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A Guide to Writing a Political Science Term Paper

What is a Term Paper?

In approaching political science term paper writing, it is essential to consider its peculiar features, which make it different from other types of written works. Term paper implies writing on a specific topic, which a student studied profoundly during the term in the educational institution. Therefore, this paper depicts the extent of awareness with the subject, which students reviewed earlier. The primary purpose of a term paper is to evaluate the student’s knowledge of a particular topic; however, it should not be restricted by the materials which the student learned in the context of classes. Apart from testing the quality of knowledge, writing this essay also focuses on recognizing strong analytical skills. Thus, it is essential to consider particular features to write a well-researched, structured, and profoundly analyzed report.

The Significance of the Course of Political Science

The study of political science broadens one’s intellectual horizons, as well as creates political consciousness among the citizens. Knowing the norms and principles of political science contributes to the development of a country in general. Aristotle referred to this field of knowledge as the ‘supreme science’ on account of its visualization of liberty and equality and projecting the political system of a specific country. Therefore, this course assists learners in conducting business and provides a better understanding of how politics and life are interconnected.

What Are the Principal Features of a Political Science Term Paper?

A political science term paper covers the analysis of political activities and aims at creating a background of current events. There are particular characteristics of a term paper, which have a principal value in political science:

  • Clarity of the expression. Unnecessary details should not be mentioned in the text, and writing should explicitly identify the main purpose of each paragraph.
  • The paper ought to be persuasive. The peculiarity of the political science term paper requires specific data and measurements to be present.
  • Cogent arguments are essential to support every opinion in the paper.

Political science paper strictly requires support for every point given.

Choosing a Topic

The initial step in writing a term paper is deciding on a political science topic, which would be interesting for a student. If there is an opportunity to choose an issue, it is highly recommended to select an appealing one. It is crucial to deliberately consider the essence of a chosen topic while writing a political science paper. It is advisable to take a current theme which has an international character. Also, the problem should be preferably dedicated to the way different countries handle conflicts or approach political issues. Moreover, one should consider the width of the range of topics, which are related to political science. Some of the possible areas that political science frequently covers are education, immigration, health-care, public relations, economics, and governance.

Thus, to come up with the idea of a topic, one has to choose a preferable field of knowledge, which is connected firmly to political science in general.

Ideas from Our Writers for a Political Science Term Paper:

  • Discrimination in United States Politics;
  • Presidential Elections;
  • Models of Democracy in the World;
  • National Socialism and Fascism;
  • The Notion of Liberalism;
  • The Effects of Globalism;
  • Politics and G

Basing on the outlined topics, one can narrow them down and chose a specific subject, for instance:

  • The Influence of Stereotypes Between Americans and African-Americans on the United States Politics;
  • The Role of Imposing Reproductive Rights by the Supreme Court;
  • The North American Free Trade Agreement: The Effects on the United States;
  • Anti-Globalization Movement as the Revolt Against Globalization;

General Mistakes to Avoid While Choosing a Term Paper Topic:

  1. The chosen topic should revolve around a specific issue. Thus, although writing a paper about a general topic appears to be uncomplicated at first, there is a high risk of losing the main idea of a term paper. Therefore, focusing on a narrow realm is favorable.
  2. Deciding on a topic which is not directly related to the program. As working on a term paper estimates the knowledge that a student obtained during the semester, it is highly recommended to stick to the course.
  3. Choosing a topic which cannot be supported by evidence and common knowledge. For instance, sometimes, students might select a subject and support it with little or no evidence. It is not sufficient to accompany the paper only with personal opinions and evidence.

Stating a clear research question provides a relevant subject for a term paper. Thus, the next step is selecting keywords for the topic and expanding it.

Collecting the Data and Making Notes

After the student has selected a topic and figured out the foundation, it is essential to collect appropriate data. It is necessary to conduct a profound literature review, provided that the sources are credible and reliable. Reviewing implies reading and analyzing works written before making own research. This step is obligatory and cannot be excluded from the writing process on account of the need to indicate how particular findings contributed to the paper. Otherwise, there will be no grounds for presenting personal research results. For instance, encyclopedias and books usually provide comprehensive summaries of particular topics. Additionally, the bibliography at the end of a book is extremely helpful. Some of the acceptable and relevant references are the following:

Additionally, it is highly recommended to take notes while researching the topic. Precisely, it would be useful to record every fact and evidence to avoid confusing sources.

Tired of all the guides and never-ending instructions?

Creating a Proper Outline

With a view to writing a well-structured paper, it is prerequisite to develop an outline of a term paper. Initially, one should draw the attention to the topic by stating clearly why a chosen subject is meaningful. Indeed, creating an outline is especially helpful in writing a logical, coherent paper.

Here is an example of a suitable outline for a political science term paper:

  • The appropriate introduction should state the significance of the core question and its relevance. It should contain a thesis statement which provides an overview of the term paper.
  • Theoretical framework. This section supports the core question with an overview of the explanations.
  • Providing arguments and supporting them logically with appropriate examples or cases. The student ought to divide this section into a minimum of three paragraphs, each of them needs to represent a particular argument and support it with quantitative or textual data.
  • Concluding the term paper. This section implies returning to the core question and restating the main ideas, highlighted in each body paragraph. One should note that while writing a political science term paper, it is recommended to interpret some of the possible implications of a problem or solutions.

Creating Appropriate Thesis Statement

The thesis statement provides a reader with a particular argument and accompanies it by the indication of why this argument is persuasive. A couple of suggestions for writing a thesis are outlined beyond:

  • It must demonstrate a specific claim and focus on a delimited field;
  • A thesis statement should be non-trivial;
  • It should be contestable, which means that the writer does not need to prove obvious information;
  • The statement needs to be accurate and specific;
  • It should not be hidden in the middle of the introduction.

Here is an example of a wrong thesis statement: ‘The Supreme Court violates political sovereignty’ or ‘Social media affects the political situation in the United States.’ These examples are irrelevant on account of the vagueness of the message they intend to deliver. Defined thesis statements are inappropriate due to the absence of the central message and the author’s opinion.

Here are the examples of an appropriate thesis statement: ‘Revolutions frequently arise when conditions and circumstances in a particular country improve after a long period of deprivation’, or ‘Although there are many possible causes of the World War I escalation, the primary reasons that led to it were a splash in the development of technology and the strong sense of nationalism’. For instance, the central message is clearly outlined in the latter example, as it points out the two primary reasons that led to World War I escalation – technology and nationalism. It captures the prevailing idea that a student has on a topic.

Writing a Body

The body of a political science term paper should not be enriched with metaphors or excessive verbal constructions. Instead, the writing should contain a sufficient number of arguments. This paper requires communicating its arguments with evidence unambiguously. It is fundamental to take into account the importance of revealing all aspects of the topic in a couple of paragraphs. For instance, the topic How does social media affect the political situation? should consist of the following sections: ‘Social media as the primary venue for spreading the political news’, ‘The impact of social media in the voting process’, and ‘General effects that social media has on political participation’. Each of three paragraphs is expected to present a topic sentence, the main idea, and its support with the help of evidence. Additionally, it is recommended to justify the credibility of a source, in particular, if the writer bases his or her arguments on authority.

The writer has to address both arguments and counter-arguments while writing a political science term paper. The primary purpose of providing a counter-argument is to object to own arguments and to depict a controversy.

Writing a Conclusion

Although writing an appropriate political science term paper appears as complicated and demanding at first, it does not require a huge effort. Thus, writing a conclusion should be mainly associated with summarizing the points which a student already outlined in the main body. Implications are essential in a political science paper (e.g., implications for governmental policies). Precisely, a typical conclusion for a political science term paper consists of:

  • Summary of the body paragraphs;
  • Evaluation of the current findings;
  • Perspective for future research, which is exceptionally relevant for the political science term paper.

Creating the List of References

After the paper conclusion was written and the essay was finished, it is essential to keep in mind creating the reference list and in-text citations. For a political science paper, the APSA (American Political Science Association) formatting style is suitable. Even though one can write in the APA formatting style, APSA is preferable for political science. Generating APSA citations via a special tool is convenient. To clarify, the reference list should be made in the following way:

Bibliography

Adams, Jake. 2001. “An Article that I Totally Made Up: An exceptionally long title so the entry runs onto multiple lines.” Journal of Fictitious Studies 51(3): 218-247.

Gates, Henry L. Jr. 1989. The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of African-American Literary Criticism. New York: Oxford   University Press.

Correcting the Mistakes and Proofreading the Paper Once Again

The student should not omit such an essential step as proofreading the paper once again and correcting the mistakes. Taking some time from writing a paper and revising it in one hour, if possible, will assist a writer in reading a paper critically and obtaining an unblurred perspective on the idea in general. One should pay attention to the correct use of language and stick to the academic style. Some helpful political science term paper writing tips for attaching to the appropriate text style are the following:

  • The language of the text in political science paper should be gender-neutral;
  • Do not confuse verb tenses. When referring to a person or an expert, using the present tense is appropriate as the writer summarizes his or her findings;
  • Colloquial expressions and abbreviations are a taboo for political science term papers.

Checking the Paper for Plagiarism

Plagiarism is severely penalized in most educational institutions on account of the fact that it involves presenting others’ ideas as your own. To avoid plagiarism, each opinion is required to be paraphrased in the writer’s own words. Samples of suitable paraphrasing can be found on the website. Fortunately, several applications can be useful for checking the paper for plagiarism. There are various plagiarism detection tools, such as eTBLAST, PlagTracker, PlagScan, and Grammarly, which are helpful in recognizing accidentally plagiarized content. Moreover, Grammarly is a program which not only detects plagiarized material but also assists in correcting grammar mistakes.

It is Crucial to Read the Paper Once Again after Checking it Via Programs

In fact, the chance that grammar checkers miss a couple of mistakes, precisely, when it comes to dealing with large amounts of information, still exists. Following this, a student ought to reread his or her term paper to assure the correctness of a composition.

The Final Step – Submitting

Once both plagiarism and grammar mistakes were checked, the writer can submit his or her term paper. Making sure that the writer filled in the required data before delivering the term paper is the last but not the least crucial step in the term paper writing process.

Following the outlined recommendations accurately, there will be no difficulty in composing a sufficient political science term paper at all.