SSCI E-110/W Exploring Research Methods and Writing in the Social Sciences
This course provides a concise overview of the major genres of social scientific writing and their associated research methods, modes of argumentation, standards of evidence, and rhetorical conventions. It is intended for students wishing to pursue further study in the social sciences, and aims to give students an introduction to the basic writing skills involved in social research. The first part of the course sketches the fundamental ways in which social scientific writing tends to differ from writing in the humanities and the natural sciences. The second part of the course surveys the major methodological approaches in the social sciences—ethnography, qualitative research approaches, and quantitative analysis—with particular emphasis on differences in the presentation and analysis of evidence. In order to give the course greater coherence, our models focus on social scientific research on race drawn from the disciplines of anthropology, sociology, and history. Students also complete frequent writing exercises designed to highlight the skills involved in different analytical approaches. Students who have already taken SSCI E-100a or SSCI E-100b may not enroll in this course for degree credit.