Advice from Dr. Timothy C. Lim
California State University, Los Angeles

Many times in my book I argued that learning to think as a comparativist and rehearsing that mode of thought is vital to succeeding as a student of comparative government and politics. My arguments are reinforced by the following "Read Me" from the syllabus of Dr. Timothy C. Lim's Foundation of Comparative Politics course at California State University, Los Angeles in the spring of 2010. In September 2010, it was available on his web site.

"IMPORTANT. READ ME! This course deals with unfamiliar, abstract, and difficult-to-grasp concepts, principles, methods, and theories. Of course, this is true for many if not most university courses. Still, if you expect to do well in this course--if you expect to master the material--you must allot sufficient time to carefully read, review and reflect upon the required assignments. You must attend all class sessions, listen attentively, participate in discussions, and ask questions (if you are confused or lost). Above all, you must practice "thinking comparatively" and "thinking theoretically" on an everyday basis. The more you practice "doing comparative politics," in short, the more the material covered in class will make sense, and the stronger your understanding will be. Understand, too, this course is meant to be challenging and demanding. So be prepared to do your best and to work hard, very hard."

Dr. Lim's book, Doing Comparative Politics is a very good source of concept explanations and provacative comparative questions like "Why are poor countries poor?" If you want to do some independent studying, find a library's copy.

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