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Writing in Political Science

By the Political Science Faculty

The Political Science faculty places a premium on training students to think and communicate clearly and intelligently. The primary way we do this is through writing assignments. Below are some tips and common pitfalls to guide you in preparing papers for Political Science. Most of all, however, we implore you to practice. All of the Political Science faculty write academic papers regularly. We generally compose several drafts before submitting the paper. In order to help students improve their grades on Political Science papers, we have compiled some components of what we believe to be a strong piece of writing.

Students who make As write papers with several characteristics. The thesis statement is clear, and it accurately conveys the writer’s main point. The writer argues his point clearly with the support of evidence and/or plausible examples. Some of these arguments can be unique, and the writer sometimes finds evidence others may have missed. The paper is well organized with few errors in grammar or spelling. It concludes with a complete and informative reference page documenting the sources used.

The steps for generating a successful paper are as follows:

  • Selecting and narrowing a topic
  • Finding a thesis
  • Outlining
  • Writing a rough draft
  • Revising (repeat as many times as necessary)
  • Proofreading (repeat as many times as necessary)

Writing in stages is important, and it often helps the author stay on the right path.

For more information about writing in this discipline, please see the Political Science Writing Guide.


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