cademic Research Papers are usually comprised of:
Sum up what you are
researching, why it is important, what is
your contribution, how you will go about it, what are your main findings.
What is the current literature out there on this
subject. What are the strengths and weaknesses? How do you situate
yourself in this research? What gap are you filling?
– Unique Research you conducted. Largest part of book/article.
(Discourse analysis, statistical analysis, interviews, surveys, ethnography,
– Sum up what you did. What are the limitations to your
research? What is left to explore?
You will conduct a limited and modified literature review. You will compare
(not journalism news, must be peer-reviewed articles or
books) on your topic. Pick sources that hold different viewpoints. You will need to
include other sources as well (can be government data, non-academic articles…)
Paper requirements: 7 page minimum (not including bibliography), double-spaced,
1” margins, 12 standard font.
Rough Guideline for Paper:
1 page (what is your topic, why is it important to global
politics, what you will do and argue in this paper, what
background information, history or definitions are important
for the reader to know)
4+ page synthesis of their arguments (Put them in dialogue
with each other around their arguments, approaches, rather
than separately summarizing each one.)
4. Your analysis:
1 page (What are the strengths and weaknesses of the
approaches, what is lacking? What argument did you find most
compelling? A combination? None? Why?)
1 page (summary of what you did and what conclusion you
drew, limitations, potential avenues for tackling issue…)
list of sources used in appropriate format. Minimum of 5
Choose something you are interested in
When you scan the news or talk with friends what piques your interest? This project
will be easier and more enjoyable if you pick something you are interested in
learning more about.
Articles or Books?
Most academic books have similar articles written by the author and published a
few years before the book. Articles are roughly 25 pages whereas books are around
300 pages. If you find an academic book you like, search for the author’s article on
the same subject and you can cut down on reading.
Journals often have special issues (all articles centered around one topic). Once you
have chosen your topic, look for special issues. You may be able to find all your
academic sources in one special issue.
Make sure your sources are fairly contemporary. It is ok to review an important
foundational thinker(s) on a topic, but your main sources should have been
published in the past 10 years. Aim for publications after 2005 (the more current,
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