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Writing a Research Paper in Political Science
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Writing a Research Paper in Political Science
A Practical Guide to Inquiry, Structure, and Methods

Fourth Edition
Additional resources:


January 2019 | 280 pages | CQ Press

Even students capable of writing excellent essays still find their first major political science research paper an intimidating experience. Crafting the right research question, finding good sources, properly summarizing them, operationalizing concepts and designing good tests for their hypotheses, presenting and analyzing quantitative as well as qualitative data are all tough-going without a great deal of guidance and encouragement. Writing a Research Paper in Political Science breaks down the research paper into its constituent parts and shows students what they need to do at each stage to successfully complete each component until the paper is finished. Practical summaries, recipes for success, worksheets, exercises, and a series of handy checklists make this a must-have supplement for any writing-intensive political science course.

New to the Fourth Edition:

  • A non-causal research paper woven throughout the text offers explicit advice to guide students through the research and writing process.     
  • Updated and more detailed discussions of plagiarism, paraphrases, "drop-ins," and "transcripts" help to prevent students from misusing sources in a constantly changing digital age.  
  • A more detailed discussion of “fake news” and disinformation shows students how to evaluate and choose high quality sources, as well as how to protect oneself from being fooled by bad sources.  
  • Additional guidance for writing abstracts and creating presentations helps students to understand the logic behind abstracts and prepares students for presentations in the classroom, at a conference, and beyond.  
  • A greater emphasis on the value of qualitative research provides students with additional instruction on how to do it.

 
PREFACE
 
CHAPTER 1: So You Have to Write a Research Paper
What Is a Research Paper? A Few Helpful Metaphors

 
What Research Paper Writing Entails

 
Blueprint of the Book

 
 
CHAPTER 2: Getting Started: Finding a Research Question
Characteristics of a Good Question

 
Practical Summary

 
Recipe 1: The Research Question

 
Exercises

 
 
CHAPTER 3: Learning Proper Citation Forms, Finding the Scholarly Debate, and Summarizing and Classifying Arguments: The Annotated Bibliography
What Are Bibliographies, and Why Do We Bother With Them?

 
Plagiarism versus Paraphrasing and Avoiding Drop-Ins and Transcripts, Too

 
Annotating the Bibliography

 
Identifying the Key Conceptual Issues

 
Searching for Sources

 
Identifying Similar Arguments and Grouping Your Sources

 
One Last Word of Advice: Generic Schools of Thought

 
Writing the Annotated Bibliography

 
Practical Summary

 
Recipe 2: The Annotated Bibliography

 
Exercises

 
 
CHAPTER 4: Making Sense of the Scholarly Answers to Your Research Question: Writing the Literature Review
Preparing for and Understanding the Literature Review

 
The Fundamentals of the Literature Review

 
Writing the Literature Review

 
Practical Summary

 
Recipe 3: Literature Review

 
Exercises

 
 
CHAPTER 5: Effectively Distilling Your Argument: The Thesis, Model, and Hypothesis
The Thesis

 
The Model

 
The Hypothesis

 
Applying These Insights

 
Practical Summary

 
Recipe 4: Thesis or Model and Hypothesis Section

 
Exercises

 
 
CHAPTER 6: Revising and Editing Your Work: The Research-Writing-Thinking Spiral
Practical Summary

 
Recipe 5: Revising and Editing

 
Exercises

 
 
CHAPTER 7: Making Your Plan and Protecting Yourself from Criticism: The Research Design
Research Design: The Courtroom and Medical Science Analogies

 
Writing the Research Design, Focusing on Hypothesis-Driven Research

 
The Research Design: Two Examples

 
Practical Summary

 
Recipe 6: Research Design

 
Exercises

 
 
CHAPTER 8: Evaluating the Argument: The Analysis and Assessment Section
Qualitative Analysis

 
Mixed (Qualitative and Quantitative) Analysis

 
Quantitative and Statistical Analysis

 
Practical Summary

 
Recipe 7: Analysis and Assessment

 
Exercises

 
 
CHAPTER 9: Bringing the Paper Together in Essential Ways: The Conclusion, Introduction, Title, Abstract, and the Utility of a Presentation
Considering the Significance and Limitations of Your Findings: The Conclusion

 
Writing a Good Introduction

 
A Last Element in Attracting Readers: Developing an Appealing Title

 
Almost Done: Writing an Abstract and Giving a Presentation

 
Are You Done? The Joy (and Continued Responsibilities) of Finalizing Your Draft

 
Practical Summary

 
Recipe 8: Conclusion, Introduction, Title, and Abstract

 
Exercises

 
 
BIBLIOGRAPHY
 
INDEX

Writing a Research Paper in Political Science is a helpful research and writing guide for students from various disciplines and undergraduate levels.”

Dorian Brown Crosby
Spelman College

“Lisa A. Baglione’s book is a highly accessible resource to help undergraduate students transition from writing about politics to writing about empirical political science research.” 

Ashlie B. Delshad
West Chester University of Pennsylvania

“With clarity and compassion, Lisa A. Baglione leads undergraduates step by step through the morass of empirical research.” 

William M. Flanik
Colorado Mesa University

Writing a Research Paper in Political Science is an essential text for every political science major.” 

Steve B. Lem
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

too focused on political science, not a good fit for urban planning.

Mr Gwen Urey
Urban/Regional Planning Dept, Cal State Polytechnic-Pomona
January 3, 2019
Key features

NEW TO THIS EDITION: 

  • A non-causal research paper woven throughout the text offers explicit advice to guide students through the research and writing process.
  • Updated and more detailed discussions of plagiarism, paraphrases, “drop-ins,” and “transcripts” help to prevent students from misusing sources in a constantly changing digital age.
  • A more detailed discussion of “fake news” and disinformation shows students how to evaluate and choose high quality sources, as well as how to protect oneself from being fooled by bad sources. 
  • Additional guidance for writing abstracts and creating presentations helps students to understand the logic behind abstracts and prepares students for presentations in the classroom, at a conference, and beyond.
  • A greater emphasis on the value of qualitative research provides students with additional instruction on how to do it.     


KEY FEATURES: 

  • End-of-chapter recipes for annotated bibliographies, literature reviews, thesis formation, and more guides students step-by-step as they navigate common issues when composing a research paper. 
  • Practical summaries, located at the end of each chapter, guide students towards their goals. 
  • Sample material from student papers help illustrate in detail how students can craft and revise their content. 
  • A natural progression of chapter topics guides students from finding a research question and distilling arguments, to revision and proper citation.

 

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