PS 218 Understanding Political Numbers

Formally, this course will teach you how to understand quantitative analysis, how to develop a data-based research question that you can answer, how to collect and analyze the data and how to present your conclusions to others. There are essentially two components to the course. The first is the theoretical component. Why are numbers and data important to political analysis? What is the proper way to ask a research question? How do we find and use political data to tell a story and support an argument? The second component is technical. How do we employ statistical computing and graphics software to clearly present our data and findings to others? Yet, in essence, this course is about more than just numbers. It is a skills and tools course. It is about learning how to ask (and answer) the right questions about politics. It is about presenting those answers clearly to an audience. And, it is about employing the computing tools to help get to this end goal. In so doing, it is about getting and “A” on every term paper you write from here on out.