By Sept 30 you or your research group (I recommend doing the project yourself and not in groups) must schedule a meeting with the instructor to present their idea for the research project. Immediately after class is a good time for me typically or send email to set a time.

Projects Due December 7-11


All projects must be approved. Thus if the project is not clearly defined, too broad, or an inappropriate topic you will be asked to resubmit the proposal until it is accepted.

Be creative. A more innovative project (i.e., working in an actual campaign, writing & filming a political spot, or whatever) than a standard research project could better fit your needs. Projects other than written papers will be considered. You may find a preliminary/informal visit about your topic thoughts of use. Most projects will, appropriately, be Research in a more traditional sense, .

This is a research project not a normal term paper. Thus you would want a "review of literature" section (argument for why your research matters) but also method (systematic way you access) , results (data presentation or critical anlysis), & discussion secton (So what, how research question is answered, some speculation of why/how etc. Published artilces you find in doing your literrature review, can serve a model for how a paper can be organized. How long the paper should be is a standard question, albeit the "wrong" question. It should be as long as necessary. Journals and coventions don't like more that 20 pages.

HINT: To find an appropriate project you may want to peruse the texts and appropriate journals. Avoid settling too early on a topic or looking only at topics were have covered in class at that point. Allow your natural curiosity about events or items you have observed in politics lead you to an appropriate research question. Remember to narrow, narrow, narrow, the focus of your research question. Also reference the collection of bibliographies at this web site. The one titled Misc. may prove particularly interesting, if for no other reason than to see the variety of ideas which are possible. If you have no idea, just pursuing the bibs should help generate ideas. Also there are amazing materials available on web sites. I really do not want to talk to anyone about their project if they have not consulted the bibliographies on reserve. Bib on homepage, just backup and follow the bibs section.

Paper content:
Usually you will include a (1) review of literature (what is known, what is the argument for worth of doing your research (2) what is your research question(s) hypothesis, (3) what materials do you examine and what is the mehod to do so (4) wha did you find - results - (5) So what conclusions, answer research question, implications. Basically your paper will look much like the journals articles you read in preparation for the project.

For a review of picking a topic see Research Project Power Point



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