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Christine L. Williams, Chair CLA 3.306, Mailcode A1700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6300

Spring 2010

SOC 317L • Intro to Social Statistics (46300 & 46305)

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
46300 MWF
10:00 AM-11:00 AM
11:00 AM-12:00 PM
GEA 114
BUR 220

Course Description

The goal of this course is to help students develop statistical literacy. The course will examine data analysis, inference; graphical and numerical summaries of numerical and categorical data; correlation and regression; and estimation, confidence intervals, and significance tests. There will be an emphasis social science examples and cases.

The course is divided into three main sections: (1) Descriptive Statistics; (2) Inferential Statistics; and (3) Applied Techniques. Descriptive statistics will allow you to summarize and describe data. Inferential Statistics will allow you to make estimates about a population (e.g., this entire class) based on a sample (e.g., 10 or 12 students in the class). The third section of the course will help you understand and interpret commonly used social science techniques that will help you to understand sociological research.

Grading Policy

Grades: Grading for this class is very straight forward. Final grades are based on students' total point score as determined by performance on exams, problem sets, and class participation. Grades are based on a percentage of 200 points: 1 midterm (35 points) and 1 final exam (65 points); 5 lab assignments (15 points each); and class participation (25 points).

Exams: Exams will be cumulative. Exams are progressively weighted in recognition of the cumulative nature of the course and to allow you a chance to "get your head into the course" before final grades are determined.

Problem Sets: There will be 5 problem sets in the class worth 15 points each. Each assignment will be turned in during lab. No credit will be given for assignments turned in late.

Class Participation: Worth 25 points. TBD

Course grades will be assigned in the following manner based on a 200 point system:
A+ 193-200
A 186-192
A- 180-185
B+ 174-179
B 166-173
B- 160-165
C+ 154-159
C 146-153
C- 140-145
D+ 134-139
D 126-133
D- 120-125
F <120

Attendance and participation is MANDATORY. It is very unlikely that you'll do well or even pass this class if you do not regularly attend (i.e. miss only 1 or 2 class meetings) class. You must attend at least once during the first week of class to guarantee your place in it. If you fail to do so, you may be administratively dropped at the discretion of the course instructor and/or department.


James Levin, James Alan Fox, and David R. Forde, Elementary Statistics in Social Research, (11th Edition), Pearson Press, ISBN 978-0-205-57069-0


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