It is not sufficient merely to claim that, for example, "there is a lot of information available on my case. Robert Michels, for example, decided to study the German Social Democratic Party to test his theory that all organizations are subject to "the iron law of oligarchy" because he posited that if power was concentrated in a small number of hands in a political party that sported a democratic ethos, then such oligarchic rule would surely occur in less ostentatiously democratic organizations.
The Conclusion A good conclusion should explain to the reader how your analysis has demonstrated that your argument is more persuasive than competing arguments. It should, in short, explain your contribution to the extant literature. Some pitfalls to sidestep when composing your conclusion are the following: Do not go beyond your data Even seasoned scholars can be guilty of concluding their pieces with grand statements that are not supported by their data.
You can underscore your contribution to the literature without claiming that you have, for example, refuted all that has been written on your topic hitherto or created a "new paradigm. Take care to identify the limitations of your findings or even some of the questionable parts of your analysis.
Doing this will, if not immunize your work against criticism, at least allow you to get a jump on addressing some of the critiques that will be leveled at your work. Do not sprinkle your conclusion with "questions for future research" This is a complement of the above. Bear in mind that you are a novice researcher. It is more than a bit presumptuous to claim that your piece can be the foundation upon which other scholars will build.
Avoid boilerplate phrases such as "time will tell" or "no one can know for sure" Conclusions are notorious for vaporous phrases that leave readers wondering, "What does that mean?
In this Third Edition of Writing a Research Paper in Political Science, updated sample research topics come from American government, gender studies, comparative politics, and international relations. Examples of actual student writing show readers how others "just like them" accomplished each stage of the process. Criteria and Goals for the Policy Provide clear and measurable criteria for assessing the success of a policy choice.
Apply all identified criteria to each policy choice. Summarize your policy recommendation and findings. Theses and Long Projects It goes without saying that there is no simple formula on how to optimally structure your work. Different analyses demand different frames of presentation, and the wealth of the structure types available are limited only by how creative a writer can be with his or her analytical and writing style.
Still, there are a couple of key tenets that can and probably should be considered when addressing this crucial step to producing your research work. A study chasing a trend throughout history would probably do well by divvying chapters up according to time periods, or yaers. Your research sources should include scholarly, journalistic, and primary materials.
Scholarly sources include books and journal articles. Only reading books, however, is not good enough. Books often take much longer than journal articles to publish and therefore the information found in books is frequently less current than the information found in journal articles.
Then search for journal articles related to your research question. Journalistic sources include the LADB, newspapers, and magazines. If you can read the language of the country you are studying, then consult the major newspapers from that country on the Internet.
Primary materials include official documents, government hearings, treaties, State Department bulletins, speeches, memoirs, interviews, World Bank and International Monetary Fund statistics, government statistics.
The reference librarians are a good resource and you should consult them for questions about sources. 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. Then explain why your question is important.Case Study or Case Studies Apply the theoretical framework to one or more cases. Explorations of the unimportant e. Scholarly sources include books and journal articles. All papers must have references and a bibliography. Do not try to suggest that figments of your imagination are the result of scholarly research.
What makes your particular case or cases "crucial" or explanatory? Colomb, and Joseph M. Criteria and Goals for the Policy Provide clear and measurable criteria for assessing the success of a policy choice. Such students could profit from reviewing Edward Tufte's classic book The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, particularly Tufte's discussions of "chartjunk. The APSR is the preeminent journal for political scientists.
The author provides encouragement at each stage and faces pitfalls head on, giving advice and examples so that students move through each task successfully.
Do not try to suggest that figments of your imagination are the result of scholarly research. Introduction State the core question; Tell the reader the significance of the question; Provide a brief version of your answer to the question; Provide an overview of the rest of the paper. Examples of actual student writing show readers how others "just like them" accomplished each stage of the process.
Your objective is to say something novel about your topic. This exercise can help you to provide your reader with some purchase on the complexity of your subject. Introduction State the core question; Tell the reader the significance of the question; Provide a brief version of your answer to the question; Provide an overview of the rest of the paper. Address your method for approaching the question. You could not in a single paper analyze all of the effects of war on the development of an entire country.
The same principle can be applied to temporal comparisons or between concepts and events — essentially anything that has a clear and definitive conceptual quality.
Reading several Internet pages does not constitute careful, scholarly research. When you write a paper, your thesis the argument you make to answer your research question should reflect your own original thinking.
Criteria and Goals for the Policy Provide clear and measurable criteria for assessing the success of a policy choice. As mentioned above, accomplishing 2 is integral to your effort to demonstrate or defend your thesis. Where will you get the data you need? You must explain why your answer is better. Your objective is to say something novel about your topic. Choose a paper topic Find an event or topic related to this course that interests you.
Sample Papers Welcome to the Companion Website Want your students to write their first major political science research paper with confidence? Short, tightly constructed and -argued conclusions are preferable to voluble, flabby conclusions that do not advance your case.