Reading and Writing Political Science Research

Being able to read and write a standard political science research report is a necessary skill that all political science students should have.  Research reports can take many different forms - such as student research papers submitted for classes, masters and doctoral degree dissertations, reports written for government agencies, non-governmental organizations, or think tanks, or peer-reviewed research articles.  Regardless of the type of report, all of them share a goal of communicating to their intended audience about the type of research that was conducted, what the findings are, and what the implications of those findings are.  A good research report should have a strong argument that enables the audience to evaluate the quality of the research.

The key components of a research report are then outlined and discussed in detail. These components include the following: Abstract, Introduction, Literature review, Research design, Presentation of findings, Discussion, Conclusions, and References.