This upper-division research seminar fulfills a requirement in the International Relations and Global
Studies major, and is reserved for IRG majors. The course is designed to provide students with the
opportunity to develop an original research paper under guidance, and receive peer and instructor
feedback throughout the course. In the first portion of the course, reading materials are selected to
provide a primer on how to devise social scientific inquiry, and provide a primer on available research
methodologies. Weekly readings also supply students with exemplary research designs stemming
from the four pillars of the major. Following this initial portion of the course, the students embark or
continue their journey towards their individually composed research project. The research proposal,
a 10-page first draft of the project, and a final 25-page draft will make up the (graded) written
assignments of the course. Prior to submission of the final draft, each student will give a 15-minute
in-class presentation of their research project.
1. The central objective of the class is for students to compose an original piece of social scientific
research in the area of the International Relations and Global Studies, and all assignments
are geared towards facilitating this process.
2. Feedback constitutes an integral portion of the writing process, and iteration is crucial. Students will practice providing feedback through in-class exercises, and also on integrating such
feedback into their original work.
3. Methodologically, students receive a primer on several potential research designs, and are given
individual guidance on potential strategies for identification. In addition, through the assigned
reading materials (labeled “M”), the students will gain exposure to suitable application of
4. Consistent with the four-pillared approach of the IRG major, students will continue to assess
the substance of scholarly work, synthesize key aspects of the assigned readings (labeled “S”),
and transfer knowledge obtained in one context to other areas in a pursuit of a potentially
more holistic approach to the subject matter.