• Class Number 5730
  • Term Code 3260
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Tracy Fenwick
    • Dr Annika Werner
    • AsPr Tracy Fenwick
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/07/2022
  • Class End Date 28/10/2022
  • Census Date 31/08/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/08/2022
SELT Survey Results

This course aims to develop students' capacities in research and writing in political science effectively.  It is intended for students wishing to pursue further study in political science, and aims to give students an introduction to the writing and research skills involved in political research.  Topics may include: critical analysis of sources, constructing explanatory models, standards of logical demonstration, and organizing and presenting research results.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. identify and analyze a range of theoretical approaches to political science;
  2. utilise methods and approaches for accumulating and interpreting applicable information about the discipline of political science;
  3. conceptualise problems and apply tools to critically analyze and resolve political arguments, information, and theories; and
  4. communicate effectively and defend in written format normative and empirical arguments.

Required Resources




Empirical Research and Writing: A Political Science Student’s Practical Guide




Validity: now till 30 September 2021

Website: https://www.booktopia.com.au/

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written
  • verbal

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Referencing requirements

Students may use any conventional referencing system they like. Please note that it must be a known style, and must be used correctly and consistently.

Consult times are by appointment

The information provided is a preliminary Class Outline. A finalised version will be available on Wattle and will be accessible after enrolling in this course. All updates, changes and further information will be uploaded on the course Wattle site and will not be updated on Programs and Courses throughout the semester. Any questions or concerns should be directed to the Course Convenor.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Writing in Political Science: From Research Topic to Question
2 From Research Question to Theory to Hypothesis
3 The Practicalities and 'how to' for writing the Literature Review Quiz #1 due
4 Choosing a Research Design that Fits your Question
5 Case Selection and Study Design for Qualitative Research Quiz #2 due
6 Qualitative Data Collection and Management Assignment #1 due.
7 Revisiting 'writing in political science' practising peer review Quiz #3 due
8 Concepts and Measurements
9 Causality and Causal Inference Quiz #4 due
10 Case Selection and Study Design for Quantitative Research
11 Quantitative Data collection and management Quiz #5 due
12 Conclusion/Revision Assignment #2 due

Tutorial Registration

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage .

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Research design proposal (30%) 30 % 2, 3, 4
Research paper (40%) 40 % 1, 2, 3, 4
Take home quizzes 20 % 1,2,3
Workshop Participation 10 % 1, 2, 3

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: 2, 3, 4

Research design proposal (30%)

The research design proposal will be due in Week 6 at 17:00. (750 words)

You must outline and justify:

  1. Research Problem
  2. Literature Review
  3. Research Question
  4. Spatial and Temporal Context
  5. Empirical Expectations

Estimated return date: within 15 working days. The short paper will be submitted electronically via Turnitin

Assessment Task 2

Value: 40 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Research paper (40%)

Each student will be expected to write a research essay DUE Week 12. This will build on the research question outlined in your first assignment. You must:

1. Refine your research question, literature review, and theory

2. Refine your theory and develop hypotheses

3. Research design: methods, case selection and justification

Each paper will be no more than 1500 words. The papers should demonstrate a significant research effort. They will be evaluated on the strength (and quality) of the research, as well as the clarity of the written expression and organization. It is an individual assignment and should be completed as such. While essays can certainly cite newspapers, magazines, and websites, they should go beyond this to reference at least ten (10) (five from the first assignment and five more) academic sources (i.e. books or journal articles).

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Take home quizzes

Students will have the 4 highest graded quizzes counted towards the final mark. Each student will have the lowest quiz dropped from the final calculation.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3

Workshop Participation

Participation in the weekly workshops is a critical part of POLS1009. As such, attendance is encouraged. Students are expected to come to the lectures and participate during the in class discussions. You will be asked numerous questions throughout the course of the semester. In the workshops, students are expected to have done the readings and be active participants in the discussions guided by the Tutor. Mere attendance in the workshops is not sufficient participation.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Work will be returned to students via Wattle

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Online Submission: Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) a submission must be through Turnitin. Assignments are submitted using Turnitin in the course Wattle site. You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records.

Hard Copy Submission: For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Please state how the students submit such assignments to you via, for example, the physical assignment box. The cover sheet must use the assignment cover sheet template. If your course does not require hard copy submission, delete this subsection. Assignments must include the cover sheet available here. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

There is no re-submission of assignments.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

AsPr Tracy Fenwick

Research Interests

AsPr Tracy Fenwick

By Appointment
Dr Annika Werner

Research Interests

Dr Annika Werner

AsPr Tracy Fenwick

Research Interests

AsPr Tracy Fenwick

By Appointment

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions