, Spring 2022
The final paper (6 full pages plus bibliography) will be an analysis of an issue, to be selected
from a list of options, that is the subject of an unsettled debate. You will explore the competing
perspectives on the chosen issue and draw your own conclusions based on independent research.
The final should follow the following format: double-spaced, 12-point, Times Roman Font, one?inch margins. Please use APA style citations. The final is to be submitted via the Turnitin link
(found on Blackboard, under “Assignments”) in a MS-Word compatible format by 11:59pm on
May 17th. Make the file name: lastname_firstname_final.doc.
IT IS IMPORTANT THAT ASSIGNMENTS ARE SUBMITTED ON TIME. Barring truly
extenuating circumstances, reviewed on a case-by-case basis, you will lose 3 points for every 24
hours that the final is late (e.g., if you turn in the final on May 18th and you would have received
35/40 on the assignment, you will receive 32/40 after the 3-point deduction). The absolute last
day to submit the final will be May 24th.
Begin by brainstorming on the following questions: What are the most important arguments that
may be offered in support of the chosen view? What are the most important arguments that may
be offered against that view? Which position would you defend? Why? What is the most
important objection(s) to your position? How would you respond?
Your essay should summarize the opposing arguments in the literature and present your own
critical analysis of the evidence offered by the opposing sides. You should take a side in the
debate and defend your position.
The essay should start with an introduction, where you motivate the topic, briefly explain the
debate, and present your argument. Including a roadmap will help the reader preview your
For both sides of the debate, your essay should provide an overview of the literature on the topic,
the main arguments that have been made, and the evidence that has been offered in support of
those arguments. In your analysis, which should constitute the main portion of the essay, present
your critical evaluation of the arguments and the evidence.
The literature overview does not need to be comprehensive. Focus on the works, with emphasis
on modern political science material, that you think are most important/influential. This means
that before you start writing, you will need to critically read the literature to identify the works
you will discuss.
Before you start writing, think about what you want to argue (e.g., what points you want to
make, what evidence you want to present, etc.) and develop an outline that indicates how you
will demonstrate your argument.
You should go through at least two drafts. As you write, you will likely discover new ideas and
points that you will want to incorporate in the essay. In order to make sure that the essay is
intellectually coherent, you must go back and revise.
On that note, an essay is not a random collection of thoughts. Make sure to have a clear topic and
good structure. Remember, if you cannot answer the 5 W’s, you do not yet have a clear
argument. And, use transition words/sentences to guide the reader through your argument.
Likewise, an essay is not an outline. So, develop your ideas. Do not simply state points, but
expand on them/explain their importance and connections to other issues.
Lastly, remember to put yourself the reader’s place. What questions would you raise if you were
a knowledgeable reader unfamiliar with the topic? Revise your paper so as to provide sufficient
information/evidence and to counter potential objections.
Do not use slang, contractions, abbreviations, or text-message acronyms!
Avoid overly long, complex sentences.
Write in the active rather than the passive voice.
When writing about the past, use the past tense.
Avoid block quotes.
Proofread your paper carefully (once on the computer and once in hard copy).
, Spring 2022