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Unformatted text preview: Writing a Political Theory Paper 1. The most important thing about a political theory paper is that it needs to have an argument. This argument is your personal contribution to the interpretive literature. While originality and creativity are important ingredients in any paper, it is most important that your argument be defensible . You defend your argument by relating it to the text under consideration, so before writing the paper, you need to go back and re-read the text, and try to get clear in your mind what is being said. 2. Lecture notes should be used as a guide to help you understand the text, not as a basis for writing your papers . You are crafting your own contribution to a debate, which means that you need to start from the ground up in order to convince us of your position. This task implies engaging with the text yourself . What is necessary at the outset is that you make the case that there is textual evidence for your interpretation. Avoid using references to what has been said in class until after you make your own case. 3. The first thing to do, before you begin writing, is to set down what the arguments are. Often the arguments will be nuanced and complex, and you should note the important passages and read them a couple of times....
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This note was uploaded on 02/11/2012 for the course POLI 232 taught by Professor Levy during the Spring '08 term at McGill.
- Spring '08