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Assignment | Poli Sci Field Essay (Khatri): Getting Started

GOVT 2304 | Professor Khatri (Spring 2021)

Final Research Paper: Field Essay

Your Goals:

Assignment Summary:

Each student will submit a 5-7 page field essay on a particular subfield of political science.  For this assignment, you should

  1. pick a particular subfield that interests you,
  2. identify the principal research questions within this field,
  3. discuss the major findings to date, noting any ambiguities or significant disagreements among authors, and
  4. highlight possible paths for future research. 

The following are good examples of field essays:  

Norrander, Barbara. 1996. Database link: LSC login requiredPresidential Nomination Politics in the Post-Reform Era,” Political Research Quarterly 49:4, 875-915. 

Leighley, Jan E. 1995. Database link: LSC login requiredAttitudes, Opportunities and Incentives: A Field Essay on Political Participation,” Political Research Quarterly 48:1, 181-210. 

(also, Smith’s Database link: LSC login requiredInterest Group Influence in the U.S. Congress” in LSQ, which is on your “recommended” list during week 7 and Manza and Cook, “A Democratic Polity?”  American Politics Research (2002) which is also recommended).

These are longer in text and larger in scope than the one required here, but these give you a sense of how to craft a summary and synthesis of a large body of literature.  One strategy in preparing for this project is to identify a smaller portion of a subfield’s literature (perhaps structured around a question) and write a more narrowly focused field essay.

Academic Integrity

All submitted papers will be checked for originality of the work submitted, through Turnitin.com. Points will be deducted from the final grade of the paper as the percentage of the overall work that matches to outside sources increases. Turnitin.com marks not only in text content but also citations that can be found in other sources. Matching citations will not be counted against the student, but matching in text content will. 

Be sure to use the Writing & Citing tab of this guide for academic writing and citation help.

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