Graduate School for Social Research


Empirical Research in the Social Sciences (ERSS): Design, Implementation and Write-up

This course focuses on the logic of theory-driven and empirically-based social science research and the process underlying scientific production. We emphasize the practical steps that enable scholars to design their research project, formulate testable hypotheses, and select the data and analysis techniques most suitable for answering the project’s research question(s). Equally important, the course teaches you how to read published academic studies to critically assess their merits and limitations, and how to write up research projects to meet the requirements and expectations of major English-language social science publication outlets, especially those of peer-reviewed journals like the American Sociological Review, American Political Science Review, American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces, and the European Sociological Review.

To this end, the course comprises two independent, albeit complimentary, components, which follow one another during the 2020-2021 academic year. Part I of the course, to take place in Autumn 2020, teaches students the practicalities of moving from research design to research implementation. Part II, to be held in Spring 2021, focuses on reading and writing social science publications.