political science essay research essay

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Length: 2,000 to 2,500 words (about 8 to 10 double-spaced pages)

Sources : 10+


Write an essay answering one of the following questions.

  • What has been the relationship between the neo-liberal re-organization of the Keynesian welfare state and the increasingly prominent role of the voluntary sector in Canada? To what extent has this re-organization been positive or negative for the voluntary sector?

of this assignment is not to definitively answer your chosen question once and for all. Rather you should approach the assignment as an exercise to improve your analytical, research, and writing skills.

Your thesis statement should indicate a clear and concrete position, even if you are aware of arguments that might contradict it. For example, if you decide to answer question 2, your thesis statement should read something to the effect of “IT does not represent a valid solution for reducing Canada’s growing democratic deficit for the following reasons. . . .” Try to avoid formulating a thesis that attempts to reconcile contradictory viewpoints. For example, with respect to question 2, again, you should avoid formulating a thesis such as “IT is both a valid solution and a contributing factor to Canada’s democratic deficit for the following reasons. . . .” The world is indeed a complex and contradictory place, but keep in mind that the purpose of this assignment is to take a position and defend it, not to solve the world’s problems.

Although the essay questions above all make reference to central themes examined in Units 5 to 10, you should nonetheless draw on concepts that are examined in Units 1 to 4. Note that all of the essay questions are premised on concepts examined in depth in Units 1 to 4, such as governance, neo-liberalism, Keynesianism, and globalization. Discussing and using these concepts in your essay will serve to better frame and enrich your arguments.

Essay Format

Your essay is expected to be formatted according to classical essay format. Therefore, your essay should include

  • an interesting title
  • an introduction with a clear thesis statement
  • a body that advances your central argument and that validates your thesis statement using compelling evidence
  • a conclusion that sums up the essay’s different arguments
  • a bibliography (or a works consulted or references list)

With respect to your introduction, try to structure it as an inverted triangle. Specifically, begin by introducing your topic in a general way and then progressively narrow it down to your thesis statement, which is the essence of your essay.

The body of the essay should confirm your thesis in different ways. When you are writing the body of your essay, you should always be asking yourself, How does this relate to my thesis? Is what I am writing essential for advancing my thesis? You will discuss your thesis in the context of the literature that has already been written on the subject, then narrow your focus to the specific topic at hand (the particular example you will provide to illustrate your point), and conclude your essay by returning to the “big picture” by showing how your particular example contributes to the general knowledge on the subject.

Your conclusion should include a confirmation of the validity of your thesis statement as well as a reiteration of the main evidence used to confirm it. Try to avoid an open ending to your essay. Do not introduce new ideas in your conclusion—this is the wrap-up of your essay.

Lastly, keep in mind that an essay is not an essay without a bibliography. The research done as part of the essay writing process is what differentiates it from a simple opinion piece and in addition to being a basic requirement of academic essay writing, your bibliography represents a confirmation of the quality of your research.

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