How to write a quality master’s thesis in political science?

Before writing a master’s thesis, many students seek the advice of experts who could help them in writing their research paper, because it is better to learn from others’ mistakes than their own, especially when the defense passes and it will be too late to change something. Perhaps it is his advice that will help many to successfully write their master’s thesis in political science.

First of all, you need to understand that any thesis is a type of scientific qualification work, which has clear requirements and criteria, if you fail to meet them, then no passion for the topic and the author’s unique approach can ensure your success in this matter. Everything is extremely simple – you need to study the rules and follow them because in the modern system of higher education, creativity, even science, is absent. If we talk about the differences between a bachelor’s and a master’s thesis, then there are two interrelated aspects – formal and informal. From a formal point of view, a bachelor’s degree is simpler, because the topic is usually less controversial, less complex, and better provided with sources, the bachelor’s thesis is 1.5-2 times smaller than the master’s thesis, which is also reflected in the number of items in the list of used literature: bachelor’s degree – 50-60, master’s degree at least 70-80 and up to 110-120. Informally, the master’s thesis should be characterized by a higher level of analyticity than the bachelor’s, it should be more analysis than descriptions. In other words, more generalizations and conclusions are desirable in each section and section. Virtually every subsection should end with a paragraph that begins with the words: “therefore, thus summarizing the above, etc.”, and at the end of the section it is advisable to introduce a subsection “conclusions to the section”. According to the results of the defense of the master’s thesis, the applicant receives a master’s degree in many countries, this degree is considered scientific, so in master’s theses, it is important to achieve the author’s level of analysis, which may indicate that the work has scientific significance and novelty. master) no one came to such conclusions or such a point of view was not sufficiently substantiated, and proven). That is why the master’s degree requires such a large number of sources that need to be studied, compared, and found common and different, based on which to make reasoned, logical conclusions. Analyzing different approaches in the literature, the master must offer his vision of the problem, prospects, and options for its solution in theoretical or practical terms.

Let’s pay attention to the most common mistakes that occur during the thesis. 

  • First, it is a non-scientific style, often journalistic. This mistake can be avoided by using professional scientific literature when writing a diploma. When working on a diploma, consciously avoid information from sources of dubious quality, from the point of view of the academic environment, ie everything you read on the topic of the diploma should be contained in sources that have a status in the scientific environment. Journalistic investigations, blogs of dubious experts, and publications of popular, popular science and mass character are not for you. You have to feel the scientific style, and this is possible due to the practice of working with scientific literature, the first sign of the absence of such a style is the presence of rhetorical questions in the text, first-person thinking, i.e. “I think I see…”. Also, inconsistency appears when you meet in the text with reflected emotion, in the scientific style it is impossible, any, even evaluative, judgment in the scientific text has an evidence base, argumentation, and explanation of why such a conclusion is made. Focus on these markers, identify inconsistencies, and avoid them in your text.
  • Secondly, a common mistake is an unrealized plan, i.e. not confirmed by the content of the work. This is because the supervisor often draws up a diploma plan and the graduate is unable to implement it because he or she does not find the appropriate information for the proposed units or does not fully understand what needs to be written about in this unit. It is possible to solve this problem by an independent selection of the literature and drawing up a plan which agrees with the head. Thus it is expedient to defend the point of view as to defend work before the commission to you, instead of the head so practice in protection already at a drawing up of the plan. Of course, defending your position should be constructive and as a result, you and your supervisor should come to a consensual compromise solution.
  • Third, excessive descriptiveness – the student cannot stop describing his subject, and forgets that the purpose of the thesis is not a description, but to establish patterns and identify the logic of events (description and sequence of events are of paramount importance for historians, but not for political scientists). In the thesis on political science, the description in the text should be justified by the fact that on its basis something is explained, and illustrated, it can be used to establish an analogy and make assumptions about the development, and consequences, can assess the feasibility or inexpediency of what occurs for the subject of policy. After any description, there should be at least an attempt at generalization and conclusions in the text of the work that justifies the need for this description. Therefore, when writing a dissertation on political science, you should always keep in mind its purpose, which is formulated in the introduction, using phrases such as analyze, research, define, but not describe and establish the sequence of events.

In general, to successfully write and defend a master’s thesis, it is advisable to use the opportunity to choose a topic. But approach the solution of this problem not so much from the standpoint of your interest in the problem but from the standpoint of analysis of available and available to you scientific professional literature on this issue. This is the key to success. For the high-quality selection of literature, it is appropriate to refer to the review of materials of scientific professional periodicals in political science (journals, collections, almanacs) for the last 3-4 years, a maximum of 5 years. If you use older sources – some scientific monographs – they should not be more than 50%. But, unfortunately, most of these publications do not have sites with access to the archives of the publication, which are regularly updated. 

Keep in mind that most higher education institutions, when offering topics for online college homework help, deliberately avoid topics that are literally reflected in the proposals of selections of finished works on the network, as well as avoid wording that coincides with the names of common scientific publications. This is done on purpose, in order to encourage the graduate to search for information, so when reading the latest publications, pay attention to the presence in the titles of articles or annotations to them those concepts and categories that are relevant to your chosen problem. The so-called list of keywords, which is available in each annotation to a scientific publication, can be of significant help in this. If, when reviewing recent publications, you do not find any mention of the problem that you planned to choose the topic of your thesis, you should abandon its study. This is an important remark because the search for the necessary information can be spent almost all the time allotted for graduation, and the processing of the literature found will not be enough and as a result, the work will not be highly appreciated. Please note that reference books, textbooks, manuals, and guidelines in the list of literature for the master’s thesis are not appropriate, as well as for the bachelor’s degree, in exceptional cases a limited number (2-3) of such sources may be provided, but this should be justified. For example, you state in the text of the work a general guideline in the study of your problem, namely educational, reference literature and present such guidelines.

Another key to success in writing a quality thesis is a logical plan. The classic plan of the thesis provides that in the main part of the first section – is an introduction to the problem, ie the history of research or approaches to research, the second – the study of the problem, and the third – prospects for further development of research and policy practice. subject of research. Sections are divided into sections depending on the logic of the material, but the most important thing is to find this material, for which, even at the stage of acquaintance with the literature, try to combine sources into groups depending on what is considered in a particular literature. If you use this advice, it will be easier for you when drawing up a plan, because you will immediately see what issues in the study of your problem are devoted to the work, and accordingly formulate points of the plan, there will be less difficulty with filling sections and subsections. Therefore, make a plan based on the selected literature and already at the stage of acquaintance with the literature divide it into groups, even if you later change something in the structure, you will have something to start from.

Since the master’s thesis is considered scientific, the classical approach to its implementation assumes that the first section should contain elements of theory and methodology. Therefore, the win-win version of the title of the first section contains such a phrase as “Theoretical and methodological foundations of the study.” (hereinafter the topic of your diploma) ». The first section in this case is the theoretical foundations, where you consider theories and concepts that help to study the problem. The second section – methodological bases – is a description of scientific methods and features of their combinations that you use in the study with a record of what method, for what purpose you used in different parts of your work. For some students, this approach is quite complex, so let’s turn to possible simplified options that involve the transformation of the title of the first section – Theoretical and conceptual principles of research or historical and conceptual foundations of research, and, accordingly, sections represent the information encrypted in such a title.

Another remark about the quality of the thesis is that the proposed structure of the work must be maintained throughout the text of the work, both in content and in the sequence of presentation. This is especially important for the Conclusions, where you, in accordance with the points of the plan (all!), Which were presented in the Introduction as research tasks, make generalizations, answering the questions posed in the tasks. The sequence of presentation is an extremely important characteristic for such structural components of the thesis as Introduction and Conclusions, so strictly follow the sequence prescribed in the guidelines for writing a thesis, and do not miss a single point, including relevance, novelty, testing, methodology, structure.

Special attention should be paid to the need for clear coordination with the supervisor of the wording of the object, subject and purpose of the thesis. This is a literal agreement, because the thesis is a sample of a young inexperienced researcher, and such formulations require certain skills of scientific work, so do not risk, let the supervisor formulate, just ask him to adjust your formulation in the text of the whole work.

And finally, start writing the text of the work, when you find new sources – books, articles – do not contain anything new for you on your topic. This means that you have already found everything that is possible and accessible, and, accordingly, no member of the defense commission will be able to reproach you that you are not oriented in modern scientific approaches to the study of your topic.

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