Research methods in the social sciences are a set of tools that assist us in understanding our world. This seminar is designed to teach you how to be a critical observer of and contributor to that world using these methods. The course has an academic and a practical or civic component. As scholars, we are interested in contributing to a body of knowledge based on the systematic examination of our surroundings; we ask questions, develop theories, collect data to subject to various forms of analysis, and submit results in written form for critique by experts in our field and ultimately for publication in our discipline’s scholarly journals. As practitioners and citizens, we are interested in devising solutions to the world’s problems; we ask questions, examine relevant bodies of knowledge, develop arguments and communicate them to stakeholders to effect change. We will spend the term being both scholars and practitioners/citizens, using your internship experiences, DC, and the larger national and global community, to explore questions and answers through each of these lenses with the tools that improve our lives.