Introduction to Research Methods

This course is aimed at helping Political Science students understand and use the quantitative methods and research designs widely employed throughout the discipline.

Prerequisite: A course in POL
Fall and Winter 2013-4
Class Room FE36 (SE Corner of Bloor and Spadina-Lower Level)
Instructor: Joseph Fletcher
Teaching Assistants: Gregory Eady, Naomi Lightman and Zhen Zhao

27 Feb

I have made some minor changes to the lecture, drop-in tutorial, presentation and quiz schedules.

Drop-in tutorials prior to HW5 will now be held on Mar 12/13/17/18

HW5 remains due on Mar 19/20.
HW5 presentations will be on Mar 24/25/26 & 27

There will be no Thursday class on Mar 20.
There will be no Wednesday class on Mar 26.

Quiz 5 will be held on Apr 2/3.

26 Feb The SE2 assignment has been posted. It is due March 5/6.
5 Feb The SE2 Survey ExpQuestions2 assignment has been postponed.
3 Feb One of the TAs brought an inconsistency to my attention regarding some of the upcoming Wednesday tutorials. Please note that a number of adjustments/corrections have therefore been made on the Tutorials Schedule and Course Outline pages of the website.
3 Feb HW4 Presentations are scheduled for tutorials on Feb 6, 10, 11 & 12.
15 Nov

The office of Accessibility Services is looking for note-takers for this class. If yoiu are interested, please contact:

15 Nov

Students who have attempted to work with the ANES2012 data using Webstats find that a large number of error messages appear before the relevant output. This is because numerous of the value labels used in the data set exceed the program limits. Unfortunately, despite several attempts it remains difficult to edit these labels due to the large number of variables in the data set and the multiple value labels for each variable. As a work-around I have posted on Webstats a second version of the ANES data without value labels. While this eliminates the error messages, the user must refer to the ANES codebook to find the appropriate labels. These can be added using syntax.

8 Nov Due to the Fall Break the required tutorials scheduled for Monday Nov 11 and Tuesday Nov 12 will not be held. Students in these sections will be able attend a tutorial during the second hour of class on either Wednesday Nov 13 or Thursday Nov 14.
26 Oct

A student noticed that our course outline incorrectly listed Quiz 3 for Nov 27/28. The correct date is Jan 29/30, as listed on the assignments sheet at

The outline has been amended to reflect the assignments sheet.

9 Oct

Some students have reported not finding their posted video when using the 2013POL242HW1 tag to search for it on YouTube. Other students have found that this problem can be alleviated by also including the tag in the description box (before their syntax) and as well as in the title box (after the title). These can be edited by logging into your YouTube account. Please note that sending a link to the instructor and/or a TA does not complete the assignment as other students are not able to view the video.

6 Oct

Urgent message to POL242 students regarding Assignment #1-Topic Selection

A number of students have brought it to my attention that YouTube has recently eliminated its ‘video response’ option which has been previously used for posting assignments for POL242. Consequently, when posting assignment videos to YouTube, it is now essential to add an assignment ‘tag’ to your video. Otherwise, it will be difficult to find your video. Accordingly, adding the appropriate ‘tag’ to your video is a required element for the assignment.

The tag for the Topic Selection assignment due Oct 9/10 is: 2013POL242HW1.

Please note that the tag must be entered exactly as shown here. Subsequent assignments will require different tags following a similar format.

When uploading your video the appropriate tag should be entered in the box marked Tags. Your pseudonym goes in the box marked Title and your syntax goes in the box marked Description.

Instructive screenshots are available by clicking HERE

Topic Selection Example available by clicking HERE or at

17 Sept

Please note that the page numbers listed for the Linneman readings refer to the numbers in the manuscript (small ones at the top of the page) not to the those defined by the .pdf file.

11 Sept

Welcome to POL242-2013-14

Please complete a short survey that we will use for instructional purposes by clicking HERE or by going to :

Older Posts

Last year's BV presentation videos are available by clicking HERE or going to:

Last year's MV presentation videos are available by clicking HERE or at :

Even earlier Multivariate presentations are available here.

A video with current instructions on signing up for a YouTube account is now available on YouTube at pol242howto. Please note that the correct format for your pseudonym is: cityname2012Pol242y. The direct link to the video is:


Website design by David M. Di Biase, Tuan Diep and Renan Levine with code, inspiration and content from many sources.
Most of the content on this website was originally done by Joseph Fletcher (or on his behalf), and appeared on Professor Fletcher's original POL 242 website.
The lab manual (the online exercises) was prepared by Joseph Fletcher, Thineish Ramanathan, Sebastien Dallaire, Michael Szala, Anna Saini, Steve White and Renan Levine.