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The exercises are well structured, and Clawson and Oxley provide
very clear instructions on how to complete them. The questions included
in the exercises seek to balance interpretation and critical
thinking–helping students get at what the numbers tell us about the
relationship between two variables and why that relationship exists. I
like the hands-on approach, and I think the exercises address topics
that students will find interesting and engaging
I think this book can help students experience the joy of
discovery firsthand. Rather than talking about how data can be used to
shed new insights on public opinion or refute hoary truths, Clawson and
Oxley show them how to find out such things on their own. Hearing a
professor say it or show it with slides is one thing, but doing it on
your own and waiting for the data to pop up online is a lot more fun,
informative, and powerful
I found the text both straightforward and engaging, an often
difficult balance to strike for a text teaching basic research methods.
The explanations in the workbook are very clear-it walks students
through each step and reinforces content with multiple examples. I was
also quite impressed with the balance between skill development and
substance. The explanations of how to perform analyses and the
exercises are well grounded in both the substance of politics and
well-established research areas in political science
This practice book accompanying a handbook by Clawson & Oxley is potentially useful for courses of at least one semester long, in my view. As much as I tried to make it part of my course for undergraduates, I found that many exercises in the book required good knowledge of the US political context and/or good command of English, which would be a bit of an extra for international students having their introductory course on public opinion. However, one can never know; I might consider it again next year.