The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Political Science

What this handout is about.

This handout will help you to recognize and to follow writing standards in political science. The first step toward accomplishing this goal is to develop a basic understanding of political science and the kind of work political scientists do.

Defining politics and political science

Political scientist Harold Laswell said it best: at its most basic level, politics is the struggle of “who gets what, when, how.” This struggle may be as modest as competing interest groups fighting over control of a small municipal budget or as overwhelming as a military stand-off between international superpowers. Political scientists study such struggles, both small and large, in an effort to develop general principles or theories about the way the world of politics works. Think about the title of your course or re-read the course description in your syllabus. You’ll find that your course covers a particular sector of the large world of “politics” and brings with it a set of topics, issues, and approaches to information that may be helpful to consider as you begin a writing assignment. The diverse structure of political science reflects the diverse kinds of problems the discipline attempts to analyze and explain. In fact, political science includes at least eight major sub-fields:

  • American politics examines political behavior and institutions in the United States.
  • Comparative politics analyzes and compares political systems within and across different geographic regions.
  • International relations investigates relations among nation states and the activities of international organizations such as the United Nations, the World Bank, and NATO, as well as international actors such as terrorists, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and multi-national corporations (MNCs).
  • Political theory analyzes fundamental political concepts such as power and democracy and foundational questions, like “How should the individual and the state relate?”
  • Political methodology deals with the ways that political scientists ask and investigate questions.
  • Public policy examines the process by which governments make public decisions.
  • Public administration studies the ways that government policies are implemented.
  • Public law focuses on the role of law and courts in the political process.

What is scientific about political science?

Investigating relationships.

Although political scientists are prone to debate and disagreement, the majority view the discipline as a genuine science. As a result, political scientists generally strive to emulate the objectivity as well as the conceptual and methodological rigor typically associated with the so-called “hard” sciences (e.g., biology, chemistry, and physics). They see themselves as engaged in revealing the relationships underlying political events and conditions. Based on these revelations, they attempt to state general principles about the way the world of politics works. Given these aims, it is important for political scientists’ writing to be conceptually precise, free from bias, and well-substantiated by empirical evidence. Knowing that political scientists value objectivity may help you in making decisions about how to write your paper and what to put in it.

Political theory is an important exception to this empirical approach. You can learn more about writing for political theory classes in the section “Writing in Political Theory” below.

Building theories

Since theory-building serves as the cornerstone of the discipline, it may be useful to see how it works. You may be wrestling with theories or proposing your own as you write your paper. Consider how political scientists have arrived at the theories you are reading and discussing in your course. Most political scientists adhere to a simple model of scientific inquiry when building theories. The key to building precise and persuasive theories is to develop and test hypotheses. Hypotheses are statements that researchers construct for the purpose of testing whether or not a certain relationship exists between two phenomena. To see how political scientists use hypotheses, and to imagine how you might use a hypothesis to develop a thesis for your paper, consider the following example. Suppose that we want to know whether presidential elections are affected by economic conditions. We could formulate this question into the following hypothesis:

“When the national unemployment rate is greater than 7 percent at the time of the election, presidential incumbents are not reelected.”

Collecting data

In the research model designed to test this hypothesis, the dependent variable (the phenomenon that is affected by other variables) would be the reelection of incumbent presidents; the independent variable (the phenomenon that may have some effect on the dependent variable) would be the national unemployment rate. You could test the relationship between the independent and dependent variables by collecting data on unemployment rates and the reelection of incumbent presidents and comparing the two sets of information. If you found that in every instance that the national unemployment rate was greater than 7 percent at the time of a presidential election the incumbent lost, you would have significant support for our hypothesis.

However, research in political science seldom yields immediately conclusive results. In this case, for example, although in most recent presidential elections our hypothesis holds true, President Franklin Roosevelt was reelected in 1936 despite the fact that the national unemployment rate was 17%. To explain this important exception and to make certain that other factors besides high unemployment rates were not primarily responsible for the defeat of incumbent presidents in other election years, you would need to do further research. So you can see how political scientists use the scientific method to build ever more precise and persuasive theories and how you might begin to think about the topics that interest you as you write your paper.

Clear, consistent, objective writing

Since political scientists construct and assess theories in accordance with the principles of the scientific method, writing in the field conveys the rigor, objectivity, and logical consistency that characterize this method. Thus political scientists avoid the use of impressionistic or metaphorical language, or language which appeals primarily to our senses, emotions, or moral beliefs. In other words, rather than persuade you with the elegance of their prose or the moral virtue of their beliefs, political scientists persuade through their command of the facts and their ability to relate those facts to theories that can withstand the test of empirical investigation. In writing of this sort, clarity and concision are at a premium. To achieve such clarity and concision, political scientists precisely define any terms or concepts that are important to the arguments that they make. This precision often requires that they “operationalize” key terms or concepts. “Operationalizing” simply means that important—but possibly vague or abstract—concepts like “justice” are defined in ways that allow them to be measured or tested through scientific investigation.

Fortunately, you will generally not be expected to devise or operationalize key concepts entirely on your own. In most cases, your professor or the authors of assigned readings will already have defined and/or operationalized concepts that are important to your research. And in the event that someone hasn’t already come up with precisely the definition you need, other political scientists will in all likelihood have written enough on the topic that you’re investigating to give you some clear guidance on how to proceed. For this reason, it is always a good idea to explore what research has already been done on your topic before you begin to construct your own argument. See our handout on making an academic argument .

Example of an operationalized term

To give you an example of the kind of rigor and objectivity political scientists aim for in their writing, let’s examine how someone might operationalize a term. Reading through this example should clarify the level of analysis and precision that you will be expected to employ in your writing. Here’s how you might define key concepts in a way that allows us to measure them.

We are all familiar with the term “democracy.” If you were asked to define this term, you might make a statement like the following:

“Democracy is government by the people.”

You would, of course, be correct—democracy is government by the people. But, in order to evaluate whether or not a particular government is fully democratic or is more or less democratic when compared with other governments, we would need to have more precise criteria with which to measure or assess democracy. For example, here are some criteria that political scientists have suggested are indicators of democracy:

  • Freedom to form and join organizations
  • Freedom of expression
  • Right to vote
  • Eligibility for public office
  • Right of political leaders to compete for support
  • Right of political leaders to compete for votes
  • Alternative sources of information
  • Free and fair elections
  • Institutions for making government policies depend on votes and other expressions of preference

If we adopt these nine criteria, we now have a definition that will allow us to measure democracy empirically. Thus, if you want to determine whether Brazil is more democratic than Sweden, you can evaluate each country in terms of the degree to which it fulfills the above criteria.

What counts as good writing in political science?

While rigor, clarity, and concision will be valued in any piece of writing in political science, knowing the kind of writing task you’ve been assigned will help you to write a good paper. Two of the most common kinds of writing assignments in political science are the research paper and the theory paper.

Writing political science research papers

Your instructors use research paper assignments as a means of assessing your ability to understand a complex problem in the field, to develop a perspective on this problem, and to make a persuasive argument in favor of your perspective. In order for you to successfully meet this challenge, your research paper should include the following components:

  • An introduction
  • A problem statement
  • A discussion of methodology
  • A literature review
  • A description and evaluation of your research findings
  • A summary of your findings

Here’s a brief description of each component.

In the introduction of your research paper, you need to give the reader some basic background information on your topic that suggests why the question you are investigating is interesting and important. You will also need to provide the reader with a statement of the research problem you are attempting to address and a basic outline of your paper as a whole. The problem statement presents not only the general research problem you will address but also the hypotheses that you will consider. In the methodology section, you will explain to the reader the research methods you used to investigate your research topic and to test the hypotheses that you have formulated. For example, did you conduct interviews, use statistical analysis, rely upon previous research studies, or some combination of all of these methodological approaches?

Before you can develop each of the above components of your research paper, you will need to conduct a literature review. A literature review involves reading and analyzing what other researchers have written on your topic before going on to do research of your own. There are some very pragmatic reasons for doing this work. First, as insightful as your ideas may be, someone else may have had similar ideas and have already done research to test them. By reading what they have written on your topic, you can ensure that you don’t repeat, but rather learn from, work that has already been done. Second, to demonstrate the soundness of your hypotheses and methodology, you will need to indicate how you have borrowed from and/or improved upon the ideas of others.

By referring to what other researchers have found on your topic, you will have established a frame of reference that enables the reader to understand the full significance of your research results. Thus, once you have conducted your literature review, you will be in a position to present your research findings. In presenting these findings, you will need to refer back to your original hypotheses and explain the manner and degree to which your results fit with what you anticipated you would find. If you see strong support for your argument or perhaps some unexpected results that your original hypotheses cannot account for, this section is the place to convey such important information to your reader. This is also the place to suggest further lines of research that will help refine, clarify inconsistencies with, or provide additional support for your hypotheses. Finally, in the summary section of your paper, reiterate the significance of your research and your research findings and speculate upon the path that future research efforts should take.

Writing in political theory

Political theory differs from other subfields in political science in that it deals primarily with historical and normative, rather than empirical, analysis. In other words, political theorists are less concerned with the scientific measurement of political phenomena than with understanding how important political ideas develop over time. And they are less concerned with evaluating how things are than in debating how they should be. A return to our democracy example will make these distinctions clearer and give you some clues about how to write well in political theory.

Earlier, we talked about how to define democracy empirically so that it can be measured and tested in accordance with scientific principles. Political theorists also define democracy, but they use a different standard of measurement. Their definitions of democracy reflect their interest in political ideals—for example, liberty, equality, and citizenship—rather than scientific measurement. So, when writing about democracy from the perspective of a political theorist, you may be asked to make an argument about the proper way to define citizenship in a democratic society. Should citizens of a democratic society be expected to engage in decision-making and administration of government, or should they be satisfied with casting votes every couple of years?

In order to substantiate your position on such questions, you will need to pay special attention to two interrelated components of your writing: (1) the logical consistency of your ideas and (2) the manner in which you use the arguments of other theorists to support your own. First, you need to make sure that your conclusion and all points leading up to it follow from your original premises or assumptions. If, for example, you argue that democracy is a system of government through which citizens develop their full capacities as human beings, then your notion of citizenship will somehow need to support this broad definition of democracy. A narrow view of citizenship based exclusively or primarily on voting probably will not do. Whatever you argue, however, you will need to be sure to demonstrate in your analysis that you have considered the arguments of other theorists who have written about these issues. In some cases, their arguments will provide support for your own; in others, they will raise criticisms and concerns that you will need to address if you are going to make a convincing case for your point of view.

Drafting your paper

If you have used material from outside sources in your paper, be sure to cite them appropriately in your paper. In political science, writers most often use the APA or Turabian (a version of the Chicago Manual of Style) style guides when formatting references. Check with your instructor if they have not specified a citation style in the assignment. For more information on constructing citations, see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial.

Although all assignments are different, the preceding outlines provide a clear and simple guide that should help you in writing papers in any sub-field of political science. If you find that you need more assistance than this short guide provides, refer to the list of additional resources below or make an appointment to see a tutor at the Writing Center.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Becker, Howard S. 2007. Writing for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, Book, or Article , 2nd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Cuba, Lee. 2002. A Short Guide to Writing About Social Science , 4th ed. New York: Longman.

Lasswell, Harold Dwight. 1936. Politics: Who Gets What, When, How . New York: McGraw-Hill.

Scott, Gregory M., and Stephen M. Garrison. 1998. The Political Science Student Writer’s Manual , 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Turabian, Kate. 2018. A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, Dissertations , 9th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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13 Great Tips for Political Science Assignments

  • 5 month(s) ago

13 Great Tips for Political Science Assignments

I. Introduction

A. Overview of Political Science assignments

conclusion of political science assignment

Political Science assignments serve as crucial tools for students to delve into the intricacies of political systems, theories, and phenomena. These assignments are designed to enhance students' understanding of political science concepts, fostering critical thinking and analytical skills. The overarching goal is to enable students to articulate well-reasoned arguments, backed by comprehensive research and supported by evidence.

Political Science assignments cover a broad spectrum, ranging from theoretical analyses to practical applications, challenging students to explore diverse aspects of political structures, policies, and international relations. As a result, engaging in these assignments not only contributes to academic growth but also cultivates a deeper appreciation for the complexities inherent in the political realm.

B. Importance of effective writing in Political Science

Effective writing in Political Science assignments is of paramount importance, serving as a crucial bridge between academic knowledge and real-world impact. The ability to articulate thoughts clearly and persuasively is an essential skill for political scientists. A well-written assignment not only reflects a student's understanding of political theories and concepts but also communicates their ideas to a broader audience.

Clear and coherent writing in political science ensures that analyses are accessible and influential, allowing for meaningful contributions to discussions on governance, policy, and societal issues. Moreover, it prepares students for future roles where effective communication is a prerequisite, be it in policy-making, advocacy, or academic research. In essence, the importance of effective writing in Political Science assignments lies in its power to translate knowledge into actionable insights that can shape the political landscape.

II. Understanding the Assignment

conclusion of political science assignment

A. Analyzing the assignment prompt

Analyzing the assignment prompt is the foundational step in understanding Political Science assignments. It involves a careful dissection of the instructions to discern the specific requirements and expectations set by the instructor. This process includes identifying key terms, directives, and the overall purpose of the assignment. By breaking down the prompt, students can grasp the nuances of what is being asked, allowing them to tailor their research and writing approach accordingly.

This initial scrutiny sets the trajectory for a well-focused and targeted response, ensuring that the student not only meets the academic criteria but also engages with the subject matter in a manner that demonstrates depth of understanding. In essence, the art of analyzing the assignment prompt is the cornerstone for a successful journey through the intricacies of Political Science assignments.

B. Identifying key components and requirements

Identifying key components and requirements is a pivotal aspect of understanding Political Science assignments. This process involves a meticulous examination of the assignment prompt to pinpoint crucial elements such as specific topics to be covered, types of analyses expected, and any particular methodology or framework required. By discerning these key components, students gain clarity on the scope and depth expected in their responses.

Additionally, recognizing the specific requirements allows for a targeted approach in research and writing , ensuring that the assignment aligns with the instructor's expectations. This keen awareness of essential elements not only streamlines the drafting process but also contributes to the overall quality and relevance of the Political Science assignment. In essence, a thorough grasp of key components and requirements lays the groundwork for a well-crafted and academically rigorous response.

III. Research Strategies

conclusion of political science assignment

A. Conducting in-depth literature reviews

Conducting in-depth literature reviews is a fundamental research strategy in Political Science assignments. This process involves a comprehensive exploration of existing academic literature, encompassing scholarly articles, books, and relevant publications. By delving into these sources, students gain a thorough understanding of the historical context, theoretical frameworks, and current debates surrounding their chosen topic.

This strategy not only aids in identifying gaps in the existing knowledge but also allows for the synthesis of diverse perspectives to inform the student's analysis. Emphasizing the importance of credible databases and authoritative sources, this research strategy forms the basis for constructing well-informed and substantiated arguments within the realm of Political Science assignments. Ultimately, a meticulous literature review serves as the bedrock for academic rigor and the development of nuanced insights in the field.

1. Utilizing academic databases

Utilizing academic databases is a pivotal research strategy in Political Science assignments. These databases, often curated by reputable institutions or publishers, provide access to a wealth of scholarly articles, journals, and research papers relevant to political science. Students can employ database search functionalities to refine their research, accessing up-to-date and peer-reviewed sources that contribute to the academic rigor of their assignments.

By tapping into these comprehensive repositories, students can explore diverse perspectives, theories, and empirical studies, thereby enriching the depth and breadth of their research. This research strategy not only ensures the credibility of the sources but also allows students to engage with the latest developments and debates within the field of political science.

2. Exploring credible sources

Exploring credible sources is a fundamental research strategy in Political Science assignments. It involves seeking out reliable and authoritative materials to support arguments and enhance the overall quality of the assignment. Credible sources can include peer-reviewed academic journals, reputable books, government publications, and reports from renowned think tanks.

By prioritizing such sources, students ensure that their research is grounded in well-established theories and empirical evidence. This strategy not only contributes to the academic integrity of Political Science assignments but also demonstrates a commitment to presenting well-substantiated arguments. Engaging with credible sources is key to producing a well-informed and persuasive piece of academic writing in the realm of political science.

B. Gathering primary and secondary sources

Gathering both primary and secondary sources is a pivotal research strategy in Political Science assignments. Primary sources involve firsthand information, such as original documents, interviews, or direct observations relevant to the chosen topic. On the other hand, secondary sources include analyses, interpretations, and commentary on primary sources. By incorporating both types, students can present a well-rounded perspective, combining the raw data from primary sources with the scholarly context provided by secondary ones.

Interviews, surveys, and firsthand accounts can offer unique insights into political phenomena, while academic articles and books contribute theoretical frameworks and expert analyses. This dual approach not only enhances the depth of research but also strengthens the credibility and richness of the arguments presented in Political Science assignments. Thus, a judicious combination of primary and secondary sources forms a cornerstone in producing comprehensive and compelling academic work in the field.

1. Interviews, surveys, and firsthand accounts

Gathering primary and secondary sources in Political Science assignments involves a multifaceted approach, including the incorporation of interviews, surveys, and firsthand accounts. These firsthand sources offer unique insights and perspectives directly from individuals involved in or affected by political events or policies. Conducting interviews allows students to collect qualitative data, capturing personal experiences and opinions. Surveys, on the other hand, enable the collection of quantitative data, providing statistical insights into political phenomena.

Additionally, firsthand accounts, such as memoirs or autobiographies, offer valuable narratives that contribute to a nuanced understanding of political contexts. By skillfully integrating these primary sources, students can add depth and authenticity to their research, creating a well-rounded and comprehensive exploration of political science topics in their assignments.

2. Analyzing scholarly articles and books

Analyzing scholarly articles and books is a critical component of gathering primary and secondary sources in Political Science assignments. Scholarly articles, typically found in peer-reviewed journals, provide in-depth analyses, theoretical frameworks, and empirical studies conducted by experts in the field. Books authored by reputable scholars offer comprehensive insights into specific political theories, historical contexts, or policy issues.

Both types of sources contribute to the academic rigor of political science research. Students should scrutinize these materials for reliability, relevance, and the credibility of the authors. By delving into scholarly articles and books, students can build a strong foundation for their research, ensuring that their Political Science assignments are well-supported, informed, and contribute meaningfully to the discourse within the discipline.

IV. Thesis Formulation in Political Science Assignments.

conclusion of political science assignment

A. Crafting a clear and concise thesis statement

Crafting a clear and concise thesis statement is a critical component of effective thesis formulation in Political Science assignments. The thesis statement serves as the central argument or main point of the paper, providing a roadmap for the reader and guiding the overall direction of the analysis. In Political Science, clarity and conciseness are paramount, as the thesis statement should succinctly articulate the stance or perspective the student will explore.

This process involves distilling complex ideas into a single, compelling sentence that encapsulates the essence of the argument. A well-crafted thesis statement not only communicates the purpose of the assignment but also sets the tone for the subsequent exploration of political concepts. As the cornerstone of the paper, a clear and concise thesis statement ensures that the reader grasps the main argument from the outset, fostering engagement and coherence throughout the Political Science assignment.

B. Aligning the thesis with the assignment requirements

Aligning the thesis with the assignment requirements is a crucial step in the process of thesis formulation for Political Science assignments. It involves a careful examination of the assignment prompt and ensuring that the proposed thesis not only addresses the chosen topic but also meets the specific criteria outlined by the instructor. This alignment is essential for maintaining focus and relevance throughout the assignment.

Students must tailor their thesis to directly respond to the prompt, incorporating key elements and requirements outlined in the assignment instructions. By meticulously aligning the thesis with these expectations, students demonstrate a nuanced understanding of the assignment's objectives and contribute to the overall coherence and effectiveness of their Political Science paper. In essence, this step ensures that the thesis serves as a strategic anchor, tightly connected to the assignment's goals and guidelines.

V. Structuring the Assignment

conclusion of political science assignment

A. Introduction

The introduction is a pivotal component when structuring Political Science assignments, serving as the gateway to the reader's understanding of the topic. It comprises two essential elements: capturing the reader's attention and presenting a clear thesis statement. The introduction begins with a compelling hook, engaging the reader and establishing the relevance of the chosen topic to the broader political landscape. This can be achieved through an intriguing statistic, a thought-provoking question, or a relevant anecdote.

Following the hook, the introduction transitions seamlessly into the thesis statement, which succinctly outlines the main argument of the assignment. A well-crafted introduction not only orients the reader but also sets the tone for the subsequent exploration of political concepts. It serves as a roadmap, providing a preview of the key ideas to be discussed in the body of the assignment and ensuring a cohesive and compelling start to the Political Science paper.

1. Hooking the reader with a compelling opening

Structuring the introduction in Political Science assignments involves hooking the reader with a compelling opening. This initial engagement is crucial in capturing the reader's attention and setting the tone for the entire assignment. A compelling opening may include a thought-provoking question, a relevant and intriguing statistic, or a compelling anecdote.

By employing these hooks, students can draw the reader into the subject matter, creating a sense of curiosity and interest from the outset. This strategy not only makes the introduction more engaging but also establishes a connection between the reader and the political concepts to be explored in the assignment. Crafting a compelling opening ensures that the reader is motivated to delve further into the analysis presented in the Political Science assignment.

2. Presenting the thesis statement

Structuring the introduction in Political Science assignments involves presenting the thesis statement, a crucial element that succinctly outlines the main argument or purpose of the paper. This statement serves as a roadmap, providing clarity about the central focus of the assignment. A well-crafted thesis statement should be clear, specific, and directly related to the assignment prompt.

By placing the thesis statement towards the end of the introduction, after engaging the reader with a compelling hook, students can seamlessly transition from capturing attention to providing a clear direction for the ensuing analysis. This strategic placement ensures that the reader understands the overarching purpose of the Political Science assignment and is prepared for the subsequent exploration of political concepts and arguments.

B. Body paragraphs

Structuring the body paragraphs is a crucial phase in organizing Political Science assignments, as it is where the depth and substance of the analysis unfold. Each body paragraph should revolve around a specific idea, argument, or piece of evidence, contributing to the overall thesis of the assignment. The structure within these paragraphs is paramount, beginning with a clear topic sentence that introduces the main point. Following this, the paragraph expands on the topic, providing relevant evidence, examples, and scholarly support.

The connection between each paragraph and the thesis statement should be evident, ensuring a logical flow of ideas. Transitions between paragraphs facilitate coherence, allowing the reader to follow the narrative effortlessly. By structuring the body paragraphs effectively, students can present a well-organized, cohesive, and persuasive analysis of political concepts in their assignments. Each paragraph acts as a building block, collectively constructing a robust and comprehensive exploration of the chosen topic.

1. Developing coherent arguments

Structuring the body paragraphs in Political Science assignments involves the development of coherent arguments. Each body paragraph should focus on a specific aspect of the overall thesis, presenting a well-defined argument that contributes to the central theme. To achieve coherence, it's essential to start each paragraph with a clear topic sentence that introduces the main idea.

Subsequent sentences within the paragraph should provide supporting evidence, examples, or analysis to reinforce the argument. Logical progression between paragraphs is crucial to maintain a cohesive flow of ideas. By ensuring that each argument aligns with the thesis statement and builds upon the preceding points, students can construct a well-organized and persuasive narrative within the body of their Political Science assignments.

2. Providing evidence and examples

Structuring the body paragraphs in Political Science assignments involves the essential task of providing evidence and examples to support the formulated arguments. Each paragraph should start with a clear topic sentence that introduces a specific aspect of the overall thesis. Following this, students should present credible evidence, such as data, quotes, or findings from scholarly sources, to substantiate their claims.

Additionally, incorporating relevant examples helps illustrate and contextualize the arguments, making them more tangible and persuasive. By effectively integrating evidence and examples, students not only strengthen the validity of their political analyses but also enhance the overall clarity and persuasiveness of their arguments within the body of their Political Science assignments.

C. Conclusion

The conclusion in Political Science assignments serves as the final opportunity to leave a lasting impression on the reader and reinforce the key points made throughout the paper. It involves summarizing the main arguments concisely and reiterating the thesis statement in a conclusive manner. The conclusion is not merely a repetition but an opportunity to highlight the significance of the analysis in the broader context of political science.

By connecting the discussed ideas to real-world implications or suggesting avenues for future research, the conclusion adds depth to the overall impact of the assignment. It should leave the reader with a sense of closure and a clear understanding of the paper's contributions to the field of political science. A well-structured conclusion ensures that the assignment's key takeaways resonate with the reader, leaving a lasting impression beyond the final paragraph.

1. Summarizing key points

Structuring the conclusion in Political Science assignments involves summarizing key points to provide a concise overview of the main arguments presented throughout the paper. This section should reiterate the central themes discussed in the body paragraphs, offering a condensed recapitulation of the key ideas. By summarizing key points, students reinforce the main takeaways, reminding the reader of the significance of the analysis.

This process helps to solidify the overall argument and ensures that the reader leaves with a clear understanding of the main contributions made within the Political Science assignment. The summary in the conclusion serves as a concluding snapshot that reinforces the paper's main points and emphasizes their relevance within the broader political context.

2. Restating the thesis in a conclusive manner

The conclusion in Political Science assignments involves restating the thesis in a conclusive manner. This step is crucial for providing a sense of closure and reinforcing the central argument of the paper. The restated thesis should not merely repeat the original wording but should encapsulate the main idea in a way that emphasizes its significance and relevance.

By reiterating the thesis in the conclusion, students effectively highlight how their analysis has addressed the initial inquiry or prompt. This restatement serves to leave a lasting impression on the reader, emphasizing the enduring importance of the thesis within the context of the broader political discourse. It provides a cohesive endpoint to the Political Science assignment, ensuring that the reader leaves with a reinforced understanding of the central argument and its implications.

VI. Citation Styles in Political Science Assignments

conclusion of political science assignment

A. Overview of common citation styles (APA, MLA, Chicago)

In Political Science assignments, adhering to proper citation styles is imperative to uphold academic integrity and provide transparent references. Common citation styles include the American Psychological Association (APA), Modern Language Association (MLA), and Chicago. The APA style is often preferred in the social sciences, requiring a specific format for citations, references, and the presentation of data.

MLA, commonly used in humanities, has distinct guidelines for citing sources and formatting works cited pages. Meanwhile, the Chicago style offers both author-date and notes-bibliography systems, accommodating diverse citation needs. Mastering these citation styles is essential for students to communicate their sources effectively, ensuring their Political Science assignments meet scholarly standards and contribute to the ongoing academic discourse.

B. Ensuring proper citation and referencing

Ensuring proper citation and referencing is a critical aspect of Political Science assignments, underscoring the academic rigor and credibility of the work. Accurate citations not only give credit to the original sources but also allow readers to trace the information back to its roots. In political science, where precision and clarity are paramount, adherence to established citation styles—such as APA, MLA, or Chicago—is essential.

This involves citing all direct quotes, paraphrased content, and references consistently throughout the assignment. The meticulous application of citation rules not only avoids plagiarism but also demonstrates a commitment to scholarly standards. By paying careful attention to proper citation and referencing, students enhance the validity and reliability of their Political Science assignments, contributing to the overall quality of academic discourse in the field.

VII. Addressing Counterarguments in Political Science Assignments

conclusion of political science assignment

A. Identifying potential counterarguments

Addressing counterarguments in Political Science assignments begins with a thorough identification of potential opposing viewpoints. This involves a critical examination of the topic at hand to anticipate perspectives that may challenge or contradict the main argument. By proactively recognizing alternative interpretations or conflicting theories, students can strengthen their own positions and demonstrate a nuanced understanding of the subject.

Identifying potential counterarguments is an intellectual exercise that requires considering different ideological stances, empirical evidence, or policy implications related to the chosen topic. This preparatory step sets the stage for a more robust and well-rounded analysis, allowing students to address opposing views with clarity and depth in their Political Science assignments.

B. Effectively addressing opposing viewpoints

Effectively addressing opposing viewpoints is a crucial element in constructing persuasive and well-rounded Political Science assignments. Once potential counterarguments are identified, it is essential to approach them with clarity and intellectual rigor. This involves acknowledging the validity of opposing perspectives, presenting them accurately, and then systematically refuting or counteracting them with well-supported evidence and reasoning.

By doing so, students showcase their ability to engage in critical analysis and demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the complexities within the political landscape. Effectively addressing opposing viewpoints not only strengthens the overall argument but also enhances the credibility of the Political Science assignment by showcasing a fair and balanced consideration of various perspectives. It reflects a higher level of intellectual maturity and contributes to a more impactful and persuasive piece of academic writing.

VIII. Incorporating Case Studies in Political Science Assignments

conclusion of political science assignment

A. Using relevant case studies to support arguments

Incorporating relevant case studies is a powerful strategy in Political Science assignments, providing concrete examples to bolster and illuminate theoretical arguments. Case studies offer real-world applications of political concepts, lending depth and authenticity to the analysis. By examining specific instances or events, students can illustrate the practical implications of their arguments, making their theories more tangible and persuasive.

These case studies serve as empirical evidence, grounding abstract ideas in the context of actual political dynamics. Choosing pertinent and well-documented case studies is crucial, as they not only validate the arguments presented but also demonstrate the practical relevance of the academic discourse. In essence, the incorporation of case studies enriches Political Science assignments by bridging the gap between theory and practice, fostering a more comprehensive and compelling exploration of political phenomena.

B. Analyzing the impact of case studies on Political Science writing

Analyzing the impact of case studies on Political Science writing reveals their transformative influence in enriching the depth and quality of academic discourse. Case studies serve as invaluable tools, allowing students to move beyond theoretical abstraction and engage with real-world political scenarios. By dissecting the impact of case studies, political science assignments gain a heightened level of relevance and applicability.

These detailed examinations not only provide concrete evidence to support arguments but also foster critical thinking and analytical skills. Furthermore, they encourage students to consider the complexities and nuances of political issues, enhancing the overall sophistication of their writing. Ultimately, the incorporation of case studies elevates Political Science assignments by infusing them with practical insights, demonstrating the discipline's real-world implications and strengthening the connection between theory and application.

IX. Tips for Engaging Writing

conclusion of political science assignment

A. Using persuasive language

Using persuasive language is a key tip for crafting engaging Political Science assignments. By employing language that is clear, compelling, and convincing, students can effectively communicate their ideas and sway the reader towards their perspective. This involves selecting impactful words and constructing sentences that convey authority and conviction.

Integrating rhetorical devices, such as analogies or powerful anecdotes, can further enhance the persuasive appeal of the writing. Additionally, being mindful of the tone and maintaining a balance between formality and accessibility contributes to engaging political science writing. Persuasive language not only captivates the reader's attention but also reinforces the strength of the arguments presented, making Political Science assignments more compelling and influential.

B. Crafting compelling narratives

Crafting compelling narratives is a valuable tip for creating engaging Political Science assignments. By weaving a coherent and captivating storyline through the analysis, students can enhance the readability and impact of their writing. This involves presenting information in a sequential and interconnected manner, allowing the reader to follow the narrative thread easily.

Introducing relevant characters, events, or policy developments within the political context adds a human dimension to the academic discourse. Moreover, a well-constructed narrative can serve to illustrate complex theories and concepts, making them more accessible and relatable to a broader audience. By incorporating storytelling techniques, students can transform their Political Science assignments into engaging narratives that not only inform but also resonate with the reader on a deeper level.

X. Formatting Guidelines

conclusion of political science assignment

A. Adhering to assignment formatting requirements

Adhering to assignment formatting requirements is a foundational aspect of producing effective Political Science assignments. Consistent and accurate formatting ensures that the document meets the specific guidelines set by instructors or institutions, contributing to a polished and professional presentation. This includes attention to details such as font styles, sizes, margins, line spacing, and page numbering.

Adherence to a specified citation style, be it APA, MLA, or Chicago, is also crucial for maintaining uniformity in referencing. By following these formatting guidelines, students not only demonstrate their attention to detail but also present their work in a manner that is visually clear and aesthetically pleasing. The emphasis on formatting in Political Science assignments reflects a commitment to academic standards and enhances the overall professionalism of the written work.

B. Paying attention to fonts, spacing, and margins

Paying meticulous attention to fonts, spacing, and margins is an essential aspect of adhering to formatting guidelines in Political Science assignments. Consistency in font style and size throughout the document ensures a professional and polished appearance. Maintaining proper spacing between lines and paragraphs enhances readability and contributes to the overall visual appeal of the assignment.

Equally important is adhering to specified margin requirements, which not only meet academic standards but also create a well-organized and aesthetically pleasing layout. By giving careful consideration to these formatting elements, students not only fulfill the technical requirements of their assignments but also demonstrate a commitment to presenting their ideas in a clear, accessible, and visually cohesive manner. This attention to detail in formatting enhances the overall professionalism of Political Science assignments.

XI. Polishing Your Writing

conclusion of political science assignment

A. Proofreading for grammar and syntax

Proofreading for grammar and syntax is a crucial step in polishing Political Science assignments. This process involves a thorough review of the document to identify and correct errors in grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. By meticulously proofreading, students can ensure that their writing is clear, coherent, and free from grammatical mistakes.

Attention to syntax, or the arrangement of words and phrases, contributes to the overall flow and readability of the assignment. It is an opportunity to refine the language, eliminate ambiguities, and enhance the precision of the expression. Engaging in a careful proofreading process not only improves the quality of the writing but also reflects a commitment to producing a polished and academically sound Political Science assignment.

B. Ensuring clarity and coherence

Ensuring clarity and coherence is a paramount aspect of polishing Political Science assignments. This involves a comprehensive review of the document to guarantee that ideas are presented in a logically structured and easily comprehensible manner. Clear and concise expression of arguments, along with well-defined transitions between paragraphs, enhances the overall coherence of the assignment.

Attention to clarity involves eliminating unnecessary jargon or convoluted language that may hinder understanding. By refining the organization of thoughts and ensuring a smooth flow of ideas, students can optimize the coherence of their Political Science assignments. This commitment to clarity not only facilitates effective communication of complex political concepts but also elevates the overall quality of the written work.

XII. Common Pitfalls to Avoid

conclusion of political science assignment

A. Overuse of jargon

One common pitfall to avoid in Political Science assignments is the overuse of jargon. While specialized terminology is inherent in the discipline, excessive reliance on complex language can alienate readers and hinder comprehension. Striking a balance between precision and accessibility is crucial.

It's important to consider the audience's familiarity with the subject matter and use jargon judiciously, ensuring that the intended message is conveyed without sacrificing clarity. By steering clear of unnecessary or overly technical terms, students can make their Political Science assignments more inclusive and engaging, fostering a broader understanding of the concepts discussed.

B. Lack of coherence and logical flow

A significant pitfall to avoid in Political Science assignments is the lack of coherence and logical flow. When ideas are disjointed or not logically connected, it can impede the reader's understanding and diminish the overall impact of the assignment. To address this, students should ensure a seamless progression of thoughts and arguments throughout the paper.

Each paragraph should build upon the previous one, creating a cohesive narrative that guides the reader through the analysis. Transitions between ideas should be clear, and the overall structure of the assignment should follow a logical sequence. By sidestepping the pitfall of lack of coherence, students can enhance the effectiveness of their Political Science assignments and create a more compelling and organized presentation of their ideas.

XIII. Conclusion

conclusion of political science assignment

A. Recap of key points

This guide to Political Science assignments underscores the importance of adhering to structured writing principles. Throughout the assignment, emphasis should be placed on a well-crafted introduction, which hooks the reader with a compelling opening and clearly presents the thesis statement. The body paragraphs should then unfold coherently, with each one devoted to developing a specific, well-supported argument.

Providing evidence and examples ensures the validity and persuasiveness of these arguments. In the conclusion, summarizing key points helps reinforce the main ideas, and restating the thesis in a conclusive manner adds a sense of closure. By following these guidelines, students can produce Political Science assignments that are not only well-organized and coherent but also effectively communicate their analyses and contribute meaningfully to the discourse in the field.

B. Encouragement for effective political science writing

By understanding and implementing the strategies outlined, students can elevate the quality of their assignments and make meaningful contributions to the discipline. Effective political science writing involves more than just presenting information; it requires clarity, coherence, and a persuasive narrative. Embracing these principles not only enhances academic performance but also cultivates the skills necessary for impactful communication in the political realm.

So, as students embark on their political science assignments, may this guide inspire them to craft compelling narratives, analyze with depth, and engage in the critical discourse that defines the dynamic field of political science. Through effective writing, students have the opportunity to shape and influence discussions on governance, policies, and societal issues, leaving a lasting impact on the broader political landscape.

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POLSC101: Introduction to Political Science

Research in political science.

This handout is designed to teach you how to conduct original political science research. While you won't be asked to write a research paper, this handout provides important information on the "scientific" approach used by political scientists. Pay particularly close attention to the section that answers the question "what is scientific about political science?"

If you were going to conduct research in biology or chemistry, what would you do? You would probably create a hypothesis, and then design an experiment to test your hypothesis. Based on the results of your experiment, you would draw conclusions. Political scientists follow similar procedures. Like a scientist who researches biology or chemistry, political scientists rely on objectivity, data, and procedure to draw conclusions. This article explains the process of operationalizing variables. Why is that an important step in social science research?

Defining politics and political science

Political scientist Harold Laswell said it best: at its most basic level, politics is the struggle of "who gets what, when, how". This struggle may be as modest as competing interest groups fighting over control of a small municipal budget or as overwhelming as a military stand-off between international superpowers. Political scientists study such struggles, both small and large, in an effort to develop general principles or theories about the way the world of politics works. Think about the title of your course or re-read the course description in your syllabus. You'll find that your course covers a particular sector of the large world of "politics" and brings with it a set of topics, issues, and approaches to information that may be helpful to consider as you begin a writing assignment. The diverse structure of political science reflects the diverse kinds of problems the discipline attempts to analyze and explain. In fact, political science includes at least eight major sub-fields:

  • American politics examines political behavior and institutions in the United States.
  • Comparative politics analyzes and compares political systems within and across different geographic regions.
  • International relations investigates relations among nation-states and the activities of international organizations such as the United Nations, the World Bank, and NATO, as well as international actors such as terrorists, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and multi-national corporations (MNCs).
  • Political theory analyzes fundamental political concepts such as power and democracy and foundational questions, like "How should the individual and the state relate?"
  • Political methodology deals with the ways that political scientists ask and investigate questions.
  • Public policy examines the process by which governments make public decisions.
  • Public administration studies the ways that government policies are implemented.
  • Public law focuses on the role of law and courts in the political process.

What is scientific about political science?

Investigating relationships

Although political scientists are prone to debate and disagreement, the majority view the discipline as a genuine science. As a result, political scientists generally strive to emulate the objectivity as well as the conceptual and methodological rigor typically associated with the so-called "hard" sciences (e.g., biology, chemistry, and physics). They see themselves as engaged in revealing the relationships underlying political events and conditions. Based on these revelations, they attempt to state general principles about the way the world of politics works. Given these aims, it is important for political scientists' writing to be conceptually precise, free from bias, and well-substantiated by empirical evidence. Knowing that political scientists value objectivity may help you in making decisions about how to write your paper and what to put in it.

Political theory is an important exception to this empirical approach. You can learn more about writing for political theory classes in the section "Writing in Political Theory" below.

Building theories

Since theory-building serves as the cornerstone of the discipline, it may be useful to see how it works. You may be wrestling with theories or proposing your own as you write your paper. Consider how political scientists have arrived at the theories you are reading and discussing in your course. Most political scientists adhere to a simple model of scientific inquiry when building theories. The key to building precise and persuasive theories is to develop and test hypotheses. Hypotheses are statements that researchers construct for the purpose of testing whether or not a certain relationship exists between two phenomena. To see how political scientists use hypotheses, and to imagine how you might use a hypothesis to develop a thesis for your paper, consider the following example. Suppose that we want to know whether presidential elections are affected by economic conditions. We could formulate this question into the following hypothesis: "When the national unemployment rate is greater than 7 percent at the time of the election, presidential incumbents are not reelected".

Collecting data

In the research model designed to test this hypothesis, the dependent variable (the phenomenon that is affected by other variables) would be the reelection of incumbent presidents; the independent variable (the phenomenon that may have some effect on the dependent variable) would be the national unemployment rate. You could test the relationship between the independent and dependent variables by collecting data on unemployment rates and the reelection of incumbent presidents and comparing the two sets of information. If you found that in every instance that the national unemployment rate was greater than 7 percent at the time of a presidential election the incumbent lost, you would have significant support for our hypothesis.

However, research in political science seldom yields immediately conclusive results. In this case, for example, although in most recent presidential elections our hypothesis holds true, President Franklin Roosevelt was reelected in 1936 despite the fact that the national unemployment rate was 17%. To explain this important exception and to make certain that other factors besides high unemployment rates were not primarily responsible for the defeat of incumbent presidents in other election years, you would need to do further research. So you can see how political scientists use the scientific method to build ever more precise and persuasive theories and how you might begin to think about the topics that interest you as you write your paper.

Clear, consistent, objective writing

Since political scientists construct and assess theories in accordance with the principles of the scientific method, writing in the field conveys the rigor, objectivity, and logical consistency that characterize this method. Thus political scientists avoid the use of impressionistic or metaphorical language, or language which appeals primarily to our senses, emotions, or moral beliefs. In other words, rather than persuade you with the elegance of their prose or the moral virtue of their beliefs, political scientists persuade through their command of the facts and their ability to relate those facts to theories that can withstand the test of empirical investigation. In writing of this sort, clarity and concision are at a premium. To achieve such clarity and concision, political scientists precisely define any terms or concepts that are important to the arguments that they make. This precision often requires that they "operationalize" key terms or concepts. "Operationalizing" simply means that important – but possibly vague or abstract – concepts like "justice" are defined in ways that allow them to be measured or tested through scientific investigation.

Fortunately, you will generally not be expected to devise or operationalize key concepts entirely on your own. In most cases, your professor or the authors of assigned readings will already have defined and/or operationalized concepts that are important to your research. And in the event that someone hasn't already come up with precisely the definition you need, other political scientists will in all likelihood have written enough on the topic that you're investigating to give you some clear guidance on how to proceed. For this reason, it is always a good idea to explore what research has already been done on your topic before you begin to construct your own argument. (See our handout on making an academic argument.)

Example of an operationalized term

To give you an example of the kind of "rigor" and "objectivity" political scientists aim for in their writing, let's examine how someone might operationalize a term. Reading through this example should clarify the level of analysis and precision that you will be expected to employ in your writing. Here's how you might define key concepts in a way that allows us to measure them.

We are all familiar with the term "democracy". If you were asked to define this term, you might make a statement like the following: "Democracy is government by the people". You would, of course, be correct – democracy is government by the people. But, in order to evaluate whether or not a particular government is fully democratic or is more or less democratic when compared with other governments, we would need to have more precise criteria with which to measure or assess democracy. Most political scientists agree that these criteria should include the following rights and freedoms for citizens:

  • Freedom to form and join organizations
  • Freedom of expression
  • Right to vote
  • Eligibility for public office
  • Right of political leaders to compete for support
  • Right of political leaders to compete for votes
  • Alternative sources of information
  • Free and fair elections
  • Institutions for making government policies depend on votes and other expressions of preference

By adopting these nine criteria, we now have a definition that will allow us to measure democracy. Thus, if you want to determine whether Brazil is more democratic than Sweden, you can evaluate each country in terms of the degree to which it fulfills the above criteria.

What counts as good writing in political science?

While rigor, clarity, and concision will be valued in any piece of writing in political science, knowing the kind of writing task you've been assigned will help you to write a good paper. Two of the most common kinds of writing assignments in political science are the research paper and the theory paper.

Writing political science research papers

Your instructors use research paper assignments as a means of assessing your ability to understand a complex problem in the field, to develop a perspective on this problem, and to make a persuasive argument in favor of your perspective. In order for you to successfully meet this challenge, your research paper should include the following components: (1) an introduction, (2) a problem statement, (3) a discussion of methodology, (4) a literature review, (5) a description and evaluation of your research findings, and (6) a summary of your findings. Here's a brief description of each component.

In the introduction of your research paper, you need to give the reader some basic background information on your topic that suggests why the question you are investigating is interesting and important. You will also need to provide the reader with a statement of the research problem you are attempting to address and a basic outline of your paper as a whole. The problem statement presents not only the general research problem you will address but also the hypotheses that you will consider. In the methodology section, you will explain to the reader the research methods you used to investigate your research topic and to test the hypotheses that you have formulated. For example, did you conduct interviews, use statistical analysis, rely upon previous research studies, or some combination of all of these methodological approaches?

Before you can develop each of the above components of your research paper, you will need to conduct a literature review. A literature review involves reading and analyzing what other researchers have written on your topic before going on to do research of your own. There are some very pragmatic reasons for doing this work. First, as insightful as your ideas may be, someone else may have had similar ideas and have already done research to test them. By reading what they have written on your topic, you can ensure that you don't repeat, but rather learn from, work that has already been done. Second, to demonstrate the soundness of your hypotheses and methodology, you will need to indicate how you have borrowed from and/or improved upon the ideas of others.

By referring to what other researchers have found on your topic, you will have established a frame of reference that enables the reader to understand the full significance of your research results. Thus, once you have conducted your literature review, you will be in a position to present your research findings. In presenting these findings, you will need to refer back to your original hypotheses and explain the manner and degree to which your results fit with what you anticipated you would find. If you see strong support for your argument or perhaps some unexpected results that your original hypotheses cannot account for, this section is the place to convey such important information to your reader. This is also the place to suggest further lines of research that will help refine, clarify inconsistencies with, or provide additional support for your hypotheses. Finally, in the summary section of your paper, reiterate the significance of your research and your research findings and speculate upon the path that future research efforts should take.

Writing in political theory

Political theory differs from other subfields in political science in that it deals primarily with historical and normative, rather than empirical, analysis. In other words, political theorists are less concerned with the scientific measurement of political phenomena than with understanding how important political ideas develop over time. And they are less concerned with evaluating how things are than in debating how they should be. A return to our democracy example will make these distinctions clearer and give you some clues about how to write well in political theory.

Earlier, we talked about how to define democracy empirically so that it can be measured and tested in accordance with scientific principles. Political theorists also define democracy, but they use a different standard of measurement. Their definitions of democracy reflect their interest in political ideals – for example, liberty, equality, and citizenship – rather than scientific measurement. So, when writing about democracy from the perspective of a political theorist, you may be asked to make an argument about the proper way to define citizenship in a democratic society. Should citizens of a democratic society be expected to engage in decision-making and administration of government, or should they be satisfied with casting votes every couple of years?

In order to substantiate your position on such questions, you will need to pay special attention to two interrelated components of your writing: (1) the logical consistency of your ideas and (2) the manner in which you use the arguments of other theorists to support your own. First, you need to make sure that your conclusion and all points leading up to it follow from your original premises or assumptions. If, for example, you argue that democracy is a system of government through which citizens develop their full capacities as human beings, then your notion of citizenship will somehow need to support this broad definition of democracy. A narrow view of citizenship based exclusively or primarily on voting probably will not do. Whatever you argue, however, you will need to be sure to demonstrate in your analysis that you have considered the arguments of other theorists who have written about these issues. In some cases, their arguments will provide support for your own; in others, they will raise criticisms and concerns that you will need to address if you are going to make a convincing case for your point of view.

Drafting your paper

If you have used material from outside sources in your paper, be sure to cite them appropriately in your paper. In political science, writers most often use the APA or Turabian (a version of the Chicago Manual of Style) style guides when formatting references. Check with your instructor if he or she has not specified a citation style in the assignment. For more information on constructing citations, see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial.

Although all assignments are different, the preceding outlines provide a clear and simple guide that should help you in writing papers in any sub-field of political science. If you find that you need more assistance than this short guide provides, refer to the list of additional resources below or make an appointment to see a tutor at the Writing Center.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing the original version of this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout's topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find the latest publications on this topic. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial.

Becker, Howard S. 1986. Writing for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, Book, or Article . Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Cuba, Lee. 2002. A Short Guide to Writing about Social Science , Fourth Edition. New York: Longman.

Lasswell, Harold Dwight. 1936. Politics: Who Gets What, When, How . New York, London: Whittlesey House, McGraw-Hill Book Company, inc.

Scott, Gregory M. and Stephen M. Garrison. 1998. The Political Science Student Writer's Manual , Second Edition. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Inc.

Turabian, Kate L. 1996. A Manual for Writers of Term Papers , Theses, and Dissertations, Sixth Edition. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

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College of Social & Applied Human Sciences

Writing Guide

Below are the requirements for all political science courses. Students are expected to follow the instructions in this guide for all of their written assignments. Individual course instructors may provide specific instructions for their particular courses or written assignments. Otherwise, students are required to follow the instructions in this guide.

The guide focuses on four important requirements for writing an academic paper. It is organized in the following sections: (A) Citation Style; (B) Use of Sources; (C) Structuring a Research Paper; and (D) Editing and Formatting. All of these are important for the assessment of written assignments.

Download the Writing Guide PDF

Citation Style

Apa citation style guide.

Students must use the APA citation style for all of their written assignments. The APA style guide can be found on the library website. Familiarize yourself with this guide as you will be required to follow it for both in-text citations and full citations in the reference list.

Consistency in Citation

Students are required to use in-text citations to cite sources and these must be consistent with APA throughout the assignment. Likewise, all of the items in your reference list must follow the APA style consistently. If you are using reference software , always check that all of the citations are imported properly and consistently into the document.

Citing Judicial Decisions

When citing judicial decisions, students should follow the Canadian Uniform Guide to Legal Citation (also known as the McGill Guide). The in-text citation should include the name of decision, year, and paragraph number (if applicable). If there is no paragraph number available, a page number will suffice. For example:

The Supreme Court has ruled that no level of government has the authority to act alone to change the "fundamental nature and role" of Canada’s political institutions (Reference re Senate Reform, 2014, para. 48).

In your reference list, the full case information should be included. If you are citing from a database (such as CanLII), you should include a database identifier. For example:

Good Spirit School Division No. 204 v Christ the Teacher Roman Catholic Separate School Division No. 212, 2017 SKQB 109 (CanLII) R. v. Oakes, [1986] 1 S.C.R. 103 Reference re Senate Reform, [2014] 1 S.C.R. 704

Use of Sources

Presenting and integrating others' ideas.

When you quote directly, paraphrase, or borrow specific ideas or statistics from another source, you must include the author’s last name (or last names), the year of publication, and the relevant page number(s) in the text [for example, (Mau, 2013, p. 112)] immediately following the borrowed information.

When you refer to general ideas, arguments, or positions put forth by others, you must include the author’s last name (or last names) and the year of publication; page numbers are not necessary [for example, (Riddell, Hausegger & Hennigar, 2013)].

In either case, you can also introduce the author or authors in the text and include the other relevant information in parentheses. For example:

  • "Future Y-PAR research should be complemented by efforts to embed young mothers' contributions into community development and policy development more broadly" according to Levac (2013, p. 425).
  • In their examination of five Canadian social welfare programs, Koning and Banting (2013) find a range of permanent and temporary forms of exclusion affecting different categories of newcomers.
  • Johnson (2010) argues that public health narratives in Honduras shape policy options.

When you wish to claim that an argument or hypothesis is widely supported by several scholars, or when you wish to point to general fields of study , you need to include several sources. For example:

  • It is commonplace to note that the introduction of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms has resulted in an increased policy role for the Supreme Court of Canada (Baker, 2009, p. 171; Hausegger, Hennigar and Riddell, 2015, p. 353; Snow, 2012, p. 172)
  • Many scholars have written about new forms of activism in the Middle East (Clark & Yaghi, 2014; Schlaim, 2014; Shukor, 2014; Sreberny, 2015).

You do not need to source easily verifiable facts (e.g., Halifax is the capital of Nova Scotia).

Overall, it is your responsibility to know exactly what constitutes plagiarism. It is considered academic misconduct whether you intend it or not. If in doubt, ask your instructor or someone at the Library’s writing services desk. You can also check out the library’s website for more details on plagiarism . Most importantly, start your work early to avoid the pressure that can lead to making bad decisions.

Identifying Appropriate Sources

Sources are used to support the argument being made. When identifying and using sources, their quality needs to be evaluated.

Peer-review is a "collaborative process that allows manuscripts submitted to a journal to be evaluated and commented upon" (Taylor & Francis Editor Resources, 2016). Two or more independent experts check the quality and contribution of the scholarship presented in peer-reviewed or 'refereed' work . Most scholarly journals are peer-reviewed. Peer-reviewed work is especially rigorous. It should be used as much as possible.

Other forms of scholarly work such as conference papers or conference proceedings may have been editor-reviewed but not peer-reviewed. Diligence is required with this literature to make sure that the arguments being presented make sense.

A lot of work that is relied on in political science is non-reviewed or undergoes an alternative review process . Government documents (policy papers, legislation, etc.), community organization publications (e.g. research reports by the United Way, the Girls Action Foundation) and research or papers produced by think tanks and research institutes (e.g. the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the Fraser Institute, the Institute for Research on Public Policy) fall into this category.

In some cases, advisory groups work together to review publications. In other cases, there is no review at all. It is necessary to know what type of review has occurred to determine how and whether to use a source. If in doubt consult with your instructor.

In all cases, the author(s) matter . For example, drawing from Random Rita’s blog to help you make a point about intergovernmental relations is not appropriate, whereas Dr. Pamela Palmater’s Indigenous Nationhood blog and website may serve as an appropriate source of contemporary discourse around Indigenous issues. On the other hand, if Random Rita gives an account of an experience of dealing with intergovernmental relations, and her experience is relevant to your argument, it may be useful as a supplemental source.

Structuring a Research Paper

A research paper should begin with an introduction and should be followed by the body, wherein points of argument are presented. In a conclusion, arguments are summed up. This includes insights that have been gained. In the body of the paper each point of argument should have its own paragraph. There is no such thing as a three-paragraph essay. You will need as many paragraphs as it takes to write an introduction, present the points of argument needed and write a conclusion.

The introduction should accomplish three things: introduce the relevance of the paper, state the main argument or thesis and provide a roadmap of the remainder of the paper – identifying the vital steps of the argument. The thesis statement needs to be specific and argumentative, in that it takes a specific perspective on the question at hand. This does not mean that a paper should be completely one-sided. As an argument is developed, counterarguments should be acknowledged – this helps to disarm critics and make an argument more convincing.

In the body of a paper, points of argument are presented. Do not try to make more than one point of argument in a paragraph. Each paragraph should start with one point of argument followed by the evidence for this specific point. The first sentence of the paragraph is very important, so ask yourself why you are presenting the material in this paragraph. If the first sentence does not make that clear, rewrite it. This way repetition of arguments can be avoided. Make sure that everything in the essay directly helps to defend the main thesis.

An effective conclusion should summarize the main thesis and the most important supporting arguments, while discussing the implications of the thesis and the insights gained. Never introduce new evidence during the conclusion.

Editing and Formatting

Editing your paper.

Students are expected to proofread and edit their papers before handing them in. Multiple grammatical and spelling errors detract from the overall quality of the paper.

Clarity in writing is crucial. Unclear writing detracts from the overall quality of the paper. Work on keeping it simple. For advice on improving your style consult the library website .

Formatting Your Paper

  • All papers should be double-spaced and use a well-readable font (e.g. Times New Roman, Arial, Cambria) of size 11 or 12.
  • Margins should be 1 inch/2.54 cm on the sides and 1.25 inches/3.17 cm on the top and bottom.
  • All pages must be numbered.
  • All papers should have a title that reflects the content of the paper. The title page should include the paper’s title, student name and number, course number, instructor’s name, and assignment deadline.
  • If handing in a hard copy, the paper should be stapled.

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Political Science Essay Example

Cathy A.

Get Inspired with these Amazing Political Science Essay Examples

Published on: May 8, 2023

Last updated on: Jan 30, 2024

political science essay example

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Many students struggle to write effective political science essays that meet the expectations of their professors. They may have difficulty organizing their thoughts, conducting research, or making persuasive arguments.

One way to improve your political science essay writing skills is to study examples of successful essays in this field. 

By analyzing the structure, and content of these essays, you can learn valuable lessons that will help you write better essays.

In this blog, we provide examples of high-quality political science essays in different different areas of the field. 

Whether you're a beginner or an advanced student, you'll find valuable insights to help you succeed in your coursework.

Let’s get started!

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What is a Political Science Essay? Understanding the Basics

A political science essay explores a particular topic or issue within the field of political science. It typically requires students to conduct research, analyze data, and make persuasive arguments based on their findings.

These essays can take many different forms, depending on the specific requirements of the assignment. They can be comparative essays that examine the similarities and differences between two or more political systems.

They can also be theoretical essays that explore different political theories that analyze real-world political phenomena.

Regardless of its specific type, all such essays should adhere to certain basic principles. They should have a clear thesis statement, use evidence to support their arguments, and be written in clear and concise language.

Political Science Essay Examples

Now that we have a basic understanding of these essays, let's take a closer look at some of its examples.

By analyzing these essays, you can gain valuable insights into how to write political essays.

Political Science Paper Example

Political Science Research Paper Example

Political Science Analysis Paper Example

Political Science Term Paper Examples

Political Science Essay Example for Different Fields

Political science is a diverse and dynamic field that encompasses a wide range of topics and perspectives. 

To gain a comprehensive understanding, it's important to study the examples that explore different areas of research and inquiry.

Order Essay

Paper Due? Why Suffer? That's our Job!

The examples given below will help you understand the richness and complexity of political science research.

Political Essay About Poverty

Political Science

The Impact Of Social Movements On National Security

Characteristics Of Political Science

American Political Science

The Political Reform of Japan

The United States and Terrorism

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Kosovo protests 2022

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Political Essay on Politics and Political Decisions

Tips To Write A Write A Compelling Political Science Essay 

To write an effective essay, it is important to approach the topic with care and attention to detail. Consider the following tips for writing a political essay that stands out:

  • Define your Topic: Be clear about the focus of your essay and ensure that it is relevant and interesting to your readers.
  • Conduct Thorough Research: Gather information from credible sources, including academic journals, government reports, and news outlets, to ensure that your arguments are well-supported.
  • Develop A Clear Thesis Statement: Your thesis should be concise and clearly state your argument or position on the topic.
  • Organize Your Essay Effectively: Use clear and logical structure to ensure that your arguments are presented in a coherent and convincing manner.
  • Use Evidence To Support Your Arguments: Incorporate relevant data and examples to support your arguments, and ensure that they are credible and well-sourced.
  • Consider Opposing Viewpoints: Acknowledge and address counterarguments to your position to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the topic.
  • Write Clearly And Concisely : Use simple and direct language to convey your ideas, and avoid unnecessary jargon or technical terms.

Pitfalls To Avoid While Writing A Political Science Essay

To write a strong political essay, it is important to not only follow best practices, but also avoid common pitfalls. 

By keeping these pitfalls in mind, you can create a thoughtful and thorough essay that engages your readers.

  • Oversimplification

Political science is a complex field that deals with multifaceted political issues. Avoid oversimplifying the topic or argument in your essay, and make sure to provide a nuanced and in-depth analysis.

These essays should be objective and free from personal biases. Avoid using emotionally charged language or cherry-picking evidence to support a preconceived conclusion.

  • Using Vague Language

Political essays should be precise and clear in their language. Avoid using vague terms or generalizations, and strive to use concrete and specific language.

  • Ignoring Counterarguments

To write a convincing political science essay, it is important to consider and address counterarguments. Avoid ignoring opposing viewpoints, and make sure to provide a thorough analysis of alternative perspectives.

In conclusion, writing political science essays is a great way to explore important political issues. It can also help you in learning about how power and governance work. 

By looking at examples, and writing tips, you can write a strong essay that contributes to the field. 

Whether you're a student, a policy analyst, or just interested in politics, political essays help you understand how decisions get made.

If you need help writing your essay, CollegeEssay.org has an AI essay generator that can assist you. 

Our political science essay writing service can help you write a well-organized essay that meets your needs.

So what are you waiting for? Reach out to us and request ' write me an essay ' to get started!

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conclusion of political science assignment

Browse Course Material

Course info.

  • Prof. Suzanne Berger

Departments

  • Political Science

As Taught In

  • Globalization
  • International Economics
  • Political Economy
  • Social Justice

Learning Resource Types

Assignments.

Please write an essay on one of the two topics below. The essay should be 12-15 pages double-spaced. It is due on Lecture 7 at start of class. No additional reading or research is required beyond the syllabus, class lectures and section discussions.

  • Historically, free trade seems to be a rather recent policy. Why were governments more protectionist in the past? Why and when - did states stop providing protection against economic forces coming from outside their borders? Is it that states are less willing - or that they are less able-to provide such protection today? What changed? The essay should consider alternative explanations of the decline of protectionism. It should identify which changes grew out of changes within domestic societies (e.g., in ideas, or interests, or national policies) and which derive from international factors (e.g., “globalization,” new institutions, changes in the relative power of different countries, and so forth). After considering different approaches, lay out and provide evidence for your own conclusion about the most convincing explanation. [Feel free if you wish to take a longer historical perspective and to consider the fall-rise-fall of protectionism from the 19th to the 21st centuries.]
  • Who is for free trade and for capital mobility? Who opposes them (one, or the other, or both)? Do the positions on free trade and capital flows of individuals and of social groups depend mainly on their economic interests? Do given economic interests point clearly to support or opposition for lowering the barriers to cross-border flows? Or if some other factors are more important in determining positions on trade and capital markets - what are they? Which “other factors” might matter in explaining support or opposition? Lay out alternative views presented in the readings, and present your own conclusion. Provide evidence (historical or contemporary) from at least two different countries. Whichever position you take, be sure to consider counter-arguments.

Please write an essay on one of the two questions below. The paper should be 12-15 pages double spaced and it is due at the start of the last class.

  • How can we evaluate the effects of globalization as against the other processes at work in the world at the same time? Why should we want to be able to sort out the impact of globalization from the impacts of other forces at work-how does this matter? Consider these issues by focusing on one important contemporary social, political, or economic issues. Examples might be inequality, economic growth, unemployment and job creation, development, democracy. Analyze how globalization has affected changes in this area, and in order to be able to specify the role of globalization, lay out carefully the other processes that may be at work. Lay out the argument on all sides, and draw your own conclusion about the significance of globalization for the issue in question. Consider whether changes in public policy (and which changes) might improve outcomes. Use evidence and arguments from readings of the entire semester in developing the arguments. [Note: you may choose some other issue, like culture, environment, or innovation - and examine globalization’s effects. But there’s not enough in the readings to make that possible, so you’d have to do extra reading. For the topics listed above, it is possible to write a good essay without further research.]
  • Opponents of globalization argue that it weakens national governments making it difficult or impossible for them to maintain social welfare policies, environmental policies, and other fiscal redistributive measures. Others claim there is little or no evidence of national governments’ decline. Yet other writers seem to think that whatever the effects of globalization on governments, they are likely to be beneficial for long-term economic growth. Please analyze the claims laid out in this controversy, and try to argue the strongest case you can in favor of the view(s) you find most convincing. In doing so be sure to consider seriously the case that might be made against your position, and why you reject it.

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What is politics?

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

This course was dedicated to exploring the questions of what politics is and why it’s important. You began to work through these questions by studying a list reflecting some of the more extraordinary political events of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. You also reflected on the more ordinary side of politics and explored the implications of politics for our day-to-day lives.

In Section 2 of the course you were introduced to various definitions of politics and to the idea that politics is an essentially contested concept.

Finally, you listened to audio interviews with four differently positioned individuals to get their perspectives on what politics is and why it is important, and on what they considered to be the most significant political events of the twenty-first century.

During this course, you were introduced to a lot of different interpretations of politics and a variety of views on its importance.

  • Has your understanding of politics and its importance changed since you started this course?
  • Would you answer the question of what politics is and why it is important differently now than you did when you began your study?

This is the answer you gave at the beginning of this week:

How would you answer this same question now?

Previous

SPS

Political Science: Meaning, Nature, Scopes, and Importance [7points]

When you are going to start the study of Political Science, the first thing you should know is the meaning nature, and scope of political science . Here I have explained each and every part of your query.

Human knowledge is basically divided into two extensive categories. One is Natural Science and the other one is Social Science.

Natural science deals with the physical world such as land, weather, water, forests, etc, whereas social science deals with the human being, their collective social life, and activities.

meaning nature and scope of political science

Humans have a multidimensional social life such as economic, political, historical, sociological, etc.

Table of Contents

What is Political Science?

Political science is a part of social science that deals with the political problems of human beings and the subject matter of political science is political institutions (State, Government, Judiciary, Parliament, Pressure groups, Political Parties , etc.),  Political behavior, and activities of humans, etc. It is also related to other social science subjects like history, sociology, philosophy, economics, etc. 

Meaning and Definition of Political Science

Political science is the combination of two words one is Political and another one is science .

Political refers to power and authority. That is, everything related to power and authority is political. For example, all institutions (State, Government, Judiciary, Parliament, Pressure groups, Political Parties, etc) and actions of humans related to power are subject to politics.

The English word ‘Science’ comes from the Latin word ‘Scientia’, which means knowledge that is acquired by systematic study.

Must Read- Is Political Science A Science? [3 Reasons]

So It means a systematic study of political institutions, the political behavior of human beings, political systems, international relations, and all the issues related to power and authority.

The famous Greek philosopher Aristotle said that “ Man is by nature a political animal…he who is unable to live in a society or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or God ”.

He is considered the father of political science because he is the first person who has defined politics using scientific methods.

The definition of political science is determined by the scope of its field of discussion. The scope of political science has been discussed in the last part of the writing.

The problems of people’s political life are increasing. As time has passed, people’s political thinking has developed more and more.

As a result, the number and variety of definitions of political science are increasing exponentially. There is no universal definition in any social science subject. Since it is a part of social science is also a dynamic science, so its definition is also dynamic.

There are two views to define political science. One is the Traditional View and the other one is the Modern view.

Traditional Definition of Political Science

All the concepts of political science before the nineteenth century belong to the traditional view. And the entire political scientists at that time is called traditional political scientists.

According to traditional political scientists , it deals with the state, Government, and other political institutions.

An American Professor Garner once said that ‘ political science begins and ends with the state ’.  In his view, political science is the social science that determines some formula about the origin and form of the state, the shape, nature, and history of political institutions, and political progress and development.

So in the traditional view, it discusses the origin, nature, ideals, and goals, of the state.

Here are some definitions by different authors of the traditional view

Political science is a historical investigation of what the state has been, an analytical study of what the state is, and a politico-ethical discussion of what the state should be. R.G Gettel ,
Political Science investigates the phenomena of the government as political economy deals with wealth, biology with life, algebra with numbers, and geometry with space and magnitude John Robert Seeley
Political Science is that part of the social science which treats of the foundations of the sate and principles of the government Paul Janet
Political science deals with the origin, development, purpose, and all political problems of the states. Garies
Political science is concerned with the state and with conditions essential for its development. Lord Acton

If you read the above definitions of traditional political scientists carefully then you have noticed that every definition of political science is concentrated on state and government.

So it is clear that in the traditional view, the field of discussion of political science was confined to the state and the government.

Modern Definition of Political Science

The flow of international events now has a profound effect on individual and national life. For this reason, state activity cannot be neutral to the flow of international events and customs.

The social and political relations of the socialized people, the relations of the state with the individual under the state, the relations of the social institution with the individual, and the interrelationships between different states, etc. are included in the modern view of political science.

The modern view of political science refers to the view of political scientists who emerges at the beginning of the twentieth century.

According to modern political scientists like George Catlin, Charles Marriam, Almond, Powell, and David Easton, political science not only deals with the state and government.

It has a broader area that also deals with individual’s political behavior, Political Power, Society, Political Culture, Political Socialization, International Laws, and International Relations, Political systems, Political Processes, and other political groups.

Must-Read- Political Culture: Meaning, Features, 4 Types, And Importance

Here are some definitions by different authors of the modern view

Politics is the study of Influence and the influential Lasswell
Political Science concern itself with the life of men in relation to organized state Laski

David Easton defines political science as an Authoritative allocation of values. He has not seen it as a discussion of state institutions but presents this as a discussion of a political system or process.

Politics is the struggle for power or the influencing of those power. Max Weber

Acceptable Definition of Political Science

As I said, there is no universal definition of it. But from the discussion of the traditional and modern view of political science, it could have an acceptable definition.

Political science is a part of social science in which the philosophical, organizational, and administrative context of the state and politics, the context of national and international, legal and organizational relations, and the comparative context of multiple political systems are scientifically discussed and reviewed.

After completing the Meaning and definition of our topic “Meaning nature and scope of political science”, now it’s time for the Nature of Political Science .

Nature of Political Science

When you study political science, you see politics and political science are used interchangeably. Some political scientists use political theory and political philosophy and political science in the same way.

Again, many are reluctant to call it a science. In order to overcome such confusion, the nature of political science must be studied in a good way. So let’s start.

Political Theory, Political Philosophy, Politics, or Political Science?

The origin of the concept of the state is the need for human interaction. Political Theory includes various views and interpretations about the origin and development of the state, its nature, functions, organizations, and subsidiaries.

Must Read- Political Theory And Why Should We Study Political Theory?

Some basic questions about the nature and purpose of the state take place in the discussion of Political Philosophy .

Must Read – Meaning, History, Features, and Importance of Political Philosophy

Although the name politics is used more for the sake of popularity, political scientists are willing to use the name political science.

Many people want to use the name political science in order to ensure that the discussion of politics does not become a futile policy, but prevails in practical politics.

Political science, like science, has the potential for observation, experience, analysis, and classification. It teaches us how it is possible to analyze political and humanitarian issues in the light of empirical and observational methods.

Scope of Political Science

As I said before, it is a dynamic and social science. That’s why it’s scope or subject matter is always changing.

Until the nineteenth century, its field of discussion was state-centered. At present, the state and any other issues that touch people’s political life are included in the discussion of political science.

So the Scope of political science can be divided into two categories.

  • State-Centric
  • Non-State-Centric

State-Centric discussion

The state is the ultimate expression of socialized life. People’s political life revolves around the state. As a result, the personality of the socialized people develops, and peaceful social life is possible. So there is no doubt that the state is the central subject of political science.

1. Study of Government

This state was again embodied through the government. The state cannot be imagined without the government. The state fulfilled its goals through the government. So the discussion of the state as well as the government becomes necessary.

2. Study of the history of the State

The idea of the present state remains incomplete if we do not discuss the history of the state. In the context of the past and present discussion of the state, it is necessary to see how this institution evolved from the past to the present.

3. Study of Laws

In addition to the state and the government, laws enacted by the government are also included in the discussion of political science. The government passes laws on behalf of the state and maintains peace. So the discussion of law is another matter of political science.

4. Study of International Relations and International laws

At present, the interaction between the citizen and the state is influenced by multiple issues. The flow of international events affects national life.

So, it also deals with international relations and international laws. It includes international organizations like the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, and The World Bank.

5. Study of theoretical and applied political science

Theoretical discussions of political science are about the origin, nature, ideology, independence, law, etc. of the state.

On the other hand, the classification of government, functions, legislation, functions of political institutions, international customs, treaties, and diplomacy are the main topics of applied discussion in it.

Non-State-Centric Discussion

Modern political scientists think that at present political science deals not only with the state but with non-governmental organizations and individuals or groups of political activities, pressure groups, etc. So let’s discuss this in detail.

Must Read- Pressure Group: Meaning, Definitions, Features, & 4Types

1. Study of Influence and Influential

The study of politics is the study of influence and the influential. Lasswell

Many times a person is getting others to work on what he wants. In this case, the person who did it is called influential and the power of the influential is called influence.

Similarly, a special relationship between an individual, a group, an organization, and a state is called influence.

influence is a relation among actors in which one actor induces other actors to act in some way they would not otherwise act. Robart Dahl

In modern times many political scientists have emphasized influence as a subject of political science. The tendency of behavioral statesmen is particularly observed. According to them, the influential people of society control the distribution of goods or values.

And this is exactly the reason why it is necessary to discuss political science with influence and influential.

2. Study of Conflict and Disagreement

Conflict lies at the heart of politics. In a world of universal agreement, there would be no room for it. J.D.B Miller

Disagreements and disputes create politics. That means the political situation is created when the work on which there is disagreement is organized. And that is when the law needs to be created and enacted.

According to eminent scientists, politics prevails when there is disagreement. And politics is about resolving that conflict.

So it can be said that it also deals with the conflict and disagreements which are occurred in any society and finding out the resolution of those conflicts.

3. Study of Authoritative Allocation of Values

According to Political scientist David Easton ,  it deals with the authoritative allocation of values. “ Political Science be described as the study of the authoritative allocation of values for society” .

Here are three words in the above sentence. These are Value, Allocation, and Authoritative.

The word value here refers to the needs and wants of socialized people. What is valuable to a person is what he needs. It is not possible to meet all the needs of all people in any society because every society has a shortage of resources.

So it meets the needs of some people. Conflict begins among members of society to meet their own needs. Conflict resolution is needed to prevent social crises as a result of this conflict.

Society has to constantly decide how much car needs to be met on the basis of limited resources. That is, in Easton’s language, how the value will be fixed or how its allocation will be.

Authority makes this important decision for society. The process of making this decision by the authority is called the allocation of values.

4. Study of Political Dynamics

The study of political dynamics is very important because it deals with the current forces at work in government and politics. It includes the study of political parties, pressure groups, public opinion, lobbies, etc.

Importance of Political Science

The study of political science is very important and significant in this socio-economic-political society. By studying it people can know how and why the state is organized and why its constitution is justified.

It makes people more conscious about their rights and duties. Those who know political science, always take useful part in social and political affairs.

Robert Dahl rightly said that “ A citizen encounters politics in the government of a country, town, school, church, business firm, trade union, club, political party, civic association and a host of organizations. Politics is one of the unavoidable facts of human existence. Everyone is involved in some fashion at some time in some kind of political system .”

After knowing about the meaning nature and scope of political science, you have realized some basic points which tell you why to study it. or what is the importance of political science ?

1. Understand Citizenship

It enables you to understand the relationship between an individual or citizen and the state. Citizen participates in the decision-making process of governance in the name of election and forms a government under which they are governed.

2. Know the Political Thoughts and Ideas of the Eminent Political Thinkers

We are influenced by the ideas of political thinkers like Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Karl Marx, etc. and it helps us to understand the present political problem and allow us to find out the solution to those problems.

3. Make Citizen Conscious of Their Rights and Duties

I have already said that it allows us to understand our rights and duties in the society we live. Rights are the most important aspect of any individual.

Rights are the one that helps individuals to grow in terms of their talent. Besides this, it also tells citizens about their duties to society.

4. Understands Recent Trends in the World

It also allows us to understand the current trends in the world. By the study of political science, we can search for what is happening around us. This is the era of globalization. And globalization affects our daily life but how? To solve this question we have to study it.

5. Understand the Role of Government, Political Parties, and Pressure Groups

What should be the role of a political party and how do pressure groups affect the decision-making process of the government? 

It gives you clear ideas of these questions that help you to understand how the government is formed, what’s your role in the decision-making process of the government, etc.

So it can be said that a modern man cannot be perfect without knowing facts about political science. In simple importance it is precious. It improves our living standards.

After a long discussion on the Meaning Nature and Scope of Political Science, it can be concluded that it is the branch of social science in which we study the state, government, political theory, politics, political institutions, the life of political man, international relations, laws and organizations, influence and influential, authoritative allocation of values, etc.

So it can be said that it is a dynamic science which means the nature and scope of political science are extensive and always changeable. It empowers us to think differently about our society as a political as well as a social animal.

Let me share your experience with what you have learned in “ Meaning Nature and Scope of Political Science “.

Share this with the needful students as much as you can. Thank you.

  • Mahajan, V.  Political theory . 5th ed. India: S Chand & Company Ltd, 2015.
  • Easton, David. The Political System-An Inquiry into the Study of Political Science , New York, 1971.
  • Hacker, Andrew. Political Theory , New York, 1961.
  • Dahl, Robert A. A Preface to Democratic Theory , Chicago, 1967.

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Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper: Writing a Policy Memo

  • Purpose of Guide
  • Design Flaws to Avoid
  • Independent and Dependent Variables
  • Glossary of Research Terms
  • Narrowing a Topic Idea
  • Broadening a Topic Idea
  • Extending the Timeliness of a Topic Idea
  • Academic Writing Style
  • Choosing a Title
  • Making an Outline
  • Paragraph Development
  • Executive Summary
  • The C.A.R.S. Model
  • Background Information
  • The Research Problem/Question
  • Theoretical Framework
  • Citation Tracking
  • Content Alert Services
  • Evaluating Sources
  • Reading Research Effectively
  • Primary Sources
  • Secondary Sources
  • Tiertiary Sources
  • What Is Scholarly vs. Popular?
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Quantitative Methods

Using Non-Textual Elements

  • Limitations of the Study
  • Common Grammar Mistakes
  • Writing Concisely
  • Avoiding Plagiarism
  • Footnotes or Endnotes?
  • Further Readings
  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Dealing with Nervousness
  • Using Visual Aids
  • Grading Someone Else's Paper
  • Types of Structured Group Activities
  • Group Project Survival Skills
  • Multiple Book Review Essay
  • Reviewing Collected Essays
  • Writing a Case Study
  • About Informed Consent
  • Writing Field Notes
  • Writing a Policy Memo
  • Writing a Research Proposal
  • Bibliography

A policy memo is a practical and professionally written document that can vary in length from one page to over one hundred pages. It provides analysis and/or recommendations directed to a predetermined audience regarding a specific situation or topic. A well-written policy memo reflects attention to the research problem. It is well organized and structured in a clear and concise style that assumes the reader possesses limited knowledge of, as well as little time to conduct research about, the issue of concern. There is no thesis statement or overall theoretical framework underpinning the document; the focus is on describing one or more specific policy recommendations and their supporting action items.

Davis, Jennifer. Guide to Writing Effective Policy Memos . MIT OpenCourseWare, Water and Sanitation Infrastructure Planning in Developing Countries, Spring 2004; Pennock, Andrew. “The Case for Using Policy Writing in Undergraduate Political Science Courses.” PS: Political Science and Politics 44 (January 2011): 141-146.

How to Approach Writing a Policy Memo

Policy memo writing assignments are intended to promote the following learning outcomes :

  • Help students learn how to write academically rigorous, persuasive papers about a specific “real-world” issue;
  • Learn how to choose and craft a document’s content based on the needs of a particular audience [rather than for a general readership];
  • Prepare students about how to write effectively in non-academic settings;
  • Teach students to be client-oriented and to better anticipate the assumptions and concerns of their targeted readership; and,
  • Enable students to create original work that synthesizes their research into a succinctly written document advocating change or a specific course of action.

You should not approach writing a policy memo like you would an academic research paper. Yes, there are certain commonalities in how the content is presented [e.g., a well-written problem statement], but the overarching objective of a policy memo is not to discover or create new knowledge. It is focused on providing a pre-determined group of readers the rationale for choosing a particular policy alternative or specific course of action. In this sense, most policy memos possess a component of advocacy and policy advice intended to promote evidence-based dialog about an issue.

Given these intended learning outcomes, keep in mind the following: Focus and Objectives The overall content of your memo should be strategically aimed at achieving the following goal: convincing your target audience about the accuracy of your analysis and, by extension, that your policy recommendations are valid. Avoid lengthy digressions and superfluous narration that can distract the reader from understanding the policy problem. Professionally Written Always keep in mind that a policy memorandum is a tool for decision-making. Keep it professional and avoid hyperbole that could undermine the credibility of your document. The presentation and content of the memo should be polished, easy to understand, and free of jargon. Writing professionally does not imply that you can’t be passionate about your topic, but your policy recommendations should be grounded in solid reasoning and a succinct writing style. Evidence-based A policy memo is not an argumentative debate paper. The reader should expect your recommendations to be based upon evidence that the problem exists and of the consequences [both good and bad] of adopting particular policy alternatives. To address this, policy memos should include a clear cost-benefit analysis that considers anticipated outcomes, the potential impact on stakeholder groups you have identified, clear and quantifiable performance goals, and how success is to be measured. Accessibility A policy memo requires clear and simple language that avoids unnecessary jargon and concepts of an academic discipline. Do not skip around. Use one paragraph to develop one idea or argument and make that idea or argument explicit within the first one or two sentences. Your memo should have a straightforward, explicit organizational structure that provides well-explained arguments arranged within a logical sequence of reasoning [think in terms of an if/then logic model--if this policy recommendation, then this action; if this benefit, then this potential cost; if this group is allocated resources, then who may be excluded]. Presentation Style The visual impact of your memo affects the reader’s ability to grasp your ideas quickly and easily. Include a table of contents and list of figures and charts, if necessary. Subdivide the text using clear and descriptive headings to guide the reader. Incorporate devices such as capitalization, bold text, and bulleted items but be consistent, and don’t go crazy; the purpose is to facilitate access to specific sections of the paper for successive readings. If it is difficult to find information in your document, policy makers will not use it. Practical and Feasible Your memorandum should provide a set of actions based on what is actually happening in reality. The purpose is never to base your policy recommendations on future scenarios that are unlikely to occur or that do not appear realistic to your targeted readers. Here again, your cost-benefit analysis can be essential to validating the practicality and feasibility to your recommendations. Explicit Transparency Provide specific criteria to assess either the success or failure of the policies you are recommending. As much as possible, this criteria should be derived from your cost/benefit analysis. Do not hide or under-report information that does not support your policy recommendations. Just as you should note limitations in an original research study, a policy memo should describe the weaknesses of your analysis. Be straightforward about it because doing so strengthens your arguments and it will help the reader to assess the overall impact of recommended policy changes.

NOTE : Technically, your policy memo could argue for maintaining the status quo. However, the general objective of policy memos is to examine opportunities for transformative change and the risks of on-going complacency. If you choose to argue for maintaining the current policy trajectory, be concise in identifying and systematically refuting all relevant policy options. Summarize why the outcomes of maintaining the status quo are preferable to any alterative policy options.

Herman, Luciana. Policy Memos . John F. Kennedy School of Government. Harvard University; How to Write a Public Policy Memo . Student Learning Center. University of California, Berkeley; Policy Memo . Thompson Writing Program, Writing Studio. Duke University; Policy Memo Guidelines . Cornell Fellows Program. Cornell University; Memo: Audience and Purpose . The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University; Policy Memo Requirements and Guidelines, 2012-2013 edition . Institute for Public Policy Studies. University of Denver; Thrall, A. Trevor. How to Write a Policy Memo . University of Michigan--Dearborn, 2006; Writing Effective Memos . Electronic Hallway. Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs. University of Washington; Writing Effective Policy Memos . Water & Sanitation Infrastructure Planning syllabus. Spring 2004. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Structure and Writing Style

The contents of a policy memo can be organized in a variety of ways. Below is a general template adapted from the “Policy Memo Requirements and Guidelines, 2012-2013 edition” published by the Institute for Public Policy Studies at the University of Denver and from suggestions made in the book, A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis: The Eightfold Path to More Effective Problem-Solving [Eugene Bardach. 4th edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2012] . Both provide useful approaches to writing a policy memo should your professor not provide you with specific guidance. The tone of your writing should be formal but assertive. Note that the most important consideration in terms of writing style is professionalism, not creativity. I.  Cover Page Provide a complete and informative cover page that includes the document title, date, the full names and titles of the writer or writers [i.e., Joe Smith, Student, Department of Political Science, University of Southern California]. The title of the policy memo should be formally written and specific to the policy issue [e.g., “Charter Schools, Fair Housing, and Legal Standards: A Call for Equal Treatment”]. For longer memos, consider including a brief executive summary that highlights key findings and recommendations.

II.  Introduction and Problem Definition A policy memorandum should begin with a short summary introduction that defines the policy problem, provides important contextual background information, and explains what issues the memo covers. This is followed by a short justification for writing the memo, why a decision needs to be made [answering the “So What?” question], and an outline of the recommendations you make or key themes the reader should keep in mind. Summarize your main points in a few sentences, then conclude with a description of how the remainder of the memo is organized.

III.  Methods This is usually where other research about the problem or issue of concern is summarized. Describe how you plan to identify and locate the information on which your policy memo is based. This may include peer-reviewed journals and books as well as possible professionals you interviewed, databases and websites you explored, or legislative histories or relevant case law that you used. Remember this is not intended to be a thorough literature review; only choose sources that persuasively support your position or that helps lay a foundation for understanding why actions need to be taken.

IV.  Issue Analysis This section is where you explain in detail how you examined the issue and, by so doing, persuade the reader of the appropriateness of your analysis. This is followed by a description of how your analysis contributes to the current policy debate. It is important to demonstrate that the policy issue may be more complex than a basic pro versus con debate. Very few public policy debates can be reduced to this type of rhetorical dichotomy. Be sure your analysis is thorough and takes into account all factors that may influence possible strategies that could advance a recommended set of solutions.

V.  Proposed Solutions Write a brief review of the specific solutions you evaluated, noting the criteria by which you examined and compared different proposed policy alternatives. Identify the stakeholders impacted by the proposed solutions and describe in what ways the stakeholders benefit from your proposed solution. Focus on identifying solutions that have not been proposed or tested elsewhere. Offer a contrarian viewpoint that challenges the reader to take into account a new perspective on the research problem. Note that you can propose solutions that may be considered radical or unorthodox, but they must be realistic and politically feasible.

VI.  Strategic Recommendations Solutions are just opinions until you provide a path that delineates how to get from where you are to where you want to go. Describe what you believe are the best recommended courses of action ["action items"]. In writing this section, state the broad approach to be taken, with specific practical steps or measures that should be implemented. Be sure to also state by whom and within what time frame these actions should be taken. Conclude by highlighting the consequences of maintaining the status quo [or if supporting the status quo, why change at this time would be detrimental]. Also, clearly explain why your strategic recommendations are best suited for addressing the current policy situation.

VI.  Limitations As in any academic paper, you must describe limitations to your analysis. In particular, ask yourself if each of your recommendations are realistic, feasible, and sustainable, and in particular, that they can be implemented within the current bureaucratic, economic, political, cultural, or other type of contextual climate in which they reside. If not, you should go back and clarify your recommendations or provide further evidence as to why the recommendation is most appropriate for addressing the issue. If the limitation cannot be overcome, it does not necessarily undermine the overall recommendations of your study, but you must clearly acknowledge it. Place the limitation within the context of a critical issue that needs further study in concurrence with possible implementation [i.e., findings indicate service learning promotes civic engagement, but.there is a lack of data on the types of service learning programs that exist among high schools in Los Angeles].

VII.  Cost-Benefit Analysis This section may be optional but, in some cases, policy memos include an explicit summary analysis of the costs and benefits of each strategic recommendation. If you are asked to include a separate cost-benefit analysis, be concise and brief. Since most policy memos do not have a formal conclusion, the cost-benefit analysis can act as your conclusion by summarizing the key differences among policy alternatives and recommended courses of action.

Bardach, Eugene. A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis: The Eightfold Path to More Effective Problem-Solving . 4th edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2012; Herman, Luciana. Policy Memos . John F. Kennedy School of Government. Harvard University; How to Write a Public Policy Memo . Student Learning Center. University of California, Berkeley;  Policy Memo Guidelines . Cornell Fellows Program. Cornell University; Memo: Audience and Purpose . The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University; Pennock, Andrew. “The Case for Using Policy Writing in Undergraduate Political Science Courses.” PS: Political Science and Politics 44 (January 2011): 141-146; Policy Memo Requirements and Guidelines, 2012-2013 edition . Institute for Public Policy Studies. University of Denver; Thrall, A. Trevor. How to Write a Policy Memo . University of Michigan--Dearborn, 2006; “ What Are Policy Briefs? ” FAO Corporate Document Repository. United Nations; Writing Effective Memos . Electronic Hallway. Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs. University of Washington; Writing Effective Policy Memos . Water & Sanitation Infrastructure Planning syllabus. Spring 2004. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Proofreading the Memo

Problems to Avoid

The style and arrangement of an effectively written memo can differ because no two policies, nor their intended audience of readers, are exactly the same. Nevertheless, before you submit your policy memo, be sure you proofread the document in order to avoid these common problems. If you identify one or more of them, you should rewrite or re-organize the content accordingly.

1.  Acknowledge the law of unintended consequences -- no policy analysis is complete until you have identified for whom the policy is supposed to benefit as well as identify what groups may be impacted by the consequences of implementation. Review your memo and make sure you have clearly delineated who could be helped and who could be potentially harmed or excluded from benefiting from your recommended policy actions. As noted by Wilcoxen, this is also important because describing who may or may not benefit can help you anticipate which stakeholder groups will support your policy recommendations and which groups will likely oppose it. Calculating potential winners and losers will help reveal how much it may cost to compensate those groups excluded from benefiting. By building this compensation into your policy recommendations, you are better able to show the reader how to reduce political obstacles.

2.  Anticipate the reader's questions -- examine your recommended courses of action and identify any open-ended, declarative, or ambiguous statements that could lead the reader to have to ask further questions. For example, you declare that the most important factor supporting school choice among parents is distance from home. Without clarification or additional information, a reader may question why or by what means do you know this, or what distance is considered to be too far? Or, what factors contribute to parent's decision about school choice and distance from schools? What age group does this most apply to? Clarify these types of open-ended statements so that your policy can be more fully understood.

3.  Be concise -- being succinct in your writing does not relate to the overall length of the policy memo or the amount of words you use. It relates to an ability to provide a lot of information clearly and without superfluous detail. Strategies include r eviewing long paragraphs and breaking them up into parts, looking for long sentences and eliminating unnecessary qualifiers and modifiers, and deleting prepositional phrases in favor of adjectives or adverbs. The overarching goal is to be thorough and precise in how you present ideas and to avoid writing that uses too many words or excessively technical expressions.

4. Focus on the results -- while it's important that your memo describe the methods by which you gathered and analyzed the data informing your policy recommendations, the content should focus on explaining the results of your analysis and the logic underpinning your recommendations. Remember your audience. The reader is presumably a decision-maker with limited knowledge of the issue and with little time to contemplate the methods of analysis. The validity of your findings will be determined primarily by your reader's determination that your policy recommendations and supporting action items are realistic and rooted in sound reasoning. Review your memo and make sure the statement about how you gathered the data is brief and concise. If necessary, technical issues or raw data can be included as an appendix.

5.  Minimize subjective reasoning -- avoid emphasizing your personal opinion about the topic. A policy memo should be written in a professional tone with recommendations based upon empirical reasoning while, at the same time, reflecting a level of passion about your topic. However, being passionate does not imply being opinionated. The memo should emphasize presenting all of the facts a reader would need to reach his or her own conclusions about the validity of your recommendations.

6.  Use of non-textual elements -- review all tables, charts, figures, graphs, or other non-textual elements and make sure they are labeled correctly. Examine each in relation to the text and make sure they are described adequately and relate to the overall content of your memo. If these elements are located in appendices, make sure references to them within the text is correct [i.e., reference to Figure 2 is actually the table you want the reader to look at].

Bardach, Eugene and Eric M. Pataschnik. A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis: The Eightfold Path to More Effective Problem-Solving . 5th edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2016; Herman, Luciana. Policy Memos . John F. Kennedy School of Government. Harvard University; How to Write a Public Policy Memo . Student Learning Center. University of California, Berkeley; Memo: Audience and Purpose . The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University;  Policy Memo Requirements and Guidelines, 2012-2013 edition . Institute for Public Policy Studies. University of Denver; Wilcoxen, Peter J. Tips on Writing a Policy Memo . PAI 723, Economics for Public Decisions Course Syllabus. Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University.

Writing Tip

Referencing Sources

Policy memos generally do not include footnotes, endnotes, further readings, or a bibliography. However, if you use supporting information in a memo, cite the source in the text. For example, you may refer to a study that supported a specific assertion by referencing it in the following manner: "A study published in 2012 by the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling showed that public opinion towards China was....” However, some assignments may require a formal list of references. Before writing your memo, be sure you are clear about how your professor wants you to cite any sources referred to in your analysis.

Policy Memo . Thompson Writing Program, Writing Studio. Duke University .

Another Writing Tip

Policy memos are not just text-based but they may also include numeric tables and charts or non-textual elements, such as photographs, maps, and illustrations. However, it is very important that you use non-textual elements judiciously and only in relation to supplementing and clarifying arguments made in the text so as not to distract the reader from the main points of your memo . As with any non-textual elements, describe what the reader is seeing and why the data is important to understanding the research problem.

Yet Another Writing Tip

Including Appendices

The purpose of an appendix is to provide supplementary material that is not an essential part of the main text but which may be helpful in providing the reader with more complete information. If you have information that is vital to understanding an issue discussed in the memo, it can be included in one or more appendices. However, if you have a lot of information, don't write a five page memo and include twenty pages of appendices. Memos are intended to be  succinct and clearly expressed. If there is a lot of data, refer to the source and summarize it, or discuss with your professor how it could be included.

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ASSIGNMENT ON POLITICAL SCIENCE

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International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 2nd Edition

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The concepts of politics and political science are often confused and interchanged. Indeed, they deal with very similar topics, but they are deeply different in meaning. The term " politics " refers to the state of affairs of a country, including the structure of its government and the decisions taken by the ruling party. Conversely, the term " political science " refers to the theoretical analysis of all political systems, including their origins, their underlying values and their goals. While the idea of politics refers to the concrete implementation of social and economic policies, political science provides a more comprehensive understanding of governance and gives us the tools to interpret the government's actions.

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The modern view of government, state, and politics in the study of political science is a product of extensive research and phenomenological analysis of the political, economic, and cultural events that are gradually changing in the 21st century. It also provides information about the fundamental concepts and principles in the study of political science. The convergence of the author’s view is reciprocated by guiding intellectual spirits of the ideas of a “savior”. It has been reminiscing the ideas of classic views in the work of Plato along with the “Republic” as synthesized in the philosophical work by the famous men of during the “Age of Enlightenment just like Locke, Rousseau, Bacon, and all other men. The political decadence of the 21st century needs to pursue a regenerative contextual philosophy designed to appreciate the phenomenology of social facts in the contemporary time.

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The discipline of political science is " ill-defined, amorphous and heterogeneous. " With this diagnosis, editors Fred I. Greenstein and Nelson W. Polsby open their preface to the first Handbook of Political Science (1975: 1). Twenty years later, the main features of political sciences are: specialization, fragmentation and hybridization. Its frontiers are open and moving and need not be defined. The process of specialization has generated an increasing fragmentation in subfields, which are not " amorphous " but rather well-organized and creative. The " heterogeneity " has been greatly nourished by exchanges with neighbouring disciplines through the building of bridges between specialized fields of the various social sciences. This process of cross-fertilization is achieved by hybridization. The relations between political science and the other social sciences are in reality relations between sectors of different disciplines, not between whole disciplines. It is not an " interdisciplinary " endeavor. Since there is no progress without specialization, the creative interchanges occur between specialized subfields, most of the time at the margins of the formal disciplines. The current advancement of the social sciences can be explained in large part by the hybridization of segments of sciences. It would be impossible to conceive of a history of political science and of its current trends without reference to the other social sciences.

The goal of a science of politics is to identify general patterns among abstract concepts. That is, political scientists think about politics and invent abstract concepts that help us describe the political world. But a science of politics requires more than inventive description. It involves the specification of expected causal relationships among the concepts and, ultimately, the determination of whether those expected relationships comport with evidence.

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Final Conclusion: Economic Systems, Markets and Politics

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The economics, with their focus on a pure objective utility maximization, are far from human reality. Economic sciences are exclusively individually oriented. People decide in a social environment, which is why sociology is at least as important for behavior as psychology. The influence of the group (the company) or society must also be taken into account. All modern societies have institutions and organizations, giving them order, and instilling discipline in their citizens to behave in the manner socially desired. Norms, values and morality are important here, including attitudes towards the political and economic system. The attitudes of people in a society to the economically relevant activities have been paid as little attention by economic science as the existence of general economic knowledge.

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