Sample Political Science Paper on the election of polarizing figures in America

Topic: Look at the causal relationship between party leaders and political division. Is polarization in America leading to the election of polarizing figures, or has the election of polarizing figures help divide Americans?


  1. Introduction (1-2 pages): This section shall provide an overview of the topic that you are writing about, a concise synopsis of the issues, and why the topic presents a “puzzle” that prompts your research question, which you will include. In addition to the research puzzle and question, make sure you clearly state your research hypothesis. This section can be preceded by an epigraph that creates interest in the topic.


  1. Review of the Literature (3-5 pages):  All research projects include a literature review to set out for the reader what knowledge exists on the subject under study and helps the researcher develop the research strategy to use in the study.  A good literature review is a thoughtful study of what has been written, a summary of the arguments that exist (whether you agree with them or not), and are arranged thematically. The literature review is not an annotated bibliography and should be written in coherent narrative style. At the end of the literature review, you should discuss the current knowledge gaps that exist and how your study will help fill those gaps.


III.        Methodology and Research Strategy (1-2 pages):  This section provides the reader with a description of your strategy to conduct research for this paper. It identifies your variables and how you operationalized your research approach.  It describes the data you found and how you analyzed it for your Analysis and Findings.  This section describes any limitations you discovered about your strategy and how you overcame them. Given the length of the class, this section usually identifies the independent and dependent variables and describes how the researcher plans to analyze them to arrive at reasonable findings.


  1. Analysis and Findings (3-4 pages): This section provides the results of your research and the analytical arguments that the paper makes as a result of an analysis of the variables.  In a quantitative project, this section would provide the results of the data collection and an analysis of what it illustrates in empirical terms. However, given the length of the term, most projects will be qualitative.  This section should also provide the evidence that proves (or disproves) the hypothesis.


  1. Conclusions (2 -3 pages): This section will contain the concluding analytical arguments based on what research has revealed to answer the research question.  Like any conclusion, it should provide a synopsis of the project, the strategy, and the results and what they add to the body of knowledge.  This section should also offer suggestions for avenues of future research for other scholars, as all knowledge is evolutionary.