How to Write a Paper

How to Write a Paper - Some advice on writing a substantive...

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Some advice on or ‘how’ writing a substantive research paper: 1. Pick an appropriate topic. I know this sounds really obvious, but it isn’t always. Ask yourself, is this something I can cover in the space allotted? Is it something I’ll be able to find information on? Does it relate to the class? And of course, make sure it’s something you’re actually interested in. Make sure your topic is neither too broad nor too narrow, and that it’s appropriate to the course. “Civil military relations in the United States”? Too broad. “The significance of carrier pigeons in civil-military relations in the United States on the third Tuesday in January of 1952?” Too narrow. If you aren’t sure about your topic, ask me or Professor Saideman. 2. Have a puzzle. Something about the topic you’ve chosen clearly interests you – what is unusual, interesting, or otherwise puzzling about your topic? Your paper should be the answer to a question relating to your topic. This question should, ideally, be a ‘why’ question. Why did certain events transpire the way they did? Why did a state behave a certain way? Why did a given military take particular action, or do better or worse than we might have
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How to Write a Paper - Some advice on writing a substantive...

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