Introduction to This Page

This page is meant to supplement the syllabus and lectures for my undergraduate course "Introduction to International Relations" (PSCI 3300) at the University of North Texas. It is organized along the same outline as the reading list for the course, to help students who wish to go beyond the original assigned readings.

Obviously, this page -- like any other page on the Web -- is a work in progress. I will do my best to keep it up-to-date throughout the semester. Unfortunately, many of these links may be redirected or even removed from the Web by the end of the semester (one semester I found that over one-third of all of the links on one of my pages broke between September and December). I would appreciate being informed via email if you find any broken links on this page, so that I can attempt to fix or delete the link in question.

Using SPSS (and PSPP) Software

SPSS statistical software ("Statistical Package for the Social Sciences") is used in many academic settings and many businesses, so experience using it can be very helpful after completing this course. Even if you end up in a discipline or business that uses a different statistical package, the experience of having worked with SPSS will help you make the transition to their preferred software much more easily than if you had never done this. This document offers a brief introduction to SPSS and guidelines on how to use it for this course's homework assignments. Note that this will be a work in progress, with more guidelines and instructions being added later in the semester as later assignments require additional statistical techniques, and I will eventually add material that won't be required this semester but could be very helpful if you ever use SPSS for future research, coursework, or employment (such as reading in raw data, formatting and recoding data, and using SPSS syntax files rather than just using the dropdown menus).

These additional online resources go into more detail about some of the techniques and options that we will be using in this course's homeworks, as well as many of the techniques and options available in SPSS that we will not be using this semester but that you might need to use later:

Using PSPP: These resources cover the use of PSPP, the free open-source equivalent to SPSS. Based on my testing so far, it should work almost identically to SPSS, except that PSPP does not currently offer some of the more advanced statistical techniques that we will discuss at the end of the semester (although it does everything that is required for course homework assignments).

Methodology References

While many students in this course will be satisfied with completing the course and will not want to use quantitative methods in their own careers (at UNT or afterward), others will want to go further with topics covered in this course, perhaps in writing a senior honors thesis or in preparing for graduate school. This is not a definitive list, but these resources might be helpful guides for going further with these methods than we could in this class. Many of these are from Sage Publications' Quantitative Applications in the Social Sciences series, which offers relatively brief (around 80 pages), accessible, and affordable (around $20) discussion of many important topics (these volumes are often consulted by grad students and faculty doing their own research).

Greek Letters

Confused by all of the Greek letters used in statistics? This web page offers pictures of both uppercase and lowercase Greek letters, with the name of each letter spelled out and the English equivalent.

Undergraduate Research Methods Textbooks

Less Advanced Statistics Books (less mathematical, often aimed at the general public)

More Advanced Statistics Textbooks (typically require more math background, aimed at grad students and professionals)

Mathematical Review

Online References

Thinking Scientifically

Research Design

Case Studies and Comparative Method

Concepts and Measurement

Using Quantitative Data

Collecting Your Own Data

Survey Data

Political Science Research Skills

Descriptive Statistics

Sampling and Inferential Statistics

Hypothesis Testing

Measures of Association

Regression Analysis

Logit/Probit and Related Methods

Methods We Didn't Cover

This section includes other methods that are widely used in social science research, which you may need to understand better, or you may even need to use in your own research. These sources offer a useful starting point; the more advanced statistics textbooks listed above often cover many of these topics as well.

Content / Narrative / Textual Analysis

Event History / Survival / Duration Analysis

Generalized Linear Models (GLM)

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Spatial Analysis

Hierarchical Linear Models (HLM) / Multilevel Modeling

Multinomial and Ordered Logit/Probit Models

Neural Network Models

Selection Models

Time Series Analysis

Online Data Sources

These sources may be used to download many of the main data sets used by professional political scientists, as well as other sample data sets that might be helpful in learning or applying quantitative techniques.

Political Polls

Survey Data

Widely Used Poli Sci Data Sets

Other Data Sources

These data sources are useful for teaching or learning about new methods. Most of the materials included here will never be used in professional publications, but they are often straightforward and easy for new users to understand (unlike many professional data sets).
Last updated: 24 April 2024
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