TO: Politics Students

RE: General Requirements for Research and other Papers

Unless I waive these requirements or assign additional ones, each student in my Marymount politics courses should assume that these requirements are in effect.

For Politics majors, all politics papers shall follow the Chicago Manual of Style, presented and explained in Kate Turabian's A Manual for Writers, 6th or later ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press), and in the latest edition of the Chicago Manual of Style, located in the reference section of the library.

For non-majors, MLA or APA style may be used, but the papers will also be expected to be in proper MLA or APA style.

Specific Guidelines for Research Papers.

  1. Short (seven to nine page) research papers should typically have at least twenty footnotes and should be based upon at least five scholarly or primary sources. Although these are merely rules-of-thumb, I will look very critically at papers with fewer footnotes or sources. “Scholarly sources” are writings with footnotes and a bibliography. “Primary sources” may be primary documents or statistics or materials that you yourself have generated. Chicago Style footnote form for most sources can be found here: Chicago Style footnotes and bibliography forms.
  2. The paper should have a one to one-and-one-half page introductory section that briefly indicates (1) the research question and its basis, (2) the answer to the question that your research has yielded (which is your thesis), and (3) the outline of the argument supporting the thesis that follows in the main part of the paper ("In this paper I will . . . .").
  3. The main body of the paper should be separated into sections, each with its own heading. These sections indicate to the reader the outline of the argument, as indicated in the introduction. The pages of the paper should be numbered. Do not print your name on each page of the paper.
  4. The bibliography page, unless waived, should include enough space for me to write my comments.
  5. The grade will be based upon the substance of the paper (the argument you make), the quality of the sources you use, and the quality of the writing, typically in a 40%—30%—30% proportion.
  6. Each draft of a paper submitted must be typed, double-spaced, and have a title page, numbered pages, and footnotes.

The following rules apply generally to research papers.

A research paper must also include the following components, unless they are waived by the faculty member (see Turabian, A Manual for Writers, Chapter One):

1. Title Page (followed by a blank page, if desired)

2. The Text, divided by headings and subheadings (division required in any paper over eight pages)

3. Bibliography (unless waived)

In papers in which the text is longer than ten pages, a Table of Contents should precede the Text. In papers in which endnotes are used instead of footnotes, the text should be followed by the endnotes, which are then followed by the bibliography.


II. The following documents, representing stages in the preparation of a research paper, may be requested for review by the faculty. Each, of course, must be typed.

1. Proposal*

2. Annotated Bibliography*

3. Outline*

4. First Draft

5. Intermediate Drafts

6. Final Draft (multiple copies)

7. Abstract*

Explanations and models of these documents are available in POL/HI 250, Research and Writing, or upon request of the faculty.