African American Politics

Your paper should contain the following elements: 10 pages

1. Statement of the subject, theme, and issue: what is your paper about?

2. Significance of the importance of the subject, theme, issue.

3. Purpose for writing the paper: state clearly what you intend to do. Example: to describe, study, analyze, investigate, document, examine, probe, compare, criticize, explore, explain, etc.

4. Problem: in regard to your subject, what problem or question are you dealing with or answering?

5. Review of selected literature.

• Is literature relevant to your research problem

• Primary sources

• Secondary sources

• Understand and interpretation of sources

• Cohesiveness of sources

• Conclusion – clearly stated research question

6. Thesis: what is your thesis, theory, or argument? If you are employing a theory or testing a theory derived from your research, indicate the author or source. Alternatively, you may be attempting to clarify ambiguities in competing theories or arguments. State them and your synthesis of or alternative to them. Introduce and define key theoretical concepts.

7. Method of analysis: empirical, statistical, etc. I strongly suggest a developmental method which examines the following elements:

a. Note trends, developments, and future challenges related to your subject (including data: empirical, statistical, case studies, interpretative, etc);

b. Expose contradictions, logical inconsistencies, problems, stereotyping, or myth making in your subject;

c. Pose dilemmas, ambiguities, paradoxes, or self-fulfilling prophecies that emerge as a result of contradictions;

d. Construct positive alternatives to the above.

8. Scope and limitations of your paper. You cannot cover everything; specify the parameters of your paper. Limit the discussion to a subject you can handle comfortably. Otherwise, you may end up with a running commentary that rambles on and on but says very little of substance.

9. Your evaluation and/or policy recommendations, if necessary.

10. Summary and/or conclusion.

 
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