INST 101 Introduction to International Studies - Section 1 - Dr. Guo - 10/23-11/15

The University of Mississippi
Fall 2018, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8-9:15, 107 Croft Institute
Instructor: Dr. Gang Guo * Office: 128 Deupree Hall * Telephone: (662) 915-5419 * e-mail: gg at olemiss dot edu
Office hours: by appointment

Module Description

This is one of three modules in the INST 101 course sequence. The purpose of this module is to introduce students to the idea and practices of conducting social scientific research in international studies. Students are encouraged to adopt a global and comparative mindset, to practice research problem-solving, and to contemplate their own role as both consumers and more importantly producers of knowledge. After completing this course, a student should be

Students will be evaluated on

Class participation is worth 24 points toward the module grade, accumulated throughout the eight (8) class sessions, and based on regular attendance, making informed comments, and asking constructive questions in class.

This module contains five (5) homework assignments. Each of the homeworks is worth six (6) points toward the module grade. The homeworks are to be submitted on Blackboard. Unexcused late homeworks will be penalized.

There will be two (2) in-class close-book exams, each worth eight (8) points. The exams contain multiple-choice questions. A student is permitted to make up a missed exam without penalty if he/she informs the instructor in advance of an unavoidable time conflict between the exam and a scheduled University-approved activity.

The research paper should be no more than five (5) pages in length. The page count does not include title page (if any), tables or figures (required), footnotes or end notes (if any), and list of references (required). The paper should 1) identify a research question; 2) develop theoretical hypothesis or hypotheses on the relationship between a dependent variable and an independent variable (and possibly a control variable); 3) describe the data used to test the hypothesis or hypotheses; 4) use scatterplot chart(s) with estimated linear regression equation to show the relationship between variables; 5) interpret the values of the slope, y-intercept, and R-squared; 6) write a conclusion that corresponds to the findings from data analysis. The paper could utilize any one or combination of the international statistical data sources used in this module in answering the research question. An important criteria of evaluation of the research paper will be the quality of analysis and interpretation of the empirical evidence. The paper is worth twenty (20) points toward the module grade. It should be submitted on Blackboard by the beginning of the last class in this module. Unexcused late papers will be penalized. Allow time to proofread. Good writing is essential. Finally, please note that academic honesty is not only a mark of a good scholar, but also a good person. The papers will be submitted through and thus checked by SafeAssignment on BlackBoard.

In the last class of this module, each student will make a three-minute presentation to highlight the research question, theoretical hypothesis, and empirical evidence of the research. The presentation is worth ten (10) points toward the module grade. The PowerPoint or PDF file for the presentation should also be submitted on Blackboard by the beginning of the last class in this module.

Class Schedule

  1. Issues, Concepts, and Theories in Comparative Politics - Part I (Tuesday, October 23rd)
  2. The Diversity of States (Thursday, October 25th)
  3. Issues, Concepts, and Theories in Comparative Politics - Part II (Tuesday, October 30th)
  4. World development (Thursday, November 1st)
  5. The world in the recent past and the near future (Tuesday, November 6th)
  6. Gapminder world (Thursday, November 8th)
  7. Individual-level analysis (Tuesday, November 13th)
  8. Research presentations (Thursday, November 15th)