, and research papers; and how to edit proposals, reports, and papers. Prerequisite : POL 261. Credit 3.

Welcome to POL 379! This course is designed for students to learn about research and writing in the discipline of political science. To do this, we will study the basic steps of social science research, including examining select qualitative methods of research. Students will draft a proposed research project, as well as draft a resume as part of the learning process.

Course Goals : With the above in mind, students must achieve three goals:

•  Learn basic research methodologies and approaches applicable to political science.
•  Master the basic terminology involved with social science research.
•  Know how to write up a basic research project.

Course Objectives : to achieve the above goals, students are required to complete the following objectives:

Knowledge: at the completion of this course, students will be able to:

Assessment : Quizzes, Papers, Exercises.

Competencies & Related Skills: at the completion of this course, students will be able to:

Assessment : Quizzes, Papers, Exercises.


Assessment : In-class discussions and assignments.

Required Texts [ I will also assign other reading material throughout the semester that will be handed out in class or linked on the course website in Blackboard]:

Recommended Text:

Required Activities of Students:

•  Assigned Readings. These are listed on the schedule. You must plan ahead and schedule your reading time appropriately.

Late Assignments : the due date for the papers are set so you can gain the maximum learning benefit. If you are unable to complete an assigned paper at the specified time, you must contact me in advance and explain your reason. With my approval, the due date for a paper can be rescheduled, but no more than two days from the scheduled due date . Papers are subject to being assigned a lower grade if turned in late.

Assessments - the following coursework is required to complete this course:

Required Assignments

Portion of Final Grade

Three (3) Quizzes @10% each:




Research Proposal (Paper Draft & Final):


Resume (Paper):


Class Attendance & Participation:





All university rules and procedures apply to this class .

Academic Honesty : See Academic Policy Statement 810213 at . Any student found guilty of dishonesty in any phase of academic work will be subject to disciplinary action. The university may initiate disciplinary proceedings against a student accused of any form of academic dishonesty including, but not limited to, cheating on an examination or other academic work which is to be submitted, plagiarism , collusion and the abuse of resource materials .

The Instructor reserves the right to require students to submit written work on electronic media (e.g. Word or Word Perfect) so it may be checked using a plagiarism software program.

Disabled Student Policy: See Academic Policy Statement 811006 at .

Student Absences on Religious Holy Days : See Academic Policy Statement 861001 at .