Pol 11 – Final Paper Instructions (Spring 2013)

Bronx Community College – College Now – Spring 2013
Introduction to Political Science
Professor Rogers


Final Paper Instructions

General Instructions

The largest portion of the student’s grade will be a final paper, due on May 21. For this paper students are to research the author of one of the assigned primary source readings from any of the assigned reading packets. For their paper students are to use three to five academic and scholarly sources (not Wikipedia!) in their research. All papers are to be four to seven pages.

Students are to have selected a topic by February 26 and have a COMPLETE draft finished by March 21. The final version is due on May 21.


Topics & Research Questions

Students may choose the author of any of the primary source assigned in this class as the subject of their paper. Students are to research the life of their subject and his or her contribution to political philosophy and/or the American political tradition. As part of their research students should also seek to contextualize their subjects in their time and place.

In their papers students should seek to answer some of the following questions:

  • Who was this person?
  • Why were they important? Why are they significant?
  • How did they contribute to the American political tradition and/or the history of political philosophy?
  • How was this person shaped by their particular time and place?
  • What other thinkers and writers shaped the person’s thought and action?

Students must have a topic selected by February 26.



Students must have three to five academic and scholarly sources for their research. These sources may be primary or secondary sources but, a student must have at least three secondary sources for their final paper. All sources must be cited in proper format and every paper must have a properly formatted bibliography. Proper formatting for paper writing will be discussed in class on March 19.

Acceptable sources include:

  • Books
  • Scholarly Articles
  • Repeatable websites [NOT Wikipedia]
  • Book chapters

If a student is confused as to what is an acceptable source they should consult with the instructor.



A student’s paper should be double spaced, 12-point Times New Roman or similar font with standard page margins.  Please do not play any games with the margins or font. Not following these formatting rules will have a significant negative impact on the paper’s grade. All reviews should be in Chicago Manual of Style format and contain footnotes and a bibliography.

In general a good paper should contain a one paragraph introduction laying out sketching out the student’s research, a one page discussion of the subject’s life and times, two to three page discussion of the subject’s significance, and a concluding paragraph summing up the details discussed in the paper.



The following deadlines must be met for a student to get the maximum possible grade on their final paper:

  • February 26 – A topic must be selected
  • March 21 – A first draft must be handed in
  • May 21 – A final draft must be handed in



Possible Topics – Some Suggestions

Jacques-Benigne Bossuet
Thomas Hobbes
John Locke
John-Jacques Rousseau
Jeremy Bentham
John Stuart Mill
Karl Marx
Vladimir Lenin
John Rawls
Robert Nozick
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Paine
Maximilien Robespierre
Edmund Burke
Mary Wollstonecraft
James Madison
Alexander Hamilton
George Fitzhugh
Frederick Douglass
Abraham Lincoln
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Andrew Jackson
John C. Calhoun
Martin Luther King Jr.
Malcolm X
Robert Byrd
Harvey Milk
Betty Friedan
George W. Bush
John Yoo


Author: Roy Rogers

I am currently a PhD candidate in American History at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York (CUNY). My undergraduate education was at Shepherd University (Political Science & History) and I received an MA in History from George Mason University. As a historian, my research interests include early American history, the early American republic (1780 to 1830), political history, religious history, and gender history. I live in Brooklyn with my girlfriend and our cat.

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