POli2250 poiltical science
Term Essay: Your task is to write a comparative essay with a view to explaining why two (and only two) of the democratic systems we are studying this term are similar in some way or are different in some way. There is no ideal way of organizing a comparative essay, but it is often easier for you and the reader to deal with the first country or institution, discussing the various aspects of it that are important for the comparison, and then move on to the second. As you proceed through your second case, go through your analysis in roughly the same order as you did the first. Then remind your reader of the similarities or differences along the way. The objective of this assignment is not for you to undertake original research, but rather that you search out what various authorities have to say on the subject and develop your comparative essay based on their research. There are three main parts to an academic essay: an introduction, the main body, and the conclusion. The goal of the introduction is to set out the topic, state what your particular approach or argumentation will be, and tell your reader how the essay will be structured. You may choose to begin your introduction by providing some brief background information or context, a brief story, or a surprising fact or statistic. Once you have focused the reader’s attention, present your thesis, in one sentence or several, depending on the complexity of your argument. A thesis statement is not the same as your topic. A thesis, in contrast, is an argument, generally reduced down to one or more sentences. You should end your introduction by giving your readers a preview or roadmap of your main points. The body of your paper should develop your thesis by presenting your evidence and examples in a logical and orderly fashion that follows the preview in your introduction. The overall goal of this section is to develop your analysis and defend your argument. The conclusion is designed to bring together your essay’s main points and to reassert the strength of the thesis or argument. A conclusion is more than a summary, in that it is important to indicate why there is merit to your thesis or argument – what has been shown as a result of your exploration of the topic.
The length of the essay should be eight to ten double-spaced pages, not including the title page and bibliography. A minimum of five sources should be used and referenced either as footnotes or endnotes. In addition to academic books or printed academic journals, the internet can be an important resource for your research. However, the only online sources to be used for this essay are academic journals and books, and publications from government, and non-governmental organizations. Newspapers, magazines, and Wikipedia are not to be used. If you have a question about the suitability of a particular source, please come see me. Essay Evaluation Criteria: All essays will be assessed using the following five criteria: 1) Presentation of the argument (thesis statement); 2) Organization of the essay; 3) Quality of the evidence/ appropriateness of research; 4) Sentence structure and clarity; and 5) Format and referencing. Please note that there are no marks attached to each criterion; evaluation is achieved by an overall assessment of the essay. In political science, one generally finds that “A” papers make an insightful argument with force and clarity. These papers are well organized, fully developed, with few or no mechanical mistakes. Sentences are clear and unambiguous and, ideally, stylistically elegant. When appropriate, an "A" paper will show detailed understanding of the texts under discussion and will support claims with examples whenever necessary. The thesis in the best "A" papers will be clear, relatively complex, and immediately engaging. Suggested Essay Topics: Explaining differences between states: ▪ Identify the factors that account for the greater success of green or ecology parties in Germany than in the United States.