Department of Political Science, Queens College

Writing Political Science Papers: Some Useful Guidelines
Peter Liberman, Dept. of Political Science, Queens College, October 2006

A good paper informs and persuades; to do this it must be logically organized, clearly argued, and well documented. Good writing is hard work, but following the rules of thumb below will help you to write better papers and to do so more efficiently.
Editorial Check-list (use in revising your own writing):
1. Makes a clear argument  _____
2. Answers the question _____
3. Addresses counter-arguments  _____
4. Uses argument and evidence rather than opinion and authority  _____
5. Cites sources of ideas, arguments, and facts_____
6. Avoids plagiarism ________
7. Assumes basic knowledge _______
8. Presents main points in a logical order _____
9. Has summary introduction _____
10. Has summary conclusion _____
11. Calls attention to main points in body ______
12. Focuses paragraphs on single topics _____
13. Is concise _____
14. Avoids long quotations _____
15-17.   Clear and correct sentence structure, grammar, spelling, and format _____
18. Uses standard citation format
19. Re-read and revised _____