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Political Inquiry


undefined, object
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the object that a pronoun refers to (Ex: The DOCTOR finished HER rounds)
coordinating conjunction
transition words that help combine two independent clauses (and, for, yet, so, but, nor)
a word used in place of a repeated noun
words or phrases used to modify another word or phrase for more detail and information
comma splice
when you use a comma to seperate two independent clauses without a coordinating conjuction (which is bad)
a word placed before a noun or pronoun to form a phrase modifying another word in the sentence (Ex: the road TO hell is paved WITH good intentions)
lie and lay
lie means to recline or rest on a surface
lay means to put or place something
ambiguous reference and how to fix it
occurs when the pronoun could refer to two possible antecedents (Ex: Tom told James that he had won the lottery. Fix: Tom told James, "you won the lotter.")
who and whom
who is the subject, does the action
whom is the object that is being acted upon
three uses for a comma
1. using a coordinating conjuction
2. parenthetical expression
3. list or series
joining two independent clauses
parallel structures
repeated syntactical similarities that balance the sentence (Ex: I like to swim, jump, and reading = bad)
bridges between what has been read and what is about to be read that help the reader follow the sentences
adverb or adjective that further describes anything
repetition in the sentence or paragraph that is not needed
inflated phrases
too many words that can be described in simplicity
active verbs
occur in a sentence where the subject does the action, avoids "to be" verbs
jargon and pretentious language
cryptic language that complicates a sentence, making it difficult to understand
sexist language
using gender specific pronouns/nouns when it is not appropriate
overused phrases that lose their dazzle
details that can change but are important for the moment (Ex: flight plans)
proximate truths
Answer what and how, but not why
eternal truths
never changing, the why, describes things as they really are and will be, only received by revelation, personal, crucial, and verifiable
how can scholarship be a form of worship?
learning and faith are mutually facilitating, brings you closer of God
what is the role of meekness in scholarship?
Understanding that some questions can only be answered by revelation and not reason alone
an attempt to identify and test empirical generalizations
conclusions that can apply to classes of objects
true or not true based on sensory experience
objective point of view
describes unbiased testing, research not dependent on particual researchers biases
call for action, prescriptions, "should" and "ought"
how to reformulate normative to empirical question
1. change the frame of reference
2. to ask empirical questions about the assumptions of the normative judgement
What does a research question consist of and why is each important?
clear, testable, theoretically significant, relevent to the world, original
logical fallacies
unreasonable argumentative tactics
hasty generalization
a conclusion based on insufficient or unrepresentative evidence
a hasty generalization about a group
fals anology
an anology that is superficially similar, but not in reality
non sequitar
no causal connection when the missing key point is something that people would disagree with
straw man fallacy
oversimplyfing or distorting opposing views so that they are easily overcome
deductive reasoning
start with a logical argument that leads to a theory/hypothesis and then you test it
states a claim that will be supported in the body
credibility in the intro
knowledgebale and fair minded, and builds common ground
if other people do the same study, they will get the same results
the effectiveness of the measurements to represent the abstract concepts
a testable statement derived from the theory (theory is large an encompasing, hypothesis is small and testable)
scientific method for political scientists
1. identify variables
2. make a hypothesis
3. test a hypotheis
4. analysis/generalizations 5. significance of the study
what does a hypothesis consist of?
1. falsifiable
2. has specified/operationalized variables
3. shows the relationship and direction (direction - negative, positive)
empirical observations of one or more variables for a number of cases collected accroding to the same operational definitions
the larger body from which the data sample is drawn
when researches biases affect data collection, analysis, or conclusions
what are concerns with gathering data from the internet?
unregulated, legally or practically, and as a result can be misleading or false
what two things must we keep in mind when using aggregate data?
1. ecological fallacy - don't draw conclusions from different units of analysis
2. standardization - divide it by the population so that it is standard
what can we do to minimize the affects of subjective bias in content analysis?
1. have more than one person code
Minimize bias in content analysis?
multiple researchers coding the data and then compare results
research design
logical method by which you propose to test the hypothesis for data collection and analysis
correlational design
collecting data on dependent and indpendent variables and determining if there is a pattern of relationship
statistics that measure the strength of co-variation (how they change together, not causation
case study
history of a particual event recounted and analyzed in depth, doesn't prove co-variation
primary difference between quantitative and qualitative
quantitatve is good for broad generalizations while qualitative is good for in-depth case studies and causal logic
quantitative research
thirty or more cases for a study
qualitative research
in-depth research with 30 or less cases
is quantitative more scientific than qualitative?
no because both use empirical evidence as well as the scientific method
observable implication
the condition when a theory can result in different numerous and varied results that can verify or falsify our hypothesis
the ability of the theory to be proven wrong through obervable implication
simplicity (acham's razor)
what should researchers do if there is very little information available about their topic of interest?
they should broaden their topic
dichotomous variable
when a variable can only take on two values (dummy variable)
a numerical measurement that summarizes some characteristic of a larger body of data
measures of central tendency
mean, median, mode - they describe a typical case in a set (values from the study)
adding all values then dividing by the amount of variables (interval data)
middle value (ordinal or interval data)
works with nominal (Ex: religions). it is the most common value
when outliers distort the central tendency
how closely or widely cases are separated on a variable
difference between the highest and lowest values
standard deviation
a summation of the difference of each case from the mean
probablity that the relationship between the variables was a coincidence
describe the strength, direction, and significance in statistics
1. strength - shows the amount that a change in one variable correlates with a change in another
2. direction - positive or negative
3. significance - probablity that the relationship between the variables was a coincidence
what are the data sets for types of quantitative variable?
Nominal (pet type)
Ordinal (pet weight by category)
Interval (number of pets)
Ratio (number of kids v. number of pets)
Main objective of plsc 200
to gain new knowledge
how does the class help aceive gaining new knowledge?
Gives us the tools necessary to research and gain new knowledge, also the scientific method
what does the "science as a process" entail?
observation, theory, test, analysis, conclusion
what are the three careers to generate new knowledge?
lawyers, public officials, business people
what is the possessive of "it"?
three uses of apostrophes
1. indicates possesive
2. indicates time or qunatity
3. indicates contraction
passive voice
when the subject of a sentence lack strength because the subject recieves the action instead of committing the action (look for the word "by" and past tense of "to be")
how do you fix passive voice?
make the subject committ the action (Ex: the senate passed the bill = good, the senate was going to pass the bill = bad)
misplaced modifier
any part of speech that does not refer to the right word or any word in the sentence (ex: I almost ate the entire chicken)
Darwin and Einsten
Darwin - inductive (started with data, then made theory)
Einstein - deductive (started with theory, then got data)
inductive advantage
observations more closely related to hypothesis (good fit)
inductive disadvantage
can be circular, often too specific
deductive advantage
coherent and efficient
deductive disadvantage
overly abstract and distant from the real world
scientific, neutral, supposed to be objective
post-modern critique
never completley objective in research because of biases
what makes a good research question?
according to KKV, importance to the real world and connection to scholarly literature
indepedent variable
narrow causes of the phenomen, experimenters change this to change the dependent variable (microloan presence in a country)
dependent variable
narrow phenomenon to study, what we are trying to change (amount of foreign aid recieved)
characteristics of a theory
founded in prior scholarship, explains known facts, suggests multiple dependent and independent variables, general, falsifiable
two units of analysis
1. individual (case study)
2. collective (group, country, or international system)
two groups of motivations
1. material (money and power)
2. ideational (values and ideas)
difference between grand theory and mid-range theory
grand theory - tries to explain all human behavior (people make decisions based on history)
mid-range theory - narrower, not trying to broad generalizations
ad hominem fallacy
poisening the well, personal attack instead of topic at hand
red herring
any diversion to distract from the main issue
two advantages of primary data
1. not second hand
2. only the needed data
3. original and importance
4. avoids biases
two advantages of secondary data
1. opinion of experts
2. does not take time to collect data or create data set
golden rule for secondary data
find what is absolute best for your theory and acknowledge errors
difference between conceptual and operational definition
conceptual - broad, dictionary
operational - measure, specific, defined in terms of the specific study
qualitative, quantitative non-experimental, quantitative quasi-experimental
qualitative - less than 30 cases, specific, case study
quantitative non-experimental - not choosing who the experiment is done on, no control variable
quantitative quasi-experimental - choose who is experience and have a control group
two purposes of the General Problem Area
1. introduces the topic
2. grabs the reader
3. puts it into research context
4. map out the project
two components of research question
1. important
2. connected
causal logic
explain clearly why and how x causes y, explaining the steps and mechanisms in detail
external validity and internal validity
1. external validity - things can be applied generally, qualitative is poor, quantitative is good (collective)
2. internal validity - appplied specifically, good causal logi, qualitative = good, quantitative = bad (individual)
two concerns with sampling
1. sample size
2. sample bias

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