International Relations Term Paper Writing Guide

Writing guide
Posted on February 14, 2019

International relations is a broad subject area with interrelated topics focusing on politics, economics, sociology, anthropology, and human rights, among others. Suppose this semester’s units in international relations focus on politics and economics, your professor is likely to assign you term paper assignments that require you to analyze international relations from a specific angle or examine the causes and effects of current events, trends, and policies. Therefore, your international relations paper should focus on choosing the right theme for the term paper to ensure you develop a high-quality international relations assignment. Your professor may assign you a term paper to assess your ability to grasp content, your level of understanding of concepts in international relations, your ability to synthesize theories in international relations studies, and your level of using concepts for applicability purposes. If your assigned term paper focuses on the analysis of international relations, your lecturer may require you to analyze the relations between two economic regions or countries. In case of the latter, your analysis may focus on a discussion of the entire international system, patterns of current military alliances, or the distribution of power across regions. International relations essay topics focus on the interaction between nations and other social, political, and economic dynamics that affect interactions between countries.

Regardless of this semester’s area of concentration in your international relations field of study, understanding the common and most essential elements in writing your term papers is important. Term papers involve a wide range of mechanics and dynamics that should be met in every single writing. This guide provides you with significant international relations term paper writing prompts and tips on how to select topics for your international relations term paper, basic pre-writing tips, the importance of thesis statements and how to formulate them, and the recommended structure of a term paper. Follow the guidelines to ensure you meet your professor’s expectations and adhere to term paper writings recommendations.

Basic Term Paper Pre Writing Tips

Most students think that composing their term paper is the hardest part of the writing process. You may be among this lot and you are probably wondering from where to start your writing process. This guideline provides six practical prewriting steps that you need to consider before you begin writing your international relations term paper. The discussed steps will become vital the higher you go in your education ladder and will help you improve your writing skills tremendously.

Free your mind of any stressful events and occurrences. Term paper assignments give students intense stress because of the need to perform well in the paper, lack of adequate time, and inadequate knowledge of the term paper writing process. In this case, take a moment to breathe your anxiety out and to ensure you are focused on your term paper research and writing process.

Plan ahead. An effective term paper will require a lot of planning. The planning is multifaceted because it involves planning the topic you will write about, the ideas you need to incorporate in your paper, and the sources that will justify your claims. Besides planning the topic you are going to write about, you should create a timeline to give you benchmarks to help you to stay on schedule.

Brainstorm. Before you settle on one idea or a single topic for your term paper, take time to think of ideas in international relations that interest you. Thinking of current events, gaps in literature, and explore lecturer notes to open your mind to new possibilities that may form part of your term paper. Any ideas that come to your mind, in this step, are important and should be considered for evaluation.

Explore your ideas. The brainstormed ideas form an important start to your research process. You may need to conduct preliminary research based on your ideas to develop appropriate topics for your term paper, develop useful ideas and arguments, and identity sources you may need to support claims you make in the term paper. A simple online research or review of international relations books and journals may help you generate topics and term paper ideas.

Make an outline. Outlining refers to mapping out your ideas and arguments in a logical manner. The outline will ensure your ideas are presented coherently and bring out an appropriate structure and content for your term paper. Besides, it will help ensure that your drafting process proceeds smoothly and your term paper is concise and coherent.

Step Away. Preparation for the term paper writing process and the actual compilation should occur separately. In this case, take at least an hour after constructing your ideas into a draft. Stepping away provides you with objectivity and a fresh attitude that allows to visualize errors you might have made when defining your ideas, selecting a topic, or crafting your draft.

Appropriate Methods to Select a Topic for Your International Relations Essay

Brainstorm for ideas. Select a topic that interests you. You may need to respond to the following questions to help you generate ideas for your international relations topic.

  • Do I have a strong opinion on a current issue affecting international relations?
  • Have I encountered recent news feeds that have piqued my interest or made me anxious about certain aspects of international relations?
  • Do I have a personal issue or interest that I would explore in the field of study?
  • Is there an aspect of the international relations class that I am interested in learning more about?

Research background information. Once you have generated your ideas, it is time to conduct research on background information concerning your ideas. In this case, you can read journal articles on two or three topics you are considering. You could also search for information on the internet or discuss with peers about current issues affecting chosen aspects of international relations. Conducting research provides you with a summary that enables you to obtain an overview of the topic and see how your generated ideas relate to broader issues. You may also find words that are commonly used to describe an international relations topic.

Focus on the topic. Focusing on a topic occurs after you have settled on a probable term paper topic. You should focus the identified subject matter by keeping it manageable in a way that it is not too narrow or too broad. If the topic is too broad, you can use geographical, time, discipline, or population limiters to narrow it down. Conversely, use expanders based on timelines, specific areas of study, population, or region to broaden the topic.

Define your topic as a focused research question. Formulate research questions that will guide you when searching for information on the chosen research topic. The research questions not only help in identifying aspects of the topic that should be incorporated on a topic but also help in analyzing the direction your term paper is likely to take. The next step involves formulating a thesis statement.

Tips from Our Writers to Help Your Formulate a Thesis Statement for Your Term Paper

The thesis statement of your term paper should tell the intended audience how your paper will interpret the significance of the international relations subject matter under discussion. It should also provide a roadmap for the entire paper; this implies that it should tell the reader what to expect from the term paper. If your term paper topic is based on a question, the thesis statement should provide direct answers to the question. A thesis is:

  • Often an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself.
  • One that makes a claim that others might dispute.
  • Is one or two sentences sentence at the end of your conclusion.

Writing a thesis statement is a lengthy process that occurs after you have developed an argument on any topic, collected and organized evidence, and looked for possible relationships between known facts. Once you have gathered all the necessary information, you can now develop a working thesis. However, you can alter the thesis statement along the way when necessary. Besides, a thesis statement should be strong enough to convince the reader and achieve the objective of your term paper. To evaluate the strength of your term paper, you should ask the following questions.

  • Does my thesis statement answer the study questions? Ensure you re-read the question prompt for your term paper after constructing the thesis statement to maintain the focus of the paper.
  • Does my thesis statement present a position that others might challenge or oppose? If your thesis statement simply states facts, it is not strong enough. It should not also provide facts that cannot be challenged or disagreed with.
  • Is my thesis statement specific enough? Your thesis statements should not be too vague. If it is too vague, try making it specific by limiting its scope or explaining why you take a certain position.
  • Does my thesis statement pique the reader’s interest?
  • Does my thesis statement pass the “how and why?” criteria? If you feel your readers may ask they why and how questions after reading the thesis statement, then it is too open-ended and lacks appropriate guidance.

How To Structure Your International Relations Term Paper

The main elements that make up a term paper’s structure include an introduction, body, and conclusion.

Introduction. Many students, even the seasoned writers, struggle when writing the introduction part of their term papers. The question that lingers on their mind is “in what way do I write term paper introduction?” This is an important question since the introduction is an important part that captures the interest of the reader and provides an overview of the paper. Several aspects should be considered before working on your term paper. They include:

  • The background information for your paper and the appropriate literature review.
  • The general statement of the research and discussion issue, as well as the purpose of your work.
  • The thesis statement, which is the last and the most significant sentence of the introduction part.
  • Working definitions for terms that may not be common in the international relations field of study.

The general background information provided in the introduction provides a brief summary of what has already been done on the chosen international relations topic and shows the gaps in research that you intend to fill. The introduction should be clear and precise and should constitute at least 10% of the term paper. However, the length may vary depending on the term paper topic, its scope, and its length.

Body. The body section is the most extended part of the term paper. It presents the paper’s arguments and provides facts, statistics, and information that serves as supporting evidence for the provided claims. The logical organization of body paragraphs is of uttermost importance in a term paper. Each paragraph presents an important theme or argument and should begin with a topic sentence. If your term paper is long, the body section can be subdivided using subheadings based on thematic topics. However, the subheadings should not be abrupt. Rather, they should provide a smooth transition from one section to another.

Conclusion. The conclusion is the last main part of a term paper as it provides a summary and evaluation of the whole work and states how the work can benefit from further investigations. You should restate your thesis statement using different words and make any necessary inferences that conclude your paper. Recommendations are often necessary for international relations term papers. If your paper requires one, you can input recommendations at the conclusion section or you can present them as stand-alone texts.

Post-Writing Tips

The post writing tips in any term paper refer to review of the paper to ensure it is free of errors. You should conduct your review at the word, sentence, and paragraph level to ensure you have accurate wording, appropriate sentence structures, and effective presentation of paragraphs in a coherent and logical manner. A different aspect of proofreading involves referencing; in this regard, ensure you cite any borrowed sources you use in your term paper.

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