Advice from Fellow International Studies StudentsWriter's Web
(printable version here)

Juliet Lee '12

  • Don't assume. Be sure to be able to support your claims with ample support from sources, especially primary sources.
  • For papers that involve controversial issues, be sure to research and understand both sides. This will help in understanding the complexities of the issue and focusing your argument.
  • Keep up with class readings and note taking. Often times, these readings can come in handy when writing papers.

Behnaz Varamini '10

  • Be sure to know the political science behind what you are talking about. Do not throw terms around without really understanding what they mean in the given context.
  • Context! It is very important to research the background of what you're writing about (especially for final research papers). Understanding the background information is beneficial to your analysis and and building your argument.
  • When researching, be sure to read various sources.
  • When researching, try to find primary sources. Primary sources provide factual and valid information about the given topic. These documents are free of any manipulation/alteration from an author of a secondary source.
  • Be sure to take advantage of the library! The research librarians are super helpful. See the UR library website and "Ask a Librarian."
  • Tip: Always edit. Read your writing out loud to make sure you have explained everything properly. Also, this is a great way to catch grammatical or formating errors. I wish I had done that more.
  • Meet with your professor early and often. It's important to seek their advice about your topics/research/progression.

Anne Bryant '10

  • Knowing and mastering Chicago/Turabian citations during freshman year is really useful.
  • I usually end IS papers by suggesting areas for further research--that's definitely something I did not do prior to taking IS classes.

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