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Writing a Research Paper in Political Science

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

Fourth Edition

January 2019 | 280 pages | CQ Press
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  
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  
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  
CHAPTER 5: Effectively Distilling Your Argument: The Thesis, Model and Hypothesis
The Thesis  
The Model  
The Hypothesis  
Applying These Insights  
Recipe 4: Model and Hypothesis Section  
CHAPTER 6: Revising and Editing Your Work: The Research-Writing-Thinking Spiral
Practical Summary  
Recipe 5: Revising and Editing  
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  
CHAPTER 8: Evaluating the Argument: The Analysis and Assessment Section
Qualitative Analysis  
Mixed (Qualitative and Quantitative) Analysis  
Quantitative Analysis  
Practical Summary  
Recipe 7: Analysis and Assessment  
CHAPTER 9: Bringing the Paper Together in Three Essential Ways: The Conclusion, Introduction and Title
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, and Title  
Key features


  • There is greater emphasis throughout the text on the iterative nature of the research and writing process.
  • New examples include students investigating polarization in American politics, the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings, Russian foreign policy and adventurism, and whether the gender of legislators affects the type of legislation they support.
  • The new “Recipes” feature provides clear, step-by-step instructions on how to tackle writing a research paper, from generating the research question to formulating a literature review, revising and editing, and conducting analysis and assessment.
  • Data collection and analysis and the effective communication of one's findings in the analysis and assessment portion of the paper are discussed in greater depth with the inclusion of examples from both qualitative and quantitative studies.
  • More coverage on the best uses for citation management software is provided, as well as more discussion on and updated examples of citation and plagiarism so that students can effectively track their sources and avoid improperly borrowing another’s ideas.
  • New content on Research Design enables students to better understand operationalization and case selection and includes:
    • the struggle to transform theoretical concepts into actual measures; and
    • selecting a model-hypothesis pair to operationalize that is both valid and reliable.

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ISBN: 9781506367422