Research Paper Requirement for the Class: A Guide to Writing Your Paper
Given the recent spate of Wall Street protests and demonstrations against economic inequities, your assignment is to write a paper examining the political science subtopic of participation focusing on this specific form of participation: protests. Use these current examples as the focus of the paper, but your analysis should include the political science context. In developing your paper, you?ll be examining such questions as, ?Who are the participants and what are their agendas?? ?What are some of the responses by presidential candidates and other politicians?? ?How are these demonstrations portrayed in the media?? Analyze the issues that are raised in the protests and provide a scholarly context in your analysis. Research the political science literature and address what you have discovered in terms of the scholarly research that examines protests as political participation.
While researching the scholarly literature, you are not necessarily looking for research about these particular protests, or the specific current event related to them, but for what the research shows about protests as political participation in general. You might examine how protest groups operate, how they interact with representatives, how they are funded, and how they affect policies and policy changes, enactment of laws, and enforcement of laws, etc.
In political science, thesis sentences, like the question stems described below, are often the type of questions that you see in the ?Critical Thinking Questions? in the back of each chapter in your textbook, as well as those you saw in the midterm. These are the types of questions that political scientists examine and are the types of questions you?ll want to think about in relation to writing your paper, tying your research to the current political event.
In writing your research paper, you will need to put the topic you choose into context of the scholarly research on that topic. What does that mean? It means that you?ll need to research and use scholarly journal articles in the social sciences and apply them to your topic. You may make use of newspaper articles or information from websites in order to find the current protest events and the current information on them, but then you must show evidence of your understanding of the issues by including at least five credible, reliable references to the scholarly research on the topic.
To clarify: I?m looking for a research paper in political science; in other words, using information you find on your particular issue, put it into context of the scholarly information written by political scientists and other experts. Commentary heard on Fox news or on AM radio are NOT scholarly, nor are articles you find in Time or Newsweek. You?ll have to research the scholarly journals for articles that present research information on your issue.
Your paper must be 7-10 double-space, typed pages using 10 or 12 font size.
Pay particular attention to sections III, IV, and IX below.
I. Choose the topic to research, and then: ? Answer the follow questions for yourself before writing your thesis statement:
What is the point of my paper? What do I want this paper to prove?
Can I tell the reader anything new or different? ? To help you define a topic, write a research question about your topic by completing
one of the following question stems: What is/was the role of . . . in . . . What are/were the effects/results of . . . Who/what influenced . . . to . . . What are the competing sides . . . How does/did . . . change . . .
? Develop your preliminary thesis: In starting your paper, change your research question into a statement that you?ll support with your research.
II. Divide your paper into sections. A. Introduction
B. Introduce the aspect you?d like to further discuss and analyze along with the integration of your research as well as textbook and in-class materials
III. Begin your search. Find current newspaper articles about the issue you?ve chosen. You need to have at least five credible, reliable sources other than the newspaper articles and textbook. Think of key words or phrases to describe your topic and use them when you search for the following: ? Books: search the library?s online catalog ? Articles: search Academic Search Premier or JSTOR for full-text articles (use your
pipeline username/password to search from home, or elsewhere) ? Web: search the web for relevant discussion of the issues
IV. Evaluate your sources
Select materials that are relevant to your topic. When searching, select journal articles or books rather than popular magazines such as Time or Newsweek. When selecting web sources, pay particular attention to where the information comes from; using criteria such as: Who?s the author? What are their credentials? Who?s sponsoring the page? Is the information reliable? Who?s the intended audience?
V. Take notes ? Take notes from research that address the topics in your outline; include where the
information came from. For books, include: author(s), title, publisher, place and date of publication, page numbers to specific part of the book. For articles, include: author(s) of article, title of article, title of journal, volume, date, and page numbers.
? Summarize and paraphrase what you read or use direct quotes. For each, you must provide a citation to the source of the idea.
VI. Write an outline of your paper ? Further develop your paper sections into an outline. ? Identify major issues then list supporting ideas into subheadings. ? Arrange your note cards by the main topics and subtopics in your outline.
VII. Write a draft of your paper ? Write the introduction: identify the subject of your paper, provide background
information, express the problem, and provide your thesis statement. ? Write the body of the paper: state your major areas and explore each one. ? Write the conclusion: reaffirms your thesis statement, discusses the issues, and
reaches a final judgment: your conclusion based on your research and your reasoning.
VIII. Assess your progress ? Do you need more research in areas? ? Do you need to focus your topic?
IX. Cite your sources
You must give credit to material used from your sources. ? Develop a bibliography ? a list of books and articles used in your research. ? Use the MLA style of citing works.
Full-text electronic article:
Author. “Article Title.” Journal Title Volume. Issue or other identifying number (Year of publication in parentheses): paging.
Access date .
Koehn, Daryl. “The Ethics of Handwriting Analysis in Pre-Employment Screening.” The Online Journal of Ethics 1.1 (1995). Retrieved 2 June 2006 .
Name of author or creator, if available. “Title of topic or article”
given). Title of page (if named). Name of any institution or organization associated with the site. Latest update (if given).
Access date .
Anderson, Greg. “Can the Trooper and SLX Stand Up?” Edmunds.com. Retrieved 12 March 2006 .
“Privacy Protection in Other Countries.” Media Awareness Network. Updated Nov. 2008. Retrieved 2 May 2009 .
X. Finalize your paper
Format, revise, edit and proofread your final draft.
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