Writing_Tips_Hedberg - The Basics The purpose of writing...

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The purpose of writing short, analytic papers is to give you an opportunity for sustained reflection and analysis of the important issues covered in the course. You’re writing an analytical, NOT a descriptive, paper – this means your goal is not to simply describe what happened but to explain why something occurred or did not occur in a particular way . On the most basic level, a good analytical paper does 3 things: 1) Presents a clear argument or explanation for a particular political event a. Really good papers move beyond simply agreeing with positions taken in the readings. Instead, your goal should be to evaluate those theories while taking your own original position as much as possible 2) Shows a deep understanding of the explanations/theories presented in your readings a. Only after you’ve shown that you understand how others have explained an event can you make a logical case about why and how your preferred explanation was chosen and why the alternative explanations were rejected 3) Provides relevant empirical evidence that backs up whatever claims you’re making RECAP: Your TFs want to see that 1) you can make a logical, interesting causal argument, 2) you understand the strengths and limitations of alternative explanations and 3) you can provide strong evidence to support your claims The Written Product Introduction – introducing your reader to your position and making him or her interested in how you will defend it 1. In the very first paragraph, clearly state your thesis or argument 2. Arguments should be interesting, contestable and tightly focused. Statements such as
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This note was uploaded on 03/07/2012 for the course GOV 40 taught by Professor Stevenrosen during the Spring '10 term at Harvard.

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Writing_Tips_Hedberg - The Basics The purpose of writing...

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