Political Science – Final Paper

Political Science – Final Paper
Political Science
Final Paper
The goal of this essay is to get you to think analytically about a topic of interest in
political science. A good paper should examine at least two or three plausible and
reasonable hypotheses and discuss what evidence would confirm or refute each
theory. Unfortunately, too many academics spend their lives on small, relatively
meaningless issues that are only of interest to a narrow slice of the population. Life
is too short for that, and I want you to spend time thinking about some issues that
are both important and interesting. Pick one of the following topics for your essay. If you have an idea for another topic,
you can work on that as long as you get it approved by me first. 1. Old people tend to vote Republican more than young people. See charts below on
the 2016 election (source). Why do you think that this is the case? 1 2. Across the world, the number of people dying in war has collapsed during the
second half of the twentieth century up to this day (see here). Why is this? 3. The majority of Americans oppose cutting spending on social programs and favor
raising taxes on the rich (see here and here). Yet Republicans believe in lower taxes
and less of a social safety net. Why do so many people vote Republican even if they
seem to disagree with them on such important issues?
4. Polling shows that the vast majority of journalists covering national politics
identify with the political left or the Democratic Party. See here for one source. Why
might this be the case?
5. In the 1950s, only a small minority of children born in the United States were
born to unmarried parents (about 5%). The number of out-of-wedlock births began
to rise in the 1960s and has reached about 50% today. The following chart shows
out-of-wedlock birth rate from 1929 to 2010 (see here). Why did this happen? 2 A good paper will give justice to each hypothesis and describe the kind of evidence
you would need to determine which is true (it is also possible for something to have
more than one cause). You don’t need to actually answer which hypotheses are true.
Rather, tell the reader what kind of experiments you would run, the research you
would do, or the data you would need in order to adjudicate between different
theories. 3

find the cost of your paper