Politics is one of the most vital forces influencing the world. Administrations, businesses, and global relationships rely heavily on political knowledge. Students enjoy the coursework, dominated by action, history, arguments, and opinions.
Students need to write a political science research paper as part of their coursework in most universities. Writing these papers is not a simple feat for most students because it involves a lot of research, creative and critical thinking, and supporting an argument with evidence. If
Do you wonder how to write political research papers? This article will guide you on the step-by-step process of writing an excellent political research paper.
1.1 How To Write Political Research Papers
1.1.1 Choosing a Research Topic
1.1.2 Creating a Research Design
1.1.3 Developing Your Thesis Statement
1.1.4 Conducting Research
1.1.5 Creating an Outline
1.1.6 Writing the Paper
184.108.40.206 Literature Review
1.1.7 Writing the Reference Section
1.1.8 Proofreading and Editing
1.1.9 Check Plagiarism
How To Write Political Research Papers
Writing political research papers varies from one institution to another or one instructor to another. However, there is a common ground that includes the following steps:
Choosing a Research Topic
Choosing a research topic is one of the most daunting tasks for students when working on a political science research paper. Most students overthink it and come up with ambiguous topics that prove hard to cover.
As a rule of thumb, the first thing to do when the instructor does not provide the topic is to think about your interests. What is it that you enjoy reading about politics? Is it national politics, administration, wars, business politics, etc.?
Pick a topic that genuinely tickles your attention. Don’t go for an issue because you think it is cool, trending, or may please your professor. Moreover, it should be interesting because you will be spending a lot of time reading materials around the topic. You don’t want the next few weeks or months of research to be boring, do you?
The political arena is filled with many subjects, some logical, others opinion-based, and others non-empirical. When choosing a topic, ensure it’s logical, not obvious, and you can back your arguments with solid evidence. Also, do background research to ascertain there is enough data on the topic. You don’t want to start on a topic and realize that there is inadequate information about it halfway through.
Creating a Research Design
A research design explains how you plan to execute your study to the reader. Tell the reader how you will get your ideas and evidence. Are you going to do a case study, conduct interviews, or analyze journalistic pieces?
You should also convince the reader how plausible your research design is and how you will answer your research question. The design can build or break your reader’s trust in your research, so make it convincing.
Developing Your Thesis Statement
A thesis statement is your declaration of your argument to the reader. It is the main idea of your research question and should convince the reader that your research is worthy. Develop a specific, contestable and a defendable thesis statement that is not too obvious. For political science research papers, having an objectionable thesis statement makes it more interesting and logical.
Now that you have your research question and a thesis statement, what follows is researching extensively on the topic. Political science data can be found in political books, journals, newspapers, and websites.
Journalistic sources are great for political science papers, but alienating facts from opinions or hearsay is crucial. Confirm the data from one media outlet with data from another reputable source. For example, if you find a piece of information in the New York Times magazine, you would better confirm with The Washington Post or The Guardian.
Books are reputable sources of political data, but a journal article is likely to contain more helpful information than the book if you are reading on a current topic. Books take time to be written, and you may lack helpful books working on a new topic.
Government releases, media interviews, bulletins, memoirs, and expert statistic will provide solid evidence to back your arguments. However, make sure to bookmark as necessary, make short notes, and scribble details for citations purposes.
Creating an Outline
A research paper outline is a roadmap that guides you on writing the actual paper. It will contain a sketch of the essential topics and subtopics, paragraph structure, main points, and illustrations. You can arrange your data into the subtopics of your research paper. Generally, a political science research paper contains the following sub-titles:
- Literature review
Writing the Paper
This part is the actual work in writing a research paper. It can be challenging to put your ideas together to make meaningful arguments, but it should be easy if you spend enough time researching and gathering ideas. The outline also helps by writing the different subtitles and filling in relevant data.
This is the part you introduce your research question to the reader. Start by telling them what influenced your interest in the particular topic. Give a piece of background information on the topic to show them you are knowledgeable in the issue.
Preview what the reader can expect in this paper and end the introduction with a plausible thesis statement.
A literature review evaluates previous research on the topic and how the research informed your argument and views on this topic. It should also tell your reader why you think differently from the available argument.
Most students take the literature review as an expanded bibliography, discussing previous research in a few sentences arranged in several paragraphs. This is not right because it is not conclusive. Instead, read widely, find connecting ideas from different researchers and review them in your own words.
The body is where you present your argument, tell the reader how you conducted research, reveal your findings and explain what they mean to the study and the larger political world.
Arrange your ideas into paragraphs, starting with the most vital points. Every sentence in a paragraph should add value to the reader, and all sentences should complement each other. Don’t present two ideas in one paragraph, and don’t compress your thoughts to fit into one paragraph. You should explain your ideas freely until you have nothing left to say. If there are redundant and irrelevant data, you will remove them during the editing stage.
Your discussions should be creative, thoughtful, and logical. Give examples, figures, illustrations, and images where applicable. Also, back up your arguments with tangible evidence to convince the reader.
Present the findings from your case studies, interviews, or analysis in simple language and avoid political jargon. You may be tempted to showcase your prowess in political dialect to the professor, thinking they are experts, only to find your paper was incomprehensible. The surest way is to write as if you are talking to a three-year-old or a person who has never been into a political science class.
The conclusion summarizes your study. Sum up your argument, findings, and discussions in one or two sentences. Restate your thesis statement and show the reader how you answered the research question. This is also the time to show how your findings contribute to the political world and provide suggestions for future research on the topic.
Writing the Reference Section
Plagiarism is a crime in academics and can lead to suspension, rejection of research papers, or poor grades. You need to credit the sources, and the reference section is dedicated to that. Also known as the bibliography or the cited sources page, the reference section organizes your primary and secondary data sources alphabetically.
There are different formats for citing sources, and you should use the format that your instructor recommends. Most professors will ask you to use the Chicago or American Political Science Association (APSA) style. Always confirm with the professor or instructor if it’s not indicated on the instructions brief.
Proofreading and Editing
The first draft of your political science research paper may contain grammar and punctuation errors, redundant sentences, and wrong word choices. It needs to be edited and, if possible, by a fresh set of eyes. Ask your parents, siblings, friends, or college roommates to proofread the paper for you. You can also hire a professional editor to polish the copy before submission.
If you will do it yourself, leave the draft for one or two days to refresh your mind. Come back to it with a fresh perspective and read it slowly, correcting any errors. Remove or edit unclear sentences, redundant paragraphs, and repeated thoughts. You can also use premium spellcheckers to spot and edit spelling and grammar mistakes.
This is also the stage to check your formatting, font size, spacing, alignment, etc. Double-check the requirements on the instructions brief and format the whole paper as advised. Check illustrations, tables, images, or statistics to ensure they are well labelled and cited.
If you submit a plagiarized paper, it shows a lack of originality and creativity. Pass the paper through a premium plagiarism checker and obtain a plagiarism report.
If you spot plagiarized sections on your paper, rephrase them without changing the original idea. Premium paraphrasing tools can help you rewrite the copied parts while retaining the main idea. After the amends, rerun the plagiarism check until your text is a hundred percent unique.
The procedure for writing political science research papers varies from one institution to another or from one professor to another. However, the general structure of a political science research paper contains an introduction, literature review, body, and conclusion. Other tips to help you write a good paper include choosing a great topic, reading widely, creating an outline first, and using a suitable formatting style.