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Магистерская программа «Сравнительная политика Евразии»

03
Июнь

Research Seminar "Design and Methodology"

2021/2022
Учебный год
ENG
Обучение ведется на английском языке
4
Кредиты
Статус:
Курс обязательный
Когда читается:
2-й курс, 1-3 модуль

Преподаватель

Course Syllabus

Abstract

The core objective of the course is to facilitate the thesis writing of second-year MA students, building on the skills and knowledge acquired in the first year of their program. In the first four sessions, the logistical, formatting, and ethical issues around thesis writing are discussed, alongside potential avenues for further developing one’s research project (PhD proposals, publications). The second part of the course (sessions 3-8) addresses various content-specific issues. This includes issues that can be crystallized in the progress of thesis writing (such as trade-offs and pitfalls, or data collection), as well as research methods and strategies that have been addressed to a lesser extent in the first year (like set-theoretic methods or process-tracing). In the final, third stage of the course, students will present their MA thesis research, and discuss the projects in a workshop format.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • The core objective of the course is to facilitate the thesis writing of second-year MA students, building on the skills and knowledge acquired in the first year of their program
  • to familiarize students with international standards of linking empirical and conceptual approaches, data-collection, academic writing, and communicating research results
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • becomes familiar with the essential features of academic publishing procedures
  • has a firm grasp on the essential practical guidelines of research design and planning
  • has avenues of applying research skills outside academia
  • is able to effectively communicate their research results
  • Avenues of applying research skills outside academia will be introduced
  • Students will be able to effectively communicate their research results.
  • Students will become familiar with the essential features of academic publishing procedures
  • The essential genres of academic writing will be introduced
  • will be able to confidently mobilize external sources in their research, fully aware of the boundaries between sound academic writing and plagiarism or academic dishonesty
  • will have a firm grasp on the essential practical guidelines of research design and planning.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • The fundamental features of academic research and genres of academic writing
  • The fundamental features of academic research and genres of academic writing
  • Research ethics and the use of supporting tools
  • Avoiding the “So what?” question: puzzles, problems and research questions
  • Writing a PhD application
  • Avoiding the “So what?” question: puzzles, problems and research questions
  • An introduction to the basics of academic publishing
  • A practical guide to planning research: term papers, thesis outlines, PhD proposals
  • Trade-offs and pitfalls
  • Communicating in academic contexts: presentations and conference discussions
  • Pluralistic traditions, mixed methods? Navigating between epistemic and methodological traditions
  • Mixed-methods research
  • The use of research skills in non-academic contexts
  • Process-tracing & QCA
  • Presentation workshop 1
  • Qualitative data-collections (essentials)
  • Presentation workshops (10 sessions)
  • Presentation workshop 2
  • Position paper
  • Short assignments
  • Literature review
  • Research question essay
  • Presentation
  • Reaction paper
  • Written exercises
  • Thesis presentation
  • Discussing other thesis project
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Position paper
    The position paper shall be a problem-based, argumentative text demonstrating the student’s capacity to identify academically relevant problems, finding avenues to tackle it, and communicating her/his arguments in a persuasive, transparent, and succinct manner. The position paper should also demonstrate the student’s firm understanding on the differences between epistemic and methodological traditions. The position paper’s extent shall not exceed 1,000 words, including foot/endnotes, excluding the bibliography.
  • non-blocking Literature review
    The literature review should be a narrative text demonstrating the student’s ability to identify the relevant sources for her/his research, to identify various positions and debates in the relevant literature, and to situate her/his own research within these debates. The literature review’s extent shall not exceed 600 words, including foot/endnotes, excluding the bibliography.
  • non-blocking Presentation
    The presentation should be a preliminary proposal on the student’s major research project within the program, the MA thesis. Beyond presenting their works, students will also have to comment on other research proposals in a constructive fashion. The oral presentation shall be max. 10 minutes long.
  • non-blocking Written exercises
    The written tasks are short exercises, following up on specific aspects of a given class, e.g. discerning cases of academic dishonesty and plagiarism, transgressing boundaries in academic genres, etc. Depending on the discussions within the class sessions, 2-4 of these will be assigned throughout the semester, always touching upon specific practical matters.
  • non-blocking Class participation
    In the class participation component, the following qualities can result in a maximal grade: • frequency and concision of class participations • originality of class contribution • connection between preparation materials and class contributions • contribution to class discussion dynamics • participation in maintaining an inspiring class environment
  • non-blocking Short assignments
    The short assignments are brief exercises, following up on specific aspects of a given class, e.g. discerning cases of academic dishonesty and plagiarism, transgressing boundaries in academic genres, etc. Depending on the discussions within the class sessions, 2-4 of these will be assigned throughout the semester, always touching upon specific practical matters.
  • non-blocking Research question essay
    The research question essay should be a 400-600 words-long (including foot/endnotes, excluding bibliography) explication of the student’s central research question in her/his MA thesis, reflecting on its justification, academic relevance, and feasibility.
  • non-blocking Reaction paper
    The reaction paper has to explicate how the methodological considerations introduced in one of the mandatory readings contributes to her/his MA thesis. The reactions paper should be 600-800 words-long, including foot/endnotes, excluding bibliography.
  • non-blocking Thesis presentation
    The presentation should be a preliminary proposal on the student’s major research project within the program, the MA thesis. Beyond presenting their works, students will also have to comment on other research proposals in a constructive style.
  • non-blocking Participation in the general class sessions
    In both class participation components, the following qualities can result in a maximal grade: • frequency and concision of class participations • originality of class contribution • connection between preparation materials and class contributions • contribution to class discussion dynamics • participation in maintaining an inspiring class environment
  • non-blocking Participation in thesis workshop sessions
    In both class participation components, the following qualities can result in a maximal grade: • frequency and concision of class participations • originality of class contribution • connection between preparation materials and class contributions • contribution to class discussion dynamics • participation in maintaining an inspiring class environment
  • non-blocking Discussing another thesis presentation
    Beyond presenting their works, students will also have to comment on other research proposals in a constructive fashion.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • 2020/2021 1st module
  • 2020/2021 2nd module
    0.1 * Class participation + 0.2 * Literature review + 0.3 * Position paper + 0.3 * Presentation + 0.1 * Written exercises
  • 2021/2022 1st module
  • 2021/2022 2nd module
  • 2021/2022 3rd module
    0.1 * Discussing another thesis presentation + 0.1 * Participation in the general class sessions + 0.1 * Participation in thesis workshop sessions + 0.15 * Reaction paper + 0.15 * Research question essay + 0.1 * Short assignments + 0.3 * Thesis presentation
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Bob Hancké. (2009). Intelligent Research Design : A Guide for Beginning Researchers in the Social Sciences. OUP Oxford.
  • Hancké, B. (2009). Intelligent Research Design : A Guide for Beginning Researchers in the Social Sciences. Oxford: OUP Oxford. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=299002
  • King, G. (DE-588)135604311, (DE-627)568593324, (DE-576)166299405, aut. (1994). Designing social inquiry scientific inference in qualitative research Gary King; Robert O. Keohane; Sidney Verba.

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Eco, U., Farina, G., & Mongiat Farina, C. (2015). How to Write a Thesis. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=963778
  • Henry E. Brady, & David Collier. (2010). Rethinking Social Inquiry : Diverse Tools, Shared Standards: Vol. 2nd ed. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
  • Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier, Henry E. Brady, & David Collier. (2008). The Oxford Handbook of Political Methodology. OUP Oxford.
  • Landman, T. (2008). Issues and Methods in Comparative Politics : An Introduction (Vol. 3rd ed). Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=222321
  • The Oxford handbook of political methodology / ed. by Janet Box-Steffensmeier . (2008). Oxford [u.a.]: Oxford Univ. Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.253060168
  • Todd Landman. (2003). Issues and Methods in Comparative Politics : An Introduction: Vol. 2nd ed. Routledge.