Professional papers tend to be short, concise and clear. Academic writing, which you are likely to be assigned in other classes, sometimes measures quality by the number of pages.
Topics should be in the national security area. Please reach out to me if you have trouble choosing a Topic or an interested Reader.
This is a typical college paper. With a few exceptions:
· The FIU library is a good place to start to look for credible sources on your topic. Find time to sit with a librarian to discuss!
Possible format could include a Summary and a Conclusion.
Another hint: I certainly understand and appreciate passion, and I allow you to choose a national security topic to be sure this issue is one you care about. However, this mid-term Policy Analysis paper should contain serious critical thinking, such that when necessary you are able to examine various sides of an issue, even if you disagree with the viewpoint. Seriously, how can you know any issue, if you only know one perspective?
Professional writing requires that you provide your Reader with sound, accurate information that considers various perspectives even while making a choice of one alternative over another
· Proofread carefully! Nothing deducts from the score more than missing words and unclear sentences. Read your final paper out loud; or allow someone trusted to read it. If an outside reader has difficulty understanding the main points, you are not being clear!
· Do the research. You are not a credible writer if you write about immigration, for example, and do not bother to look up the president’s latest executive order on the issue. If you write on US relations with Cuba, for example, be sure to look at the president’s latest speech. Such documents can be found easily on congressional research service and whitehouse.gov websites. You must review primary or original documents in order to oppose or defend.
· The fantastic FIU library staff can help guide your research.
· Consider bullet points to convey essential data. Graphics help to make a paper more professional.
· Include a map if you write about a country and name several locations.
· Cite sources, using whichever style you prefer.
· Watch grammar, and especially sentence and verb agreement.
· Make sure sentences are precise and accurate; avoid long sentences.
· Focus on what you have learned from the credible research.
· Think about using sub-headings that help to organize your research.
· Writing guides, such as Research on the Internet, are posted on Canvas
More Writing Tips
· Accurate: be sure your research is thorough and complete
· Be sure your paper reflects more than one perspective, when appropriate. This assignment is not about personal beliefs. Rather the assignment is intended to demonstrate your ability to search for and use credible research. In the follow-on Position Memo you will recommend a position.
· Grammar, sentence syntax, and punctuation matter most. I am especially disappointed with run-on sentences. Be consistent with punctuation throughout the paper, starting with the title.
· Avoid slang, contractions, and grandiose statements.
· Avoid posing questions to the Reader. You are the “expert” and should be informing the Reader. This is not to ignore that all good research papers usually begin with questions. Who is the Reader (Policymaker), and what does she need to know and why.
· Sources should be credible. Opinion sources are fine, but should be supported by credible sources: Academic Journals; scholarly papers; Think Tanks; official government documents, etc. Even if you ultimately disagree with a policy, you must first understand the policy.
· Charts, sub-headings; and graphics give your work a professional look and help the Reader highlight key data.
· Use short paragraphs that contain a single main idea, and sentences that are short, concise, and precise.