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Course NameIntroductory Seminar (Introduction to Research Methodology)
InstructorGhimire, Kleber
MajorLiberal Arts Core Subjects
Course goalsThe potential learning benefits of this course are significant, namely ? The opening lecturers that highlight the general nature of social science research, including conceptual clarifications and basic research strategies will help students to comprehend the importance of following certain methodological procedures in seeking to discover and analyze a social realty. ? Students will develop a capacity to detect and grasp the key concepts and ideas involved by reading a selected extracts of texts distributed in the class. ? A study visit to the university library will be organized so as to familiarize students with different sources of information available there. ? They will learn and practice creating citations, notes, references and the bibliography. ? Finally, students will benefit from the opportunity to improve their English language skills.
Course outlineLearning achievement and the objective: This basic seminar aims to introduce students the key methodological tools vital for self-reflections, documentations and writing course papers and other research documents. In particular, students will learn a set of three elements: (a) capacity to comprehend essential notions or ideas in question (b) identify key sources of information (c) gain practical knowledge on creating proper citations, notes, references and the bibliography. General overview: Methodology is a part and parcel of learning in social sciences. Grasping of methodological questions helps students to sharpen their critical thinking and organize essential ideas in a structured and scientific manner. In more practical terms, students requiring to prepare research reports, memoires or dissertations in order to complete their diplomas must gain basic knowledge of how to define the right research questions, work out research methods, collect relevant information and prepare a high-quality, well-ordered and clean texts. In actual fact, social enquiries carried out without prior methodological considerations may make the research path extremely hazardous, with the validity of analyses and the presentation of substance lacking professionalism and scientific rigueur.
Evaluation Scale and Policies・Attendance, participation, reading of assigned texts in the class, as well as preparing of short ・synthesis notes: 20% ・Preparation of a one-page report on the library visit and available sources of information: 20% ・Practical exercise of creating citations, notes, references and the bibliography in the class: 20% ・Final written exam: 40%.
Texts, materials, and suppliesCertain relevant sections of the following book will be read in the class: Ren? Descartes, Discourse on the Method (available online
Course Schedule/Plan1. What is a method?
- Usefulness and pitfalls
- Development of a research question
2. Research design and collection of data
3. Interpretation methods and analyses
4. Writing and presentation of research documents
5. -8. Reading of the selected text in the class, including the preparation of synthesis notes
9. - 10. Study visit to the library and the preparation of a short appraisal
11. - 13. Practical sessions in learning to create citations, notes, references and the bibliography
14. Concluding session
15. Written examination.