Writing Research Paper in Political Science

Writing a research paper is not a child’s play.

The very fact that it involves “research” means that you have to spend adequate time going through relevant facts, useful information and lastly make it interesting for the target audience.

So, if you were to write a research paper in Political Science, you have to be “Politically right”. That’s because Political Science is a social science discipline that deals with systems of government and the analysis of political activity and political behavior. The very theory that determines the distribution of power and resources. In the words of Harold Lasswell, at a basic level political science is the struggle of “who gets what, when, how”, he has also published a book with the same title.  So, if you were to cover this topic the paper would typically involve methods that help you balance the tension between the state and the market. A research paper on political science should be one that can be easily comprehended owing to the vast topics this subject covers across the spectrum. A thorough check on facts and figures is key! To summarize, a political science research paper needs to have some scientific facts based on these four things:

  • Investigating Relationships – You don’t want to have debates and disagreements when writing about a serious topic that deals with concepts, methodologies pertaining to Political Theory.
  • Building theories – It’s common to wrestle with theories and sometimes coming up with something of your own. That said try to emulate what the other political scientists think and have written about the said subject.
  • Collecting Data – To build more precise and persuasive theories you have to do further research and collect the data that is readily available and that which needs some more digging
  • Clear, consistent, objective writing- In writing of this sort, clarity and concision are at a premium.

Students who aspire to write research papers can choose from a smorgasbord of topics.  Some of the most common topics for a research paper can be and will not be restricted to:


  • Globalization
  • Theoretical Perspectives of International Political Economy
  • Mercantilism and Economic Nationalism
  • Classical Liberalism and Neo-Liberalism
  • Imperialism, Dependency and Neo-Marxism
  • Strategies to Balance State-Market Tension
  • Regionalization
  • Multilateralism
  • History of Political Science
  • Postmodernism
  • Neoinstitutionalism
  • Systemism
  • Rationality and Rational Choice
  • Principal-Agent Theory
  • Political Psychology
  • Straussians
  • Civil Wars
  • Terrorism
  • Electoral systems
  • Ethnic Conflict
  • Gender and Politics
  • Comparative Judicial Politics

Choosing a topic is probably not the hardest thing because you could find something that invokes interest available on a lot of places online. However, what you need to keep in mind is that the chosen topic is something that fascinates you, keeps you on your toes (while doing your research) and is something you believe in as well. That’s important and I say it because you cant write something that you yourself aren’t convinced about, right? Your conviction has to come out and about in the topic you choose, your ability to master that art is something people will expect from the research paper. That’s why its impertinent to select the right topic. Moreover, you will have to sequence it in such a manner that it covers the whole aspect of the topic itself, that it is comparable with other similar topics and finally it also speaks of it from an international perspective.  Here are some approaches you can adopt while choosing for your paper:

Political Science General Approaches

  • History and politics
  • Rational choice and rationality
  • Straussians
  • Political psychology
  • Systemism

Political Science Methodology

  • Evolution of political science
  • Survey research and statistical methods
  • Content analysis
  • Spatial modeling and formal theory
  • The role of experiment in political research

Comparative Political Study Topics

  • Civil wars
  • Terrorism and ethnic conflicts
  • Federalism
  • Modernization theory
  • Political conflict and resource scarcity

International Relations Areas of Interest

  • Foreign policy analysis
  • Realism and neorealism
  • The balance of power
  • International organizations and international law
  • Environmental policies in Europe

American Politics Study Topics

  • Gender and politics
  • American political parties
  • American federalism
  • Americans’ voting behavior
  • Religion and politics in the U.S.

Political Thought Research Ideas

  • Islamic political thought
  • Classical liberals and neoclassical liberals
  • National socialism, nationalism, and fascism
  • Socialism in Western Europe
  • Communism in China

Choosing the right format for your Research paper

How would all the information on your research paper look if it were cluttered in pages without decently classifying them and sticking to a format? Therefore, we advise that you follow a simple format that helps to categorize the topics and also provides in-depth information under strategically placed sub-headings and headings.

Here is an idea to format your paper.


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