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The Essentials of Political Analysis
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The Essentials of Political Analysis

Sixth Edition
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July 2019 | 368 pages | CQ Press
“Pollock and Edwards explain the nuts-and-bolts of research design and data analysis in a clear and concise style. The Essential of Political Analysis is an intuitive introduction to complex material, replete with examples from the political science literature that add relevance to statistical concepts. This text offers students an excellent balance between the technical and the practical.”
—Francis Neely, San Francisco State University

Gain the skills you need to conduct political analysis and critically assess statistical research. 

In this Sixth Edition of The Essentials of Political Science, bestselling authors Philip H. Pollock III and Barry C. Edwards build students’ analytic abilities and develop their statistical reasoning with new data, fresh exercises, and accessible examples. This brief, accessible guide walks students through the essentials—measuring concepts, formulating and testing hypotheses, describing variables—while using key terms, chapter-opening objectives, over 80 tables and figures, and practical exercises to get them using and applying their new skills.

Using SPSS, STATA or R?  Discounted package deals available with Philip H. Pollock’s companion workbooks. See more information on the “Packages” tab or contact your SAGE | CQ Press sales rep

Give your students the SAGE edge!

SAGE edge offers a robust online environment featuring an impressive array of free tools and resources for review, study, and further exploration, keeping both instructors and students on the cutting edge of teaching and learning. Learn more at edge.sagepub.com/pollock.
 
 
Tables, Figures, and Boxes
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
Introduction
Facts and Values in Perspective

 
The Scientific Approach

 
What This Book Is About

 
Conclusion

 
Key Terms

 
Notes

 
 
CHAPTER 1 • The Definition and Measurement of Concepts
Learning Objectives

 
Conceptual Definitions

 
Operational Definitions

 
Measurement Error

 
Reliability and Validity

 
Working with Datasets, Codebooks, and Software

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Exercises

 
Notes

 
 
CHAPTER 2 • Measuring and Describing Variables
Learning Objectives

 
Essential Features

 
Levels of Measurement

 
Describing Variables

 
Transforming Variables

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Exercises

 
Notes

 
 
CHAPTER 3 • Proposing Explanations, Framing Hypotheses, and Making Comparisons
Learning Objectives

 
“All Models Are Wrong, But Some Are Useful”

 
Proposing Explanations

 
Framing Hypotheses

 
Common Mistakes in Hypothesis Writing

 
Making Comparisons

 
Graphing Relationships and Describing Patterns

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Exercises

 
Notes

 
 
CHAPTER 4 • Research Design, Research Ethics, and Evidence of Causation
Learning Objectives

 
Establishing Causation

 
Experimental Designs

 
Selecting Cases for Analysis

 
Conducting Research Ethically

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Exercises

 
Notes

 
 
CHAPTER 5 • Making Controlled Comparisons
Learning Objectives

 
The Logic of Controlled Comparisons

 
Essential Terms and Concepts

 
Effect of Partisanship on Gun Control Vote, Controlling for Gender: An Illustrative Example

 
Controlled Mean Comparisons

 
Identifying Patterns

 
Advanced Methods of Making Controlled Comparisons

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Exercises

 
Notes

 
 
CHAPTER 6 • Foundations of Statistical Inference
Learning Objectives

 
Population Parameters and Sample Statistics

 
The Central Limit Theorem and the Normal Distribution

 
Quantifying Standard Errors

 
Confidence Intervals

 
Sample Size and the Margin of Error of a Poll

 
Inferences with Small Batches: The Student’s t-Distribution

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Exercises

 
Notes

 
 
CHAPTER 7 • Tests of Significance and Measures of Association
Learning Objectives

 
Statistical Significance and Null Hypothesis Testing

 
One-Sample Significance Tests

 
Two-Sample Significance Tests

 
The Chi-square Test

 
Measures of Association

 
Criticisms of Null Hypothesis Testing

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Exercises

 
Notes

 
 
CHAPTER 8 • Correlation and Linear Regression
Learning Objectives

 
Correlation

 
Bivariate Regression

 
Educational Attainment and Voter Turnout in States Example

 
R-square

 
Multiple Regression

 
Some Practical Issues: Multicollinearity, Parsimony, and Missing Data

 
Analyzing Residuals to Evaluate Linear Regression Models

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Exercises

 
Notes

 
 
CHAPTER 9 • Logistic Regression
Learning Objectives

 
The Logistic Regression Approach

 
Logistic Regression Approach to Vote Choice in the 2016 Presidential Election

 
Finding the Best Fit: Maximum Likelihood Estimation

 
Logistic Regression with Multiple Independent Variables

 
Graphing Predicted Probabilities with Multiple Independent Variables

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Exercises

 
Notes

 
 
CHAPTER 10 • Conducting Your Own Political Analysis
Picking a Good Topic

 
Getting Focused and Staying Motivated

 
Reviewing Prior Literature

 
Collecting Data

 
Writing It Up

 
Maintain a Scientific Mindset

 
Key Terms

 
Exercises

 
Notes

 
 
Index

Supplements

Instructor Resources Site
edge.sagepub.com/pollock

Instructor Teaching Site (Password Protected)

SAGE edge for Instructors, supports your teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students. 
  • Test banks provide a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity to edit any question and/or insert your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding.
  • Sample course syllabi for semester and quarter courses provide suggested models for structuring your courses.
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for your course. 
  • Instructor manual is provided for each chapter, including learning objectives, chapter summary and outline, discussion questions, exercises, and Web resources, to support your teaching.
  • Solutions manual accompanies exercises in the book.
  • All tables and figures from the book are available for your use in class lectures or discussions.


Student Study Site
Student Study Site (Open Access)

SAGE edge for Students provides a personalized approach to help students accomplish their coursework goals in an easy-to-use learning environment.
  • Mobile-friendly eFlashcards strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts. 
  • Mobile-friendly practice quizzes allow for independent assessment by students of their mastery of course material.
  • Learning objectives reinforce the most important material.
  • Screencast videos, created by author Philip Pollock, of the guided examples from each chapter, intended to enhance understanding of key topics
  • Meaningful multimedia links facilitate student use of Internet resources and further exploration of topics.
 

“A great resource to get students up and running on statistical analysis in politics. I recommend this book to all my colleagues. The accompanying workbook for R is also excellent.”

Sarah E. Croco
University of Maryland, College Park

“Pollock and Edwards explain the nuts-and-bolts of research design and data analysis in a clear and concise style. The Essential of Political Analysis is an intuitive introduction to complex material, replete with examples from the political science literature that add relevance to statistical concepts. This text offers students an excellent balance between the technical and the practical.”

Francis Neely
San Francisco State University

“The recent edition of The Essentials of Political Analysis provides a strong foundation in statistics for political science students. The integration between the main textbook and its companion is excellent. The instructor resources present effective teaching tools that complement the book seamlessly.”

Tijen Demirel-Pegg
Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis

For instructors

This book is not available as an inspection copy. For more information contact your local sales representative.

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ISBN: 9781506379616
£63.00