PS101-1.102.ERP.directions.2 - *From the Univ of North...

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*From the Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill How to write you Empirical political science  research paper.  Investigating relationships Although political scientists are prone to debate and disagreement, the  majority view the discipline as a genuine science. As a result, political  scientists generally strive to emulate the objectivity as well as the  conceptual and methodological rigor typically associated with the so-called  "hard" sciences (e.g., biology, chemistry, and physics). They see  themselves as engaged in revealing the relationships underlying political  events and conditions. Based on these revelations, they attempt to state  general principles about the way the world of politics works. Given these  aims, it is important for political scientists' writing to be conceptually  precise, free from bias, and well-substantiated by empirical evidence.  Knowing that political scientists value objectivity may help you in making  decisions about how to write your paper and what to put in it. Building Your theory and hypothesis Since theory-building serves as the cornerstone of the discipline, it may be  useful to see how it works. You may be wrestling with theories or proposing  your own as you write your paper. Consider how political scientists have  arrived at the theories you are reading and discussing in your course. Most  political scientists adhere to a simple model of scientific inquiry when  building theories. The key to building precise and persuasive theories is to  develop and test hypotheses. Hypotheses are statements that researchers   construct for the purpose of testing whether or not a certain relationship   exists between two phenomena . To see how political scientists use  hypotheses, and to imagine how you might use a hypothesis to develop a  thesis for your paper, consider the following example. Suppose that we  want to know whether presidential elections are affected by economic 
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conditions. We could formulate this question into the following hypothesis:  "When the national unemployment rate is greater than 7 percent at the  time of the election, presidential incumbents are not reelected." Collecting data In the research model designed to test this hypothesis, the dependent   variable  (the phenomenon that is affected by other variables) would be the  reelection of incumbent presidents; the independent variable  (the  phenomenon that may have some effect on the dependent variable) would  be the national unemployment rate. You could test the relationship between  the independent and dependent variables by collecting data on   unemployment rates and the reelection of incumbent presidents and
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PS101-1.102.ERP.directions.2 - *From the Univ of North...

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