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Repository with teaching material for the tutorials of the module Research Methods for Political Science (PO3600)

Tutorial: Research Methods in Political Science (PO3600)

Welcome! This site contains useful material for the tutorials of the module Research Methods for Political Science. In particular, I will use this site to publish links to useful papers, tutorials, or general advice. If you have any questions feel free to get in contact with me. You find the slides of the lectures, homeworks and datasets on Blackboard. This webpage only supplements the information from Blackboard by offering additional material.

Questions about the lectures or tutorials? Please ask them here.

Get and install SPSS

This course is based on SPSS. You are free to use alternative (and free) statistical software such as R or JASP. As a TCD student, you get a free SPSS license from the IT Service. What you need to do: Either you go to the IT Service Desk, get an installation DVD and fill out a form, or you print the form, bring it to the IT Service Desk and download SPSS directly from the TCD download website. Note that you will need to be logged in to the TCD wifi to download the software. Once you got the files, follow the instructions provided in the PDF file.

Online Support

While we will cover a lot of the SPSS functions in the tutorials, for your homework and research project you will very likely need additional functions.



Information on submitting assignments

Throughout both Michaelmas and Hilary term you will need to submit homeworks, assignments and a research project. You are free to conduct the homework with SPSS or an alternative statistical software (for example Stata or R, but not Excel).

Some general rules:

  1. The assignments must be typed into a LaTeX or Word/Open Office document and submitted as a PDF via Turnitin. Screenshots of the SPSS output are not sufficient as you will need to describe and interpret the results and procedures.

  2. If you include tables, do not use a screenshot, but use the “export” function from SPSS. Please save figures appropriately in high resolution (I recommend PDF as vector graphic formats have the best possible quality).

  3. Add the contents of the SPSS Syntax file/R script/Stata do file at the end of your document. It is good academic practice to present the full code and replication script. While SPSS has a point-and-klick interface, not relying on scripts results in extra work if you need to repeat an analysis. Even more important, only with scripts you can ensure reproducibility of your results. On the topic of reproducibility, have a look at the following links:

To reiterate, please copy the contents from the SPSS syntax file at the end of the submitted document.

Below I post a selection of useful links for each tutorial. If you found additional material that might be useful, either open a pull request on GitHub or let me know via email.

Hilary Term

Tutorial 1, Hilary Term

Tutorial 2, Hilary Term

Tutorial 3, Hilary Term

Tutorial 4, Hilary Term

Tutorial 5, Hilary Term

Tutorial 6, Hilary Term

Tutorial 7, Hilary Term

Tutorial 8, Hilary Term

Tutorial 9, Hilary Term

Michaelmas Term

Tutorial 1, Michaelmas Term

Tutorial 2, Michaelmas Term

Tutorial 3, Michaelmas Term

Tutorial 4, Michaelmas Term

Tutorial 5, Michaelmas Term

Tutorial 6, Michaelmas Term

Tutorial 7, Michaelmas Term

Tutorial 8, Michaelmas Term

Tutorial 9, Michaelmas Term

Research Projects