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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Samuel J Clark
SOC 220
Seattle Campus

Introduction to Sociological Methods

Familiarizes students with the logic of analysis in social sciences. Students learn to recognize good research design, understand and interpret main arguments employing different methods, and evaluate whether research findings support stated conclusions.

Class description

This course is an introduction to statistical methods used by sociologists and other behavioral scientists. The objective is to provide you with the ability to critically evaluate the data and methods used by sociologists and to be discerning consumers of research news in the mass media.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Lectures and TA sections.


David S. Moore, William I. Notz and Darryl K. Nester. 2006. Statistics, Concepts and Controversies (6th Edition). New York: W.H. Freeman. ISBN: 0716786362.

Recommended preparation

Read each assignment before it is covered in lectures, and then read it again at least one time afterward.

At the end of each chapter, and at the end of each major group of chapters, the text gives you a series of exercises. We recommend that you do the odd-numbered exercises Ė answers are given at the back of the text. These exercises are similar to the questions that you will be asked in exams, so they are good practice. If you canít figure out how to do any of them, contact one of us.

The class website at contains a course syllabus, problem sets and information about exams. Within a day of giving a lecture, I will post the overheads used for the lecture, and solutions to the problems sets will be posted the week after they are due. Instead of copying material from the overheads during the lectures, focus on making sure you understand the ideas being presented.

Some students are nervous about statistics. This class is no harder than most of the others you have taken. You will be able to do well if you keep up with the readings, lectures, homeworks and labs. However, unlike many classes you take at UW, the material in this class is cumulative. This means if you fall behind you will have a hard time catching up, and you may not be able to catch up at all. Solution: give this course priority and donít fall behind.

If you donít understand an idea presented in the text or lecture, come see one of us as soon as possible during office hours or by appointment.

You are expected to do your own work. Anyone found cheating or committing plagiary on any assignment or examination will receive a grade of X for the course and will be reported to the Deanís office in the College of Letters and Science.

We do not give make-up examinations or quizzes except in the event of serious and well-documented emergencies.

Almost everyone hates disruptions in class. They slow things down and break peopleís concentration. If you have to be late to class, enter unobtrusively; if you need to leave early, sit by the door and leave discretely. Be sure to silence your telephones or beepers before class begins. Do not talk, read newspapers, or do other annoying or disrespectful things in class.

Class assignments and grading

There will be eight take-home problem sets and eight short quizzes. You will have at least one week to complete each problem set, and they will require a mixture of hand calculation, written work and computer work. Quizzes will be given in recitation, and your quiz grade will be determined using your top six quiz grades (we will disregard the worst two of your eight quiz grades). If you skip recitation and miss a quiz, you will receive a grade of zero for that quiz, and there will be no make-up quizzes.

Problem sets must be turned in to your TA at your recitation section on or before their due date.

The course grade will be based on problem sets (15%), quizzes (15%), midterm (30%) and final (40%).

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Samuel J Clark
Date: 03/24/2006