Research and writing are central to our activities as political scientists. This website is intended to aid students engaged in a variety of related activities: writing a senior honors thesis, taking courses in research methods, and writing a paper for a government or social science course.
My Recent Courses
Opportunities for Students
Advice for Students
Essay-Writing Guide for Political Scientists by UC Berkeley Graduate Students and Michael Nelson (PDF)
Essay Writing, A Personal View by David Rayside (U Toronto)
Writing a Political Science Essay by Charles King, Georgetown University
Suggestions for Writing Essays and Research Papers by Erica Chenoweth, Wesleyan University
George Orwell on Writing
Politics and the English Language (an essay by George Orwell)
George Orwell’s 5 Rules for Effective Writing (John Wesley’s summary of the above on “Pick the Brain”)
Recommended Sources on WRITING STYLE and CITATION STYLES:
- UC Berkeley’s Guide to Citation Styles: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/instruct/guides/citations.html
- Williams’ Guide to the Chicago Manual of Style: http://library.williams.edu/citing/styles/chicago2.php
- Diana Hacker’s A Writer’s Reference. This is what I have used since I was an undergraduate. It contains sections on Composing and Revising, Effective Sentences, Word Choice, Grammatical Sentences, ESL Trouble Spots, Punctuation, Mechanics, Research Writing, Documentation (how you reference your sources), and Basic Grammar. Her main website – http://www.dianahacker.com/ – is also useful.
- William Strunk, Jr.’s The Elements of Style. It is accessible through Bartleby.com or through their website. This book focuses on the rules of usage and the principles of composition.
- Another good resource is The Little, Brown Handbook (which is neither little nor brown). It covers the same range of topics as Hacker’s book above does.
Stepcase Lifehack’s The Ultimate Student Resource List
Guidelines for TAKING CLASS NOTES
- Check out these tips from Lifehacker.com
Guidelines for TAKING NOTES WHILE READING:
- Mortimer J. Adler’s (1940) How to Read a Book is not very short but it is valuable. One of the things he does, for instance, is distinguish between “three distinct readings”. Structural, or analytic, reading proceeds from the whole to the parts. Interpretive, or synthetic, reading, proceeds from the parts to the whole. Critical, or evaluative, reading involves judgments by the reader. There is also a newer version of this book, co-authored with Charles Van Doren, which outlines four reading styles.