2011Paper

Basic Facts

Length: 12 pages, dbl-spaced, 12-pt font, 1-in. margins.

Don’t go over 12 pages!

Prospectus Due: September 23
Rough Draft Due: November 18: send a copy to the Professor using Filestork. (Please name files by including your own name or your group’s name or the upload process may not work.)
Final Draft Due: NEW DUE DATE! December 16 at 5 pm (during finals). Send to the Professor using Filestork. (Please name files by including your own name or your group’s name or the upload process may not work.)
Grade weight:  40 points

Note on turning in assignments

Please upload all assignments, except blog posts, to Filestork. (Please name files by including your own name or your group’s name or the upload process may not work.)

Late Papers: Late papers will be graded down 5 points for each day late, to a maximum of 50% credit for the assignment.  No matter how late a paper is, it will always be worth submitting (you will always have an opportunity to get at least 50% credit).

You have 2 options

See the User’s Guide to Political Science: “Writing a Class Research Paper”, “The Research Question”, and “Policy Paper”.

Option 1:  Research Paper.

You choose a question about global politics and seek to answer it.  For instance, you might want to answer the following question:  “Why did the United States choose to invade Iraq?”

A research paper, then, is focused on explanation.

Option 2:  Policy Paper.

You choose a question about the appropriate foreign policy for a country.  For instance, you might want to answer the following question:  “Should the United States cease all military involvement in Iraq?”

A policy paper, then, is focused on prescription.

Prospectus

Due September 23, send to the Professor using Filestork. (Please name files by including your own name or your group’s name or the upload process may not work.)

See User’s Guide to Political Science, “Research Proposal or Prospectus”

Length:  1 page

Guidelines:

In your prospectus, you must do the following things:
1.  State the main research or policy question you plan to answer. The question must be the first sentence of your prospectus or the title.
2.  Briefly explain why it is important.
3.  Briefly summarize possible alternative answers to the question.
4.  List at least 4 sources that you plan to use from outside of class.

Rough Draft

Due November 18  – send to the professor using Filestork. (Please name files by including your own name or your group’s name or the upload process may not work.)

We will do peer editing in class.

General Paper Guidelines

The paper should address a question about global politics.
In writing the paper, you must do the following things:

  1. The question must be the first sentence of your paper or the title.
  2. Clearly articulate a central question.
  3. Clearly articulate your answer to the question.  These are argumentative papers.
  4. Explain the significance of the question.
  5. Support your answer.
  6. Evaluate alternative answers.
  7. Use at least 4 outside sources: 1 book, 1 academic article, 1 news article, 1 primary source (see note on sources below)
  8. Use at least 2 sources from class readings.
  9. Use concepts from the course.  For example:
    • balance of power
    • security dilemma
    • norms
    • compliance
    • vulnerability interdependence
  10. Reference Section (Does not count as part of your page count.)
  11. Formatting: Include page numbers, use a title, and use headers to separate sections of the paper.

Sources:

Your outside references can come from the following:

  • Books
  • Academic Journals (articles from political science or public policy journals are likely to be most relevant)
  • Newspapers (it is suggested that you stick to major national papers such as the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal)
  • Magazines (again, use major magazines, such as Newsweek or The Economist)
  • Primary sources: Government documents, for instance.

DO NOT use these sources:

  • Wikipedia
  • Web content which is not from one of the suggested published sources listed above

How to cite your sources

You must use in-text parenthetical citations according to the author-date system described by the Chicago Manual of Style. Directions on citations can be found here:
http://library.williams.edu/citing/styles/chicago2.php

Advice

See: “User’s Guide to Political Science”

On Writing

All Essays: Some Writing Guidelines for Political Scientists

On Policy Papers. There is no “one way” to do it, but the following websites might prove useful:

More General Advice on Writing

Paper Structure

See User’s Guide to Political Science, “Outline and Structure”

This is a social science paper. One very rough outline of how you might structure a paper is as follows:

I. Introduction: briefly state your research/policy question and answer
II. Describe the significance of your topic; provide any necessary background
III. Support your answer
IV. Consider the strengths and weaknesses of at least one alternative answer.
V. Conclude. Summarize all your arguments and tell us why this is significant.

But remember, this isn’t the only way to do things. Ask for help if you need it.

Grading

My Grading Criteria