• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site

Research Seminar

Academic Year
Instruction in English
ECTS credits
Course type:
Compulsory course
1 year, 2-4 module


Course Syllabus


This course is a freshmen introduction into the craft of academic research. The class is divided into two substantive blocks. The first one attempts to engage students into a broad discussion of what the research is and how working with academic literature contributes to producing original research. The second block covers some major elements of research design, thus, providing students with the general understanding of how the research process looks like and its anticipated outcomes.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • The main goal of this course is to introduce students to the basic steps of conducting and academic research.
  • As a subgoal the course aims at developing the skill of writing a literature review as one of the steps of any research process.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Aggregates data using Python.
  • Applies Python language for data processing.
  • Conducts a literature review
  • Chooses the research design adequate for the solution of the research problem
  • Students explore how a research question connected with a broader research problem. Students learn to tie their question to the theoretical problems in a partiqular field of study.
  • Students learn what academic research is and what role does it play in political science.
  • Students explore what place does literature review take in a single research. Student learn what goals does literature review aims to reach.
  • Students learn how to choose the best research design of future paper depending on the number of cases for analysis: experiment, statistics, comparative research and case-study. Sudents learn the differences and nuances of conducting different types of reseach.
  • Students learn how to download, use and administrate citation manager systems.
  • Students learn how to form a research design in social sciences, with all its parts and elements, by looking into specific examples
  • Students learn how to operate in the university library and how to use the electronic resources
  • Students learn how to transfer the concepts into the measurable and relevant research variables.
  • Students learn the different ways to organize and structure a literature review
  • Students learn what theory and hypotheses are in social sciences. Students learn how to formulate hypotheses and how to work with them in their own research.
  • Students learn which parts does research include and how fo they compose in a single paper.
  • Students explore the definitions of academic integrity and plagiarism. Students learn to differ the types of plagiarism. Students grasp how to avoid plagiarism in academic reserach the penalties for breaking the rules.
  • Students learn the differences between the topic of a research and a research question. Students learn how to formulate a good research question.
  • Students will learn how to transfer the concepst into the measutable and relevant research variables
  • finds, defines and uses the information from different sources which required for solving of research and professional problems (including the system approach)
  • retrieves, collects, processes and analyzes information relevant for achieving goals in the professional field.
  • outlines the need for resources and plan its using for solving professional problems
  • chooses research methods appropriate for resolving the professional tasks.
  • executes applied analysis of the political phenomena and political processes: by using political science methods and in support of practical decision making process.
  • forms a research design in social sciences, with all its elements and with all its parts, by looking into specific examples
  • knows what kind of research questions can be formulated and what kind of research problems there are
  • Knows the key types, principles and elements of the empirical research
  • Uses advanced tools and methods of literature selection and review
  • Knows the key principles of academic ethics
  • Performs systemic literature review and bibliometric analysis
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • DG1. Introductory session
  • DG2. What is research?
  • DG3. How to read a research paper
  • DG4. What is literature review?
  • DG5. Working in a library. Working with electronic resources
  • DG6. Academic integrity
  • DG7. Plagiarism
  • DG8. Citation manager: Using the Zotero Software
  • DG9. Research topic, research question and research problem
  • DG10. Theories and hypotheses
  • DG11. Reading a literature review
  • DG12. Operationalization
  • DG13. Designing your research: how the number of cases affects the design of your paper?
  • DG14. Group discussion: team LitRev
    List of questions: What is your topic? Tell about one the most interesting or insightful results of your analysis How did your team organize the group work? Think about the time-management, members’ responsibilities, and the whole process. What was the most complicated thing while writing your papers? Think about both organizational and meaningful issues What, in your opinion, is more efficient and convenient: to write papers in groups or personally / in a single mode? What are the pros and cons for both variants?
  • DG15. Data: Sources and Analysis
  • DG-1 (Second Year)
  • DG-2 (Second Year). Advanced Methods for Literature Reviews
  • DG-3 (Second Year). Theories and Frameworks.
  • DG-4 (Second Year). Research Design.
  • DG-5 (2nd Year) Python Workshop
  • DG-6 (2nd year). Data Analysis Workshop
  • DG-1 (3rd year)
  • DG-2 (3rd year)
  • DG-3 (3rd year)
  • DG-4 (3rd year)
  • DG-5 (3rd year)
  • DG-6 (3rd year)
  • DG-7 (3rd year)
  • DG-8 (3rd year)
  • DG-9 (3rd year)
  • DG-10 (3rd year)
  • DG1 (4th year)
  • DG2 (4th year). Particularities and Constraints of Social Sciences
  • DG-3 (4th year). Guidelines for a Good Research Design
  • DG-4 (4th year). Research Strategies, Methodologies and Methods
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Written Assignment: Team Literature Review
    A literature review is a written assignment on a topic proposed by the team themselves and approved by the tutor. A review has to include a clear statement of a question / thesis statement of a broader research problem; be explicit as regard the structuring principle of your review and briefly describe perspectives for further research in the concluding section of your review. Review structure: (1) Abstract. (2) Introduction. Includes your question / thesis statement, broader research problem and the structuring principle of your text. (3) Body of the review. Consider selected pieces of literature according to the selected structuring principle and in a way which allows a team to illuminate the question / thesis statement of your review. (4) Conclusion. Sums up your review, provides an answer to your question or major arguments for your thesis statement, and elaborates on several avenues for further research. (5) Bibliography (list of references)
  • non-blocking In-class Tests
  • non-blocking Interim Assignment
    This assignment is designed to check both skills of using Zotero and identification of research questions.
  • non-blocking Final Assignment
  • non-blocking Midterm Assignment
  • non-blocking Writing Sample
    A writing sample is a part of the literature review students are supposed to prepare as a term paper. Based on the selected literature, they should present their skills in working with academic literature, abilities to formulate research gaps and puzzles.
  • non-blocking Midterm Assignment 2
    The students are to read two academic papers and answer the questions, do the assignments on them
  • non-blocking Programming Assignment
    Intermediate semester work on solving one of the problems related to the social sciences with the help of programming. Based on the materials of past seminars.
  • non-blocking Assignment on Data Analysis
    The final exam will take place at the end of the third module of the academic year. It will include working with the dataset, building, and interpreting the statistical model, and writing a short conclusion. The exam’s duration is 90 minutes, the students will be allowed to use their laptops and notes in order to complete the task.
  • non-blocking In-Class Discussion
    Students are to present their critical analysis of the provided mandatory readings. Students are to discuss any in-class additional materials (speeches, texts, videos).
  • non-blocking Homework
    Discourse Analysis: A written individual assignment, evaluating students’ progress in Research proposal in Discourse analysis. Students are to present orally a part of their research proposal (RQ, discourse approach, research procedures, etc) Text-as-Data: A written individual assignment, evaluating students’ progress in text analysis in R. Students will be provided with the task they need to perform on the provided data base. Students are to submit an R script and a short docx/pdf report on the results obtained.
  • non-blocking Exam
    Discourse Analysis: Exam is oral. It lasts for 1 hour 20 minutes. It contains 2 random question that correspond to the themes list. Text-as-Data: The exam is held in a written (test) format in the LMS (https://lms.hse.ru/) and Google Meet. The exam last for 1 hour 20 minutes. Students should log in to the Google Meet and the LMS 5 minutes before the start of the exam, using the computer that has a web-camera and a microphone. To participate in the exam, a student must: (1) switch on a web-camera and a microphone in the Google Meet and keep them on during the entire exam; (2) follow the lecturer’s instructions to open the test in the LMS; (3) start doing the test in the LMS. During the exam students are not allowed to (1) switch off a web-camera or a microphone in the Zoom; (2) open pages in a web-browser other that the test in the LMS; (3) use any additional printed and / or electronic materials and devices (e.g. smartphones). A short-term connection problem can last no more than 5 minutes and can occur not more than 2 times during the exam. A long-term connection problem is more than 5 minutes, or more than two short-term connection problems. In case of long-term connection problems students cannot proceed with the exam and must retake it in the same format.
  • non-blocking In-Class Participation
  • non-blocking Written Assignment: Team Literature Review
  • non-blocking Exam Test
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • 2022/2023 2nd module
    0.6 * In-class Tests + 0.4 * Midterm Assignment
  • 2022/2023 4th module
    0.2 * In-class Tests + 0.2 * Interim Assignment + 0.2 * Final Assignment + 0.4 * Written Assignment: Team Literature Review
  • 2023/2024 2nd module
    0.6 * Writing Sample + 0.4 * Midterm Assignment 2
  • 2023/2024 4th module
    0.5 * Programming Assignment + 0.5 * Assignment on Data Analysis
  • 2024/2025 4th module
    0.3 * Homework + 0.2 * Exam + 0.5 * In-Class Discussion
  • 2025/2026 2nd module
    0.4 * Written Assignment: Team Literature Review + 0.3 * Exam Test + 0.3 * In-Class Participation


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Booth, W. C., Colomb, G. G., & Williams, J. M. (2003). The Craft of Research (Vol. 2nd ed). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=228256
  • Eck, N. J. P. (Nees J. van, & Waltman, L. (Ludo). (2010). Software survey: VOSviewer, a computer program for bibliometric mapping. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.3AC7DCD5
  • Hetland, M. L. (2017). Beginning Python : From Novice to Professional (Vol. Third edition). New York: Apress. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1174463
  • Keating, M., & Della Porta, D. (2008). Approaches and Methodologies in the Social Sciences : A Pluralist Perspective. Cambridge , New York: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=304674
  • Keating, M., & Della Porta, D. (2008). Approaches and Methodologies in the Social Sciences : A Pluralist Perspective. Cambridge University Press.
  • Knopf, J. W. (2006). Doing a Literature Review. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.6DDBE740
  • Wayne C. Booth et al. The Craft of Research (4th ed.). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2016.

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Political research: methods and practical skills, Halperin, S., 2012
  • Ralph Berry. The Research Project. How to Write It (5th ed.). London: Routledge, 2004