Overview of a Political Science Research Paper
Writing political science research papers could be an interesting endeavor, and a challenging one at the same time. Generally, research papers in the political science field adopt the approach common to social sciences.
You are required to apply the course acquired knowledge in resolving contemporary issues in the society.
It also demands the demonstration of different skills, including steps for to writing a research paper.
Structure of a Good Political Science Research Paper
Political science research papers should assume the general structure of a research paper usually adopted by majority of the social sciences. This structure should be as illustrated below.
a) Introduction: This part should encompass the background of the study and should clearly stipulate the motivation behind the research query. Such a background is supposed to focus on the history of the issue under study from its emergence to the current state.
The introduction should also help paint a general picture of what the research study is going to explore. It should as well contain the thesis statement or research question(s) guiding the study.
b) Literature Review: In political science research papers, the literature review part plays an important role in exploring the relevant research gap.
In this, it seeks to understand the relationship between various past incidences and the issue under study.
You should therefore explore the various bodies of existing knowledge as well as the prevailing political environment.
In so doing, this section should lay a solid theoretical foundation for the study.
c) Methodology: This section defines important guidelines on how to write a political science research paper. It stipulates the processes and techniques used in realizing the research study results.
Per se, the section covers important elements of the research paper, including study design, research population, sampling technique, data collection, and data analysis.
It is important to note that for the paper to be deemed scientific, it must provide for the processes through which other researchers can validate the study results.
d) Results: This section deals with the presentation of the research results. Particularly, data collected is sorted and tabulated to form logical patterns.
No discussions are made in this section.
Tables and graphs should be a critical part of this section.
The entailed tables and graphs should be clearly labeled, ensuring that they have the correct units for the readers to understand the respective data.
e) Discussions: In political science research papers, this section endeavors to relate the derived research results to the study thesis.
It seeks to explain how the results helped resolve the study problem.
As such, you should use the data to develop patterns that advance arguments highlighted in the thesis statement.
You should also note possible differences between derived patterns and the research expectations.
f) Conclusion: This section entails a summary of the main points in the research paper. It as well makes a statement on how the research study solved the research problem.
Principally, the conclusion should merge the research results and the research objectives. It could also suggest new areas for future research.
g) References: This section includes all the resources used in the research study. It should comply with the format provided in the political science research paper instructions.
You should understand that this section is quite essential in ensuring that your work remains authentic.
Borrowed data must be effectively acknowledged.
Steps on how to Write a Political Science Research Paper
In political science, the process of writing a research paper should include the below steps:
a) Selecting research paper topic: This is a critical step in shaping your research paper. Selecting the research topic should be done through a general reading on issues in area of interest.
You should make sure that you select a topic that is interesting to you. Also, the topic area should have adequate resources to ensure exhaustive exploration.
b) Developing the research question: This step is quite important in writing political science research papers. It helps determine what issues you should seek to resolve or address in your research paper.
c) Coming up with the research design: in this step, you are required to explore the kind of data that is essential in answering the research question(s) and the processes of acquiring such data.
Such data is usually qualitative or quantitative. As such, you should conduct an evaluation on the tools that are most appropriate in collecting the respective data.
d) Developing the thesis: This entails coming up with argument(s) to be advanced in the political science research paper. After conducting a preliminary study on your research topic, you are required to come up with a major argument to be advanced in your research study.
This argument is usually later revised to streamline it with available data and derived themes.
Notably, the thesis should be serious and important, contestable, and bring forward a particular claim.
e) Collecting and analyzing data: This entails collecting and analyzing secondary and primary data. Data should be collected and analyzed to form logical patterns/themes.
In this step, you should appropriately cite all the secondary data used.
f) Compiling data: This step entails putting the collected data together to form a lucid argument(s) supporting the political science research paper thesis.
You should ensure that personal opinions and information that do not support the thesis is not included.
g) Referencing: This step involves compiling all the resources used in writing the paper. You should ensure that the provided referencing format is followed to the latter.
h) Proofreading: This step entails going through the paper severally, to ensure that it adheres to all relevant instructions, it is devoid of mistakes, and it is coherent.
You should reread your work at least twice to help eliminate all possible mistakes.