Research Sections
Research Sections are the sections that generate students’ final research papers. These sections ensure the timely completion of the final paper and allow students to receive feedback on each section prior to their final submission of their research paper. These assignments are graded by the completion and quality of effort of the assignment. Because each section builds upon previous sections (i.e., Research Question, Theory, Hypotheses, Research Design, Data and Methods, Results, Diagnostics, Conclusions), I recommend that each section submitted is appended to previous sections. In other words, when the Data and Methods section is due, the entire document including Research Question, Theory, Hypotheses, Research Design, and Data and Methods (i.e., the whole paper thus far) is submitted. While I will only evaluate the Data and Methods section officially (for that section grade), submitting the entire document will ensure that I am aware of changes in previous sections that may impact the newly drafted section. In this manner, I can provide more effective, holistic feedback and monitor progress to diagnose any problems in a timely fashion.

A. Research Question: Each student must submit to typed, hard-copy research question that is falsifiable and testable using an appropriate dependent variable for OLS. The dependent variable must be continuous. Students should also include why this research question is important and thus worth examining.
You will use the dataset provided via Blackboard. Use the codebook to identify possible variables for your research question. The codebook is the .pdf file, and the Stata (.dta) file is the actual data.

B. Theory and Hypotheses: This section explains their theory and causal mechanism linking their main independent variable(s) of interest with their dependent variable, along with possible covariates, interactive effects, and conditions. This discussion needs to be in as much detail as possible, considering how X affects Y, under what conditions, for whom, and what else impacts that effect or directly impacts Y. One should also consider how time impacts this relationship. How long does it take X to affect Y?

Theory also includes discussion of relevant literature (that is, existing peer-reviewed scholarship) to supplement your arguments. This is not be a separate section. Literature should be synthesized within your theory so as to assist your arguments by supplementing with explanations, evidence, and examples. Your theory determines and organizes the literature you cite. It is analogous to where your theory is the skeleton and the literature is the muscle, “fleshing out” your theory and how it fits within existing scholarship.
D. Data and Methods Section: This section identifies the data used. It identifies the sample (countries/elections and time frame) and unit of analysis. It then identifies the dependent variable and explains its operationalization (that is, how it is measured, how it is coded, and brief descriiptive statistics). The dependent variable for any OLS method must be continuous. The section then continues to operationalize all the independent variables and control variables (that is, how they are each measured, coded, and brief descriiptive statistics for each). The section will then conclude with a statement that “Because the dependent variable of is continuous, I use OLS estimation.” Then the section should have the OLS model equation written out for your specific model specification. (After this you will later add the Results section and Conclusion.)