Political Science Research Paper
A good Political science research paper is one that conveys the findings of the research in a way that can conveniently and very easily be understood by the reader or the targeted audience. Many things go into writing a good research paper and one such important issue is organization. Without organization, a reader is likely to get confused about the contents of the paper, and this means that it will be next to impossible to write a good research paper if organization of the research paper is not taken seriously. If one does not document the results of the research in an organized way, it also means that the findings of the research will be as good as lost to everyone except the individual that carried out the research.
A typical political research paper should be organized right from the abstract and introduction paragraphs to the conclusion and bibliography pages, respectively. The introduction of the essay should be organized in a way to enable a reader to quickly take note of the purpose of the research and the main issues being explored in the research paper. The body of the paper should be organized in a way to provide a good background, some of the main facts being discussed, a literature review section, a methodology section, a results section, and a discussion of the results section.
The conclusion of the research paper should also be organized so it describes the issues determined in the essay and this is why recapping the main issues explored in the research paper is important. Apart from organization, the other thing very important to essay writing is the style of writing. In most cases, the instructor or examiner of the research paper makes a point of letting the writer know the style to be used in writing the paper. However, if no style is indicated, it is always recommended that one uses the American Psychological Association (APA) style. As one writes the research paper using this style, one should always strive to write a well-organized paper that clearly presents the facts, theories discussed, and the analysis of the findings. Also, the sentences should be clear and contain words that can very easily be understood. This does not mean that one should completely avoid the use of certain vocabularies; rather; one should limit the use of vocabularies and only make use of the necessary terminologies. If one uses too many vocabularies, the reader may not easily understand the contents of the Political Science research paper and this will defeat the paper’s main purpose.
How to Write a Political Science Research Paper
1. Choose a paper topic
- Find an event or topic related to this course that interests you.
- Investigate the library’s resources and other available resources. If you choose to investigate a topic for which you must rely heavily on inter-library loans, you may not receive enough material in time to complete your research. You need to find an area in which there is available material. If you find there is not enough material on your topic, choose a different topic and begin a new search to see if you can successfully complete the research for your paper on your new topic.
- Read generally in the topic area of your choice.
- Fashion a precise question that you wish to research. The question that you ask is your research question. The goal of your research paper is to provide an answer to your research question. NOTE: To be a question, your research question must end with a question mark.
2. Develop a research design
- To do this you must think through what you need to know in order to answer your research question. What specific data would be helpful in answering your question? Which actors are involved? What external and/or domestic events might affect the topic you are studying? Where will you get the data you need?
3. Develop a thesis
- You must offer a thesis in the introduction of your paper. After researching your material, you will answer your research question. The answer to your research question will form the basis of your thesis.
- The thesis is the argument that you will make in your paper. Presenting your answer to the research question is the reason why you write the paper.
- You write the paper to convince your reader that your answer is correct. You must provide the reader with evidence you discovered in your research to persuade the reader that your answer is correct. You must anticipate alternative answers to your question and refute them. You must explain why your answer is better.
4. Make proper citations for all data used in the paper.
- All papers must have references and a bibliography.
- Follow the citation style used in the American Political Science Review. (The APSR is the preeminent journal for political scientists.) You can find hard copies of the APSR in the periodicals section of the Bailey-Howe library (on the second floor).
5. Write the paper
- Proofread the paper. Rewrite the paper. Ask your roommate to proofread the paper. Rewrite the paper again. Ask your mom to proofread the paper. Rewrite it again. The more times you proofread and rewrite the paper, the better the paper will be and the higher your grade will be.
Political Science Research Paper topics
- Balance of Power
- Complex Interdependence and Globalization
- Dependency and World-Systems
- Deterrence Theory
- Feminist International Relations
- Foreign Policy Analysis
- Global Politics of Resources and Rentierism
- History of International Relations
- Idealism and Liberalism
- International Environmental Politics
- International Law
- International Organizations and Regimes
- International Political Economy and Trade
- Leadership and Decision Making
- Nonstate Actors in International Relations
- Realism and Neorealism
- Rivalry, Conflict, and Interstate War
- The Democratic Peace
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