You are encouraged to think ahead to your capstone or thesis. If you want to pick a topic for this paper that you expand upon for your later project, this will be beneficial to you.
o Your paper will be 13-14 pages of substantive discussion and analysis, double-spaced. The references list is not included in this page count.
o You will use the social scientific citation style of the American Political Science Association. Examples illustrating this approach can be found in scholarly articles in the American Political Science Review.
o The paper will address a clearly formulated research question or hypotheses and must demonstrate appropriate use of scholarly sources, including articles from academic journals. Your textbook and its endnotes is an excellent resource. As a graduate-level research project, it should demonstrate your effort toward a contribution to our knowledge of a given topic or problem in the area of state politics, government and policy. The paper will provide evidence of designing and carrying out independent analysis of the research questions or hypotheses.
o Your paper will include your own analysis of data. The data analysis may be bivariate or multivariate, depending on your interest and training. You will use a statistical software program, such as SPSS, Stata, R, or Excel. Sources of data include your textbook, and the Book of the States by the Council of State Governments at http://knowledgecenter.csg.org/kc/category/content-type/content-type/book-states. You must present the data in an accessible format- your textbook is full of examples, as are peer-reviewed journal articles. Your data can be the centerpiece of your paper, or a sideline enhancement.
o As you plan the paper, you should think in terms of the following as general sections: (a) an introductory section which surveys the paper’s focus and goals, (b) the scholarly literature review section to provide an academic foundation for your research, (c) research design and methods, (d) key research findings and analysis, and conclusions and observations drawn from what you have learned through the research