Writing a senior thesis in political science

He traced its roots in Enlightenment philosophy to Max Webera thinker whom Strauss described as a "serious and noble mind. A political scientist examining politics with a value-free scientific eye, for Strauss, was self-deluded. Positivismthe heir to both Auguste Comte and Max Weber in the quest to make purportedly value-free judgments, failed to justify its own existence, which would require a value judgment. Through his writings, Strauss constantly raised the question of how, and to what extent, freedom and excellence can coexist.

Writing a senior thesis in political science

Those writing a thesis on political theory may find some parts of this Writing a senior thesis in political science useful selecting an advisor and second reader, for example and other parts less applicable generating testable hypotheses. For other questions on the thesis, and for advice on how you might adapt some of the suggestions here for your own project, consult your advisor or the departmental senior thesis coordinator, Amy Yuen academic year.

Choosing an Advisor and Second Reader Your first task is to secure a thesis advisor. Your advisor will meet with you regularly, give you feedback on written work, and answer crucial questions and concerns you may have about your research.

Whereas in the classroom, the professor is presumed to be the expert on both the subject matter and the political science that treats the subject matter, in a thesis setting you take on the role of expert in your particular subject.

This is because your goal in writing a thesis is to gather original evidence and make an original argument. Accordingly, do not suppose that all is lost if you are not able to find a thesis advisor who is an expert in your particular area of research.

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If you are writing a thesis on India, for example, do not despair if you cannot find an India scholar in the political science department. An advisor can and should offer expertise on the conduct of political science research.

All members of the political science department have been through what you are about to go through: One strategy for selecting an advisor, therefore, is to find someone who has done research in the manner in which you plan to do research.

If you will be working with statistics, find someone with knowledge of statistics. If you will be conducting detailed case studies, find someone who has done case studies, and so on.

Leo Strauss - Wikipedia

Because the second reader is usually not as closely connected with the project as the thesis advisor, his or her feedback can be very valuable as a check on whether your research makes sense to someone who is not intimately familiar with your thought process.

In selecting a second reader, consider someone whose skill set complements, rather than duplicates, that of the thesis advisor.

Finally, do not assume that the thesis advisor and second reader are your only means of getting good advice about your project. This is a college full of great resources and experts who may be useful to you.

Take advantage of these assets! Consult other professors in the political science department and other departments; make use of the writing center in the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Research; discuss your project with your peers and solicit their feedback; and make use of the library and all it has to offer contact social science librarian Brenda Ellis with questions on library materials.

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Components of a Good Thesis Project Good senior theses are clear, well-organized, and contain original thinking and new evidence. The goal is to make a contribution to scholarship in the field by offering something fresh. Note how these works are organized. Each work typically contains a beginning literature review section, a middle section in which it outlines the research design, a third section in which it describes the empirical analysis, and a conclusion that summarizes the broader implications of the work.

Writing a senior thesis in political science

Try to emulate this pattern. In fact, if you are concerned about how much space to expend on literature review vs. Embedded in this organizational pattern are four key elements of an empirical research project.

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The Research Question What is the unexplored area that you are trying to shed light on? What has the other research missed? Tell the reader the research question as early as possible in the introduction.

This is not as easy a task as it sounds. Many of us begin our research projects because we are interested in a particular subject: But a subject is not enough.

Each subject can be associated with innumerable research questions. Four questions that could generate productive research projects are: How deep does Euroskepticism run and what is its impact on voting behavior? How do ethnic and religious animosities affect French election results?Find programme leaders, lecturers, researchers, technicians, directors and managers at our Derby, Buxton and Chesterfield Campuses..

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The senior thesis is open to seniors majoring in political science, with a minimum GPA of in their major, or with approval of a political science faculty member. Though there is no specific course prerequisite, students engaging in a senior thesis. The senior thesis is the capstone intellectual project for students in political science and international studies.

It is intended only for those students who wish to undertake a research. Students can choose from more than 50 majors and special programs, and take advantage of educational experiences uncommon within a small college environment.

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In , Hillary Rodham wrote a page senior thesis for Wellesley College about community organizer Saul Alinsky entitled "There Is Only the Fight An Analysis of the Alinsky Model." The thesis is now available.

While the work by Rodham as a college student was the subject of much speculation in articles and biographies of Hillary Rodham Clinton in the s, access to the thesis was.

Award Winning Theses: Department of Political Science - Northwestern University