This website is intended to aid students in the process of creating great questions about politics, in formulating plans to address those questions, and in carrying out the activities necessary to fulfill those plans. The pages on Political Theory are kept distinct because, within political science, the practice of doing theoretical work is often different from the process of doing empirical research, although there is plenty of overlap. The core of the website is a series of pages that mirror major stages in writing a major undergraduate thesis. The first of these is a section on “ Starting a Research Project “ which crucially discusses the processes by which we make observations about the world and formulate the questions that drive our research. This section also discusses many of the things that should be done in the planning stages for a major research project. The largest section on this website is on “Research” . It explores concept formation, the notion of causality, and a range of methods for collecting and analyzing data. The “Writing” section should be of use to all students, regardless of the nature of their approach to political science. Finally, there is a page on “Ethics” , which covers subjects such as plagiarism, and considerations for interviewing people.
• A good paper is the result of a process of writing and revising drafts. For further information and samples, see PHCC Online Writing Center – Essay Organization and Writing Process .
• Research papers must include information from the sources by quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing in addition to your own analysis and evaluation of that information.
• For further information on how to incorporate information from sources in MLA style, see Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing . Aside from the differences in the citation itself, this method applies to how to incorporate information into APA style papers as well.
• Every sentence with information from a source must give credit to the source. Otherwise, it is plagiarism.