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How do we know why the Soviet Union decided to place missiles in Cuba? How do we know why North Korea invaded South Korea? How do we know why the U.S. decided to invade Iraq?
We know the answers to these questions because political science scholars did in-depth research and shared their findings. Conducting, presenting, and publishing research are all integral parts of being a political scientist. Students in political science courses are exposed to the research done by scholars. In turn, professors would like their students to become part of this community of scholars and will assign research papers so that students can demonstrate their knowledge of specific topics.
An indispensable resource, Research and Writing Guide for Political Science provides a brief primer on the basic skills required for writing an effective research paper. It covers conducting research (finding, evaluating, and using sources); the various parts of a research paper and how they should be organized; writing, rewriting, revising, and editing; and citing the research (footnotes, endnotes, bibliographies, reference lists, and different academic citation styles: MLA, APA, and Chicago). A conclusion offers a list of additional resources.