Topic paragraph

5 points.

Please email the assignment to me by the end of the day on September 9.

This is the start of your research paper. What will your research paper be about? Specifically, what kind of question will it answer? The question can be about any political issue. Historical topics are fine as long as you can show them to have some relevance to understanding politics today. Your scope may be as wide or narrow as you wish, from a topic that considers the politics of a whole country or region down to a topic about one village or discrete issue, or anything in between. The topic ideas page has much more detail and some examples – you may use any of those questions or choose one of your own.

The paragraph will include at least two parts:

  1. A brief description of some issue or aspect of politics. Explain the issue so that readers will understand why the question you pose is puzzling.
  2. A single specific question about the issue, ending with a question mark. The question should be about some sort of cause-and-effect relationship, as in “does x cause y?” or “does x have an effect?” or “what causes y?” In other words, the question must be empirical.


  • Your paragraph should end with a question mark.
  • Come talk with me before you start this, and again before you turn it in.