Department of Political Science, Queens College




Writing Political Science Papers: Some Useful Guidelines
Peter Liberman, Dept. of Political Science, Queens College, October 2006

A good paper informs and persuades; to do this it must be logically organized, clearly argued, and well documented. Good writing is hard work, but following the rules of thumb below will help you to write better papers and to do so more efficiently.

Editing Abbreviations
Here are some editing abbreviations that you might see on your graded papers:

agr(eement)
pronoun does not correspond to referent
awk
awkward senence construction
coll
colloquial–words or phrases better spoken than on paper
filler
digression that doesn't advance the argument
frag
sentence fragment
NSI
need summary information
non seq
non-sequitur - "does not follow" from what came before
¶ or para paragraph - usually to indicate spot to divide an overlong one
red(undant)
repeats point already made
run on
sentence is too long or has too many clauses
source
citation needed
sp
spelling
stet
ignore editor's correction
unpack
need to break up overlong paragraph into constituent ideas
wordy
excess verbiage
ww
wrong word