Sample Political Science Paper on Human trafficking

This paragraph introduces the topic. More specifically, it tells us about the problem that prompted your research. The author may decide to include some statistics or numbers here that illustrate the scope or nature of the problem (with an in-text citation!). Example:


Human trafficking is a global crisis that affects developed and undeveloped countries alike. The Polaris Project reports that there were 10,583 situations of human trafficking in the United States in 2020, and 16,658 identified victims (Polaris Project 2020). These are only the known and reported cases. Human trafficking involves….


This opening is effective because we know right away that the study is going to be about human trafficking. It’s not trying to be personal or poetic and it jumps right into the matter. The author provides a specific number – with an in-text citation – to underscore why this topic deserves research and attention. The paragraph then expands on the problem, but it doesn’t need all the details because many of them will go in the body of the essay.


Next, the introduction paragraph starts to wrap up by presenting a research question. Example:


With all these figures and problems in mind, this paper aims to answer the question: how did the global pandemic starting in 2020 affect human trafficking rates in the United States?


Now we know what question the study was setting out to answer.


Finally, the most important part is the statement of the argument, or thesis. This statement essentially attempts to answer the research question. It’s a claim that the author is going to aim to support with the next section of the study. It’s a statement that readers might not agree with until they see the supporting evidence that follows in the body paragraphs. Example:


This study will show that the pandemic increased rates of human trafficking the United States and created new vulnerabilities, as indicated in three ways: an increase in online recruitment, an increase in victims, and an increase in reports over social media sites.


The author mentioned three things because the next section will involve three supporting paragraphs. Naming the three supporting reasons up front in the introduction helps bring the paper into alignment internally.


Here are some other examples of research questions + argument/thesis:

  • How has the civil war in Yemen affected public health? The evidence indicates that there are at least three impacts to public health in Yemen, 1, 2, and 3.
  • What prevents more effective care of veterans dealing with PTSD in the United States? My findings are that three systemic hindrances prevent better care for veterans dealing with mental health problems: 1, 2, and 3.
  • How does lack of infrastructure in rural areas of West Africa affect women’s education? Women’s access to education in rural areas of West Africa is affected in three ways, 1, 2, and 3.


If you follow these types of examples, your introduction will chart out the rest of the study and give great alignment and organization to your study. It also helps organize all the sources you found because you can decide which part of the study each one supports: point 1, 2, or 3.


The Body of the Essay: Three Paragraphs


The body consists of three supporting paragraphs, each one addressing the 1, 2, and 3 of the statement you offered in your introduction. Going back to the example of human trafficking and the pandemic, the paragraphs would look like this:


  • (picking up at the end of the introduction) This study will show that the pandemic affected human trafficking the United States in three ways: (1) an increase in online recruitment, (2) an increase in victims, and (3) an increase in reports over social media sites.
    • Paragraph 1: This paragraph covers the increase in online recruitment and provides evidence and in-text citations.
    • Paragraph 2: This paragraph deals with the increase in victims and provides evidence and in-text citations.
    • Paragraph 3: This paragraph addresses the increase of reports on social media and provides evidence and in-text citations.


The introduction and the body paragraphs are now tightly aligned. By the way, you do not need to label them Paragraph 1, etc. but it helps to start with topic sentences that signal where we stand. Examples:


  • The first trend in human trafficking during the pandemic was an increase in online recruitment….
  • The second issue that affects….
  • Finally, the third problem that….


Paragraph 4: Conclusion


The conclusion is not a summary or restatement of the content you already presented. Rather, the conclusion points out new questions that came up in your research, or aspects of your question that remain to be answered. It can chart new directions for the next project or points out areas that were just not possible to research for whatever reason. It can present additional points of insight that add complications and nuances to the information you already presented. Example of how the conclusion might open:


This study only presented known and recorded cases of human trafficking and could not address the vast scope of presumed cases that go unreported. Also, while this study showed how trafficking rates changed for the worse during the pandemic, it did not address the ways law enforcement agencies reacted and responded. Studies indicate that law enforcement responses…


Paragraph 5: Your Research Reflection


This paragraph is for you. You can express what you gained from the research process, what frustrated you, what questions you have about research, etc.




Conclude with your references in Chicago format. This includes everything that was cited in in-text citations. Do not include sources that weren’t included in the essay. Be sure the sources are listed alphabetical by author (not numbered).


Please follow the examples on the Chicago Quick Guide Author-Date page:




Please write with any questions and feel free to post your outline or examples in the Week 8 forum for early feedback!