Research Paper: Full Rough Draft (all sections)
This version of the paper pulls combines your (previously drafted, and hopefully reviewed/edited) Introduction and Literature sections with the remaining sections of the paper.
The main effort for this assignment revolves around describing your data and methods, identifying your hypotheses, conducting your analysis, and presenting your results. While this is still a draft, and does not have to be perfect, I expect it to be readable, well-referenced and logical. If there are analyses that you have not yet completed, but expect to conduct, just describe them broadly and include placeholders (e.g., TBD) in the text for your findings.
Here are some expectations for the major sections of this paper:
This section gives an overview of the main themes in the paper and gives a brief preview of what the paper will cover. This section also clearly states the research question(s) that the paper will address and the organization of the paper.
II. Literature Review (Theory)
This section provides an organized exposition of the ideas and scholarly sources that the student used to develop her/his own ideas for the paper. The literature review should provide a summary of what scholarly work has been done on the student’s area of research (i.e., theory) and also should demonstrate how the student’s work compliments or fits into this existing body of knowledge.
Based on your literature review, you should derive 2-3 bi-variate (or multivariate) hypotheses that you will test in this paper.
IV. Data and Methods
In this section, the student writes a description of the data that the student used for the project (e.g., source, sampling methods, number of observations, general content, etc) along with a description of the methodology used to analyze the data.
V. Empirical Findings/Results
This section is the heart of a traditional research paper. Here you will report the findings from your data analysis, including both descriptive statistics about the individual variables, as well as the results from your bi-variate (or multivariate) analyses. In this part of the paper, you need to draw clear connections between your original research question and the empirical findings. What is the result? How do these empirical findings answer your question(s)?
In this section you also should address any conflicting evidence or limitations in your study. While students think that this weakens their work, it actually strengthens it. By humbly acknowledging the limitations of your work, the reader gets a “truer” picture of your research.
This section should summarize your paper and its major findings. You should also speculate about the directions future research ought to take in light of your findings. **IMPORTANT: Your conclusion should also devote some significant space to a discussion of the implications of your work for decision makers or decision making in the topic area. For example if your paper found that there is a relationship between civic engagement and economic development what implications does that have for decision makers interested in promoting economic development? What implications does it have for policy designed to enhance civic engagement? What are the broader implications for the field of political science or other related fields.
You must include a reference section with all resources used to inform your work, including any data set you utilized in your analysis. Please cite all sources consistently and using a standard citation style (e.g., APA, Chicago, etc).