Department of Political Science, Queens College
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.
Revise Your Paper
19. Re-read and revise your writing. To
your writing you will
want to read it critically, like most people and your professor will.
But it is hard to read your own writing objectively, and writers are
naturally very attached to words they’ve just put on the page. Taking a
break will help you to get a clearer perspective on your own ideas and
prose, to read your own draft as critically as if someone else had
Try to finish a first draft at least a few days before the paper is
due. After taking a break from it, review the guidelines in this
memorandum (the editorial check-list below might be useful), and
re-read your draft from beginning to end, marking passages that need to
be moved, removed, or improved.