Political Science Research Paper Examples - EssayEmpire

 

writing a research paper in political science

* To write a sophisticated paper, you should conduct your research in light of the important theories of political science. You might ask a question and offer an answer that either confirms or disconfirms a theory in the discipline. Category: Political Science Research Paper Examples. This collection of political science research paper examples is an attempt to make fairly complex approaches in politics accessible to advanced undergraduate students and beginning graduate students. There is very little in the way of reference works in political science that are sufficiently. Writing a Research Paper in Political Science breaks down the research paper into its constituent parts and shows students what they need to do at each stage to successfully complete each component until the paper is finished. Practical summaries, recipes for success, worksheets, exercises, and a series of handy checklists make this a must-have.


40 Political Issues Research Paper Topics - A Research Guide for Students


This handout will help you to recognize and to follow writing standards in political science. The first step toward accomplishing writing a research paper in political science goal is to develop a basic understanding of political science and the kind of work political scientists do. Political scientists study such struggles, both small and large, in an effort to develop general principles or theories about the way the world of politics works.

Think about the title of your course or re-read the course description in your syllabus. The diverse structure of political science reflects the diverse kinds of problems the discipline attempts to analyze and explain. In fact, political science includes at least eight major sub-fields:. Although political scientists are prone to debate and disagreement, the majority view the discipline as a genuine science.

They see themselves as engaged in revealing the relationships underlying political events and conditions. Based on these revelations, they attempt to state general principles about the way the world of politics works. Knowing that political scientists value objectivity may help you in making decisions about how to write your paper and what to put in it. Political theory is an important exception to this empirical approach.

Since theory-building serves as the cornerstone of the discipline, it may be useful to see how it works. You may be wrestling with theories or proposing your own as you write your paper. Consider how political scientists have arrived at the theories you are reading and discussing in your course. Most political scientists adhere to a simple model of scientific inquiry when building theories. The key to building precise and persuasive theories is to develop and test hypotheses.

Hypotheses are statements that researchers construct for the purpose of testing whether or not a certain relationship exists between two phenomena. To see how political scientists use hypotheses, and to imagine how you might use a hypothesis to develop a thesis for your paper, consider the following example. Suppose that we want to know whether presidential elections are affected by economic conditions.

We could formulate this question into the following hypothesis:. In the research model designed to test this hypothesis, the dependent variable the phenomenon that is affected by other variables would be the reelection of incumbent writing a research paper in political science the independent variable the phenomenon that may have some effect on the dependent variable would be the national unemployment rate. You could test the relationship between the independent and dependent variables by collecting data on unemployment rates and the reelection of incumbent presidents and comparing the two sets of information.

If you found that in every instance that the national unemployment rate was greater than 7 percent at the time of a presidential election the incumbent lost, you would have significant support for our hypothesis.

However, research in political science seldom yields immediately conclusive results. To explain this important exception and to make certain that other factors besides high unemployment rates were not primarily responsible for the defeat of incumbent presidents in other election years, you would need to do further research. So you can see how political scientists use the scientific method to build ever more precise and persuasive theories and how you might begin to think about the topics that interest you as you write your paper.

Since political scientists construct and assess theories in accordance with the principles of the scientific method, writing in the field conveys the rigor, objectivity, writing a research paper in political science, and logical consistency that writing a research paper in political science this method.

Thus political scientists avoid the use of impressionistic or metaphorical language, or language which appeals primarily to our senses, emotions, or moral beliefs. In other words, rather than persuade you with the elegance of their prose or the moral virtue of their beliefs, political scientists persuade through their command of the facts and their ability to relate those facts to theories that can withstand the test of empirical investigation.

In writing of this sort, clarity and concision are at a premium. To achieve such clarity and concision, political scientists precisely define any terms or concepts that are important to the arguments that they make.

Fortunately, you will generally not be expected to devise or operationalize key concepts entirely on your own. For this reason, it is always a good idea to explore what research has already been done on your topic before you begin to construct your own argument. See our handout on making an academic argument. Reading through this example should clarify the level of analysis and precision that you will be expected to employ in your writing. You would, of course, be correct—democracy is government by the people.

But, in order to evaluate whether or not a particular government is fully democratic or is more or less democratic when compared with other governments, we would need to have more precise criteria with which to measure or assess democracy. For example, here are some criteria that political scientists have suggested are indicators of democracy:. If we adopt these nine criteria, we now have a definition that will allow us to measure democracy empirically.

Thus, if you want to determine whether Brazil is more democratic than Sweden, you can evaluate each country in terms of the degree to which it fulfills the above criteria. Two of the most common kinds of writing assignments in political science are the research paper and the theory paper. Your instructors use research paper assignments as a means of assessing your ability to understand a complex problem in the field, to develop a perspective on this problem, and to make a persuasive argument in favor of your perspective.

In order for you to successfully meet this challenge, your research paper should include the following components:. In the introduction of your research paper, you need to give the reader some basic background information on your topic that suggests why the question you are investigating is interesting and important.

You will also need to provide the reader with a statement of the research problem you are attempting writing a research paper in political science address and a basic outline of your paper as a whole, writing a research paper in political science. The problem statement presents not only the general research problem you will address but also the hypotheses that you will consider. In the methodology section, you will explain to the reader the research methods you used to investigate your research topic and to test the hypotheses that you have formulated.

For example, did you conduct interviews, use statistical analysis, rely upon previous research studies, or some combination of all of these methodological approaches?

Before you can develop each of the above components of your research paper, you will need to conduct a literature review. A literature review involves reading and analyzing what other researchers have written on your topic before going on to do research of your own. There are some very pragmatic reasons for doing this work.

First, as insightful as your ideas may be, someone else may have had similar ideas and have already done research to test them. By referring to what other researchers have found on your topic, you will have established a frame of reference that enables the reader to understand the full significance of your research results.

Thus, once you have conducted your literature review, you will be in a position to present your research findings. In presenting these findings, you will need to refer back to your original hypotheses and explain the manner and degree to which your results fit with what you anticipated you would writing a research paper in political science. If you see strong support for your argument or perhaps some unexpected results that your original hypotheses cannot account for, this section is the place to convey such important information to your reader.

This is also the place to suggest further lines of research that will help refine, clarify inconsistencies with, or provide additional support for your hypotheses.

Finally, in the summary section of your paper, reiterate the significance of your research and your research findings and speculate upon the path that future research efforts should take. Political theory differs from other subfields in political science in that it deals primarily with historical and normative, rather than empirical, analysis. In other words, political theorists are less concerned with the scientific measurement of political phenomena than with understanding how important political ideas develop over time.

And they are less concerned with evaluating how things are than in debating how they should be. A return to our democracy example will make these distinctions clearer and give you some clues about how to write well in political theory.

Earlier, we talked about how to define democracy empirically so that it can be measured and tested in accordance with scientific principles. Political theorists also define democracy, but they use a different standard of measurement. Their definitions of democracy reflect their interest in political ideals—for example, liberty, equality, and citizenship—rather than scientific measurement.

So, when writing about democracy from the perspective of a writing a research paper in political science theorist, you writing a research paper in political science be asked to make an argument about the proper way to define citizenship in a democratic society.

Should citizens of a democratic society be expected to engage in decision-making and administration of government, or should they be satisfied with casting votes every couple of years? In order to substantiate your position on such questions, you will need to pay special attention to two interrelated components of your writing: 1 the logical consistency of your ideas and 2 the manner in which you use the arguments of other theorists to support your own.

First, you need to make sure that your conclusion and all points leading up to it follow from your original premises or assumptions. If, for example, writing a research paper in political science, you argue that democracy is a system of government through which citizens develop their full capacities as human beings, then your notion of citizenship will somehow need to support this broad definition of democracy. A narrow view of citizenship based exclusively or primarily on voting probably will not do, writing a research paper in political science.

Whatever you argue, however, you will need to be sure to demonstrate in your analysis that you have considered the arguments of other theorists who have written about these issues.

In some cases, their arguments will provide support for your own; in others, they will raise criticisms and concerns that you will need to address if you are going to make a convincing case for your point of view. If you have used material from outside sources in your paper, be sure to cite them appropriately in your paper, writing a research paper in political science.

In political science, writers most often use the APA or Turabian a version of the Chicago Manual of Style style guides when formatting references. Check with your instructor if he or she has not specified a citation style in the assignment.

For more information on constructing citations, see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial. Although all assignments are different, the preceding outlines provide a clear and simple guide that should help you in writing papers in any sub-field of political science.

If you find that you need more assistance than this short guide provides, refer to the list of additional resources below or make an appointment to see a tutor at the Writing Center.

We consulted these works while writing this handout. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using.

For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial. We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Becker, H. Writing for social scientists: how to start and finish your thesis, book, or article 2nd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Cuba, L. A short guide to writing about social science 4th ed. New York: Longman.

Lasswell, H. Politics: who gets what, when, how. Scott, G. Turabian, K. A manual for writers of term papers, theses, and dissertations: Chicago style for students and researchers 9th ed. Make a Gift. Political Science.

 

Writing a Research Paper in Political Science | SAGE Publications Inc

 

writing a research paper in political science

 

Category: Political Science Research Paper Examples. This collection of political science research paper examples is an attempt to make fairly complex approaches in politics accessible to advanced undergraduate students and beginning graduate students. There is very little in the way of reference works in political science that are sufficiently. Aug 10,  · How to Write a Political Science Research Paper. Before starting, select a list of easy political science research topics. They must seem easy and appealing to you because you will be responsible for in-depth research and qualitative analysis of . Oct 24,  · "Writing a Research Paper in Political Science is an essential text for every political science major." Author: Steve B. Lem Read more. About the Author. Lisa A. Baglione is a Professor and the Chair of the Political Science Department at Saint Joseph′s University. Her major fields of study are International Relations and Comparative Politics/5(12).