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An Introduction to Political and Social Data Analysis (With R)

An Introduction to Political and Social Data Analysis (With R)

October 2024 | 416 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
An Introduction to Political and Social Data Analysis (With R) provides students with an accessible overview of practical data analysis while also providing a gentle introduction to R. By starting with statistics first and using just enough R code to generate results, this text helps students focus on learning how to do data analysis while slowly gaining confidence in using R as they progress through the material. This book is structured around learning by doing. Students can follow along in each chapter by reading about statistics and their applications in R, and then running the R code on their own as they work through contemporary political science and social science examples. Author Thomas M. Holbrook patiently explains each step in in the process, avoiding overly complicated jargon and commands. Exercises at the end of chapters feature both conceptual and calculation-based questions so students can check their understanding data analysis and practice using R. At the end of the semester, students can confidently add skills in data analysis with R to their resumes.

Introduction to Research and Data
Using R to Do Data Analysis
Frequencies and Basic Graphs
Data Preparation
Measures of Central Tendency
Measures of Dispersion
Sampling and Inference
Hypothesis Testing
Hypothesis Testing with Two Groups
Hypothesis Testing With Multiple Groups (ANOVA)
Hypothesis Testing with Non-Numeric Variables (Crosstabs)
Measures of Association
Correlation and Scatterplots
Simple Regression
Multiple Regression
Advanced Regression Topics
Regression Assumptions


Instructor Resources
The online resources for your text are available via the password-protected Instructor Resource Site, which offers access to all text-specific resources, including a test bank and editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides. 
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Clarity in communication is absolutely essential in introductory methodology and data science courses. Holbrook's way with words makes complicated statistical and computational language easy to understand and instills confidence in students.

Jeffrey M. Glas
University of Georgia

The book introduces many useful concepts without getting too bogged down in any individual concept. Students get a huge, wide exposure to content. This will help facilitate class conversations on day one, which is a real leverage.

Soren Jordan
Auburn University

Holbrook introduces complex and technically challenging concepts in a way that, for those new to the world of R, is approachable and easy to understand. Fantastic introductory text for undergraduate study.

Daniel Ashwood
Miami University

Chapter 1 provides a strong overview of the research process. While it talks a lot about data, it does so in a non-technical way that I think most undergraduates would be able to get through reasonably well. The examples provided are relevant and broadly interesting.

Aaron Sparks
Elon University

This text is structured well for taking students through Data Analysis for political science. Students are walked through both the meaning of the statistics examined and how the computer can be made to generate them. Each section builds on the preceding sections in a clear manner. The only problem with this book is that I wish I had written it. I can't wait to use it.

Brad Lockerbie
East Carolina University

Professor Holbrook's book provides an accessible entry-point for students of all levels to use data for political and social research, while offering clear and easy-to-understand guidance to the use of the R software.

Renato Corbetta
University of Alabama at Birmingham

This is a highly engaging and practical introduction to social research using R. All the essentials are here with little to no distracting material that might confuse already anxious students. I highly recommend this text.

Scott Liebertz
University of South Alabama
Key features
  • Practical data analysis approaches in this text focus on using statistics to understand data and research, rather that focusing on learning statistics for its own sake. 
  • Just enough R code in this text helps students use this programming environment to get results with a minimum of coding and no loading complex data analysis packages.
  • Simple political and social science examples throughout ensure students see the context of the data analysis they are doing.
  • instructions in Chapter 2 help instructors make using R straightforward for students. 
  • R code accompanies most graphs and tables so students can run the code themselves and follow along. 
  • Concepts and Calculation Exercises focus on concepts first with simple calculations so students can confirm their knowledge. 
  • R Problems ask students to use the R commands from earlier in the chapter to analyze data and interpret the results. 

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