PLSI 302 Writing for Political Science
Practicing Political Science: Using Citations and Writing a Response Paper
Review all instructional materials before answering the questions below. Submit your completed work on iLearn.
Read the article on iLearn called “The Party Decides: Mastering the Postreform System” and write a response paper using parenthetical citations.
Your response paper should be 1-2 pages in length (12pt, double spaced).
Your response should not be a summary of the reading, but should instead demonstrate your understanding of the key ideas in what you’ve read. It should also include an introduction and conclusion.
You must also include the following in your response paper:
- Paraphrase at least one idea from the reading in your paper (Highlight this in your paper)
- Summarize at least one idea from the reading in your paper (Highlight this in your paper)
- Include one direct quote from the reading. No block quotes. (Highlight this in your paper)
- Cite each of these examples parenthetically in an approved format (Chicago, APA, APSA)
You can structure your paper in the following way:
- Begin with a brief overview of the reading that includes the author’s name, the title of the text, and the main point of the argument. This will serve as your introduction.
- Next, develop your response to the article (this should take up most of the space in your response paper). You might talk about what you find strange, interesting, or useful in the article. Remember you are contributing to a scholarly conversation, so be sure to offer ideas, not opinions. For example, focus on what you found interesting, revealing, or what you believe the significance of the reading is for political science. Response paper tip: Instead of asking yourself if you agree or disagree with a reading, ask yourself why the reading matters for our understanding of the topic.
- Conclude your thoughts. This could be as brief as a sentence or two.
Overall, your response paper should:
– Show you’ve understood what you read
– Include an introduction and a conclusion
– Offer ideas instead of opinions
– Include paraphrasing, summaries, and a direct quote from the reading in your paper
– Use parenthetical citations