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Writing a research paper in your university life is among requirements for assessment and for graduation. A research paper in international relations may focus on different areas of the multidimensional field and may require you to analyze, discuss, evaluate, persuade, or synthesize content. Irrespective of the objective of your international relations term paper, it is important to master research and writing skills. This guideline provides international relations research paper tips, which come of our writers’ extensive experience. Make sure to follow them and take the most out of them.

Selecting a Topic for Your International Relations Research Paper: First-Class Ideas from Our Writers

The first and the most challenging aspect of writing your international studies research paper will be selecting an appropriate topic. Your lecturer may assign you a particular research paper topic. If this is the case, you only need to begin gathering ideas surrounding the given topic. On other occasions, you could be provided with several research topics and are expected to select one for your research. Nevertheless, it is equally difficult to select an appropriate topic among the ones provided. Conversely, it is common for professors to provide students with the freedom and flexibility to choose topics that interest them within the international relations field of study. Here are some tips to help you in choosing a topic for your research paper:

Select a topic you are interested in to ensure the research paper is informative and relevant. Your interest in a certain topic may be based on a need to explore current issues in international relations, a need to provide a solution to issues affecting nation’s diplomatic and foreign policies, or it could be based on gaps in existing international relations literature.

Narrow your ideas to generate a manageable topic. Manageability of a research topic is determined through scope and availability of information in this case:

  • Use limiters to narrow down topics that are too broad. Limiting the topic provides the research paper and the readers with a specific focus. You can limit the topic by geographical regions, periods in the history of international relations, or populations.
  • The topic should not be too broad because the research paper will lose focus.
  • Conduct background research on existing literature on international relations studies to help you choose and limit the scope of your topic.

In cases where you fail to develop topic ideas through brainstorming, you can consult your peers, discuss the matter with your professor, or refer to your lecture notes and texts on international relations to refresh your knowledge of the concepts in the area of study.

You may also need to think and analyze the who, what, when, where, and why questions that would guide you when formulating an appropriate topic; in this case, you need to answer the following questions:

  • Why did I choose this particular idea and topic? What interests me about it? Do I have an idea and opinion about the issues involved in the topic? What is the topic’s possible relevance to the reader?
  • Who are the information providers on this topic? Do I base the topic on available literature or do I engage human subjects as study respondents? Who does the topic affect?
  • What are the likely major questions for this topic? Is the chosen international relations topic current, controversial or of interest to the intended population?
  • Where is the topic important? Is it at the local community level, national, or international level?

Possible topics for your international relations research paper include:

  • Third World Countries and the Politics of Technology Transfer: a Case of Ghana.
  • Prospects and Challenges of Regional Integration in South America.
  • Terrorism and the U.S. Foreign Policy: Challenges and Solutions.
  • The Role of ECOWAS in the Liberian Crisis.
  • The Role of the United Nation in Promoting Gender Equality.

Important Pre-Writing Tips for Your International Relations Research Paper

Prewriting in research is a term that denotes a range of activities that help you start your writing process. Prewriting is a strategy that helps you develop ideas for your research, and guides you in exploring and organizing your thoughts before drafting your paper. By engaging in the process, you can also determine your research paper’s audience and purpose. Below is a list of some important prewriting activities.

Choosing a topic. As indicated above, topic selection, is the first and most important element of a research paper. The selected topic should fall within the international studies field of study and should be manageable and interesting. Ensure that the selected research topic has the potential to add value to existing international relations literature and persuade different stakeholders to adopt certain practices relevant to issues in international relations.

Freewriting. In writing, free writing is freedom at its best as it involves jotting down anything and everything that comes into your head. You do not need to pay attention to spelling or grammar. You can begin free writing with or without a topic.

Conduct research. Research may occur at every step of your writing process; thus, be ready to engage in different phases of the research. After conducting research geared towards selecting a topic for your paper, you should gather information for content purposes. The research step directly influences your research paper’s content and equips you with a basis for your argument, and evidence to support articulated claims. It is appropriate to research both primary and secondary sources to obtain a diversity of ideas.

Note taking. While conducting your research, take note of the important arguments, themes, theories, statistics, and facts documented in your sources. The process ensures you do not miss out on major theories and issues influencing the research topic. Precise and clear notes may provide quotes necessary for providing support to your claims.

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Clustering. To cluster your ideas into meaningful information, write down major points on a piece of paper. Subsequently, use links to put together matching or related ideas. Clustering helps you to develop themes that focus on your subject matter. Once you are done with clustering, outline why the topic and research are significant, the relevant background material, the thesis and purpose statements, and the organizational plan for major and supporting ideas.

Outlining. An outline is a plan that organizes your ideas and researched information. Outlining works best after you are done with brainstorming, note taking, and conducting your research. The outlines can be formal or informal depending on the ideas developed and the research paper requirements. Ensure your outline is hierarchical, beginning with major arguments and proceeding to the supporting claims and evidence that explains a topic or phenomenon. If your research paper requires a formal outline, you may use numbers and lettered headings and subheadings. The numbers and lettered headings show relationships between ideas and facts and can save time by creating a system you can adjust.

You can use different types of headings such as:

  • Topic outline;
  • Sentence outline;
  • A reverse outline that is created after writing a first draft;
  • Decimal outline;
  • Rough outline (bullets or numbers).

Creating an Appropriate Title and Thesis Statement for Your International Relations Research Paper

Research Paper Title

A research paper title summarizes the main ideas of your research into a few words. A good research paper title should describe the content and purpose of your research using the fewest words possible. The title should be precise and interesting because it is the first element that draws the readers’ attention and determines whether the reader will be interested in the paper. Therefore, an effective and appropriate research paper title should define purpose in an interesting manner and using few words. The following parameters can be helpful in formulating a suitable title for your research paper:

  • the objective of the research;
  • the scope of the research;
  • the type of research and narrative tone of the study;
  • methods used to study identified issues (quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods).

The following are the basic tips to consider when writing a title for your international relations research paper:

  • Ensure you have a simple, brief, and attractive title. Since the title serves as a summary of the paper’s content, keep it brief and clear. In this regard, avoid unnecessary details and ensure the title only has 10 to 12 words. The word limit serves to ensure the title is not too long or too short. A narrow topic provides limited information that does not respond to the why, how, where, and what questions while a lengthy title takes the readers’ attention away because it is unfocused.
  • Use appropriate descriptive words. Studies in international relations are broad and use words specific to issues surrounding the topic. Therefore, you should use keywords that define the nature of your research and those used in the research paper. Ensure the terms you use add meaning to your research paper and content. The terms also become the main search elements for the readers.
  • Avoid unknown abbreviations. Unless the abbreviations are well known and common in the international studies field of study, avoid their use. Thus, leave out lesser known terms or abbreviations not familiar to the intended audience.

Thesis Statement

The thesis statement is a sentence that summarizes your research paper content, provides your argument concerning the discussion topic, and provides readers with a direction of what to expect. In this case, you should formulate a thesis statement that informs your readers about the subject of your paper and the position you will take in the discussion. Remember that a strong thesis statement requires proof, which implies that it is not merely a statement of fact. Therefore, ensure you support your thesis statement with supporting evidence that will interest the readers. The following tips are effective for drafting your thesis statement:

  • Know the topic. It is easier to write a thesis statement if you know the topic and are conversant with its content and concepts. Reflecting on lecture notes and researching will help you acquire more information about your topic.
  • Limit your topic. Based on the information gathered and the required length of your research paper, limit your topic to a specific area. A narrow scope of topic will require a shorter paper while a broad scope will require a longer paper.
  • Brainstorm. Try to discover new ideas or connections and note them down. Try to develop common themes based on the generated ideas. Along with the themes, the chosen topic, and the researched information. You can develop an appropriate thesis statement.

To have a good thesis statement, ensure it:

  • Makes a clear, limited, and definite assertion that can be explored and justified using scholarly evidence;
  • Has specific arguments that provide the direction of your paper;
  • Is not too broad for your paper such that it would be impossible to explore every aspect of your claim and that it ensures the scope projected is manageable;
  • Present an argument that can be proven or argued against;
  • Shows your position on the international relations topic and direction of your argument.

Structuring Your International Relations Research Paper

Unlike an essay or a term paper, an international relations research paper has almost six parts that form a formal structure of the paper. You should ensure your research paper has a title page, abstract, introduction, body, conclusion, and reference section. Each of the sections contains different information and is significant in the research paper.

Title Page. The title page contains the title of the paper and is the first element the reader encounters in your research paper. Often, it is written as a stand-alone text own page. However, the title can appear just above the paper’s abstract. Your title page should contain:

  • Title of the research paper;
  • Name(s) of the author(s);
  • Name of the international relations course for which the research was completed;
  • The department in which the research was conducted;
  • Date of submission.

The above components may not all be necessary for your paper since some professors prefer customized formats. Observe your assignment’s requirement for the title page before submitting your paper.

Abstract. The abstract summarizes the paper by providing the significance of the study, methods used to conduct the research, findings, and their implications. The abstract should be less than 250 words and should indicate the:

  • issues to be investigated;
  • objectives of the research;
  • methods used to gather data and analysis;
  • major research findings;
  • interpretations and implications of the findings.

Introduction. The introduction of your research paper should provide readers with background information needed to understand the paper. The significance of the research and objectives should be presented in this section along with a thesis statement. Although the length may vary, the introduction should occupy at least 10% of your research paper.

Body. This section is the main part of the research paper and should present your arguments in a systematic and logical manner. Arguments can be presented in paragraphs or can be categorized in themes under subheadings. If the research is investigative, it is ideal to break down the section into further sub-sections such as methodology, findings, analysis, and discussion.

Conclusion. This forms the last aspect of your research paper. Ensure your conclusion sums up your major arguments and restates your thesis statement.

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Post-Writing Tips from Our Writers

During the research paper writing process, you may err at any point in grammar, sentences, tense, or paragraph mechanics. These errors affect your overall grade; thus, engage in a review of your research paper to ensure it is free of paragraph, sentence, and word errors. Ensure to reference all the cited sources using appropriate referencing styles. This might be time-consuming, yet rewarding in the end.

FAQs

What are the 7 steps of writing a research paper? ›

Seven steps to writing a university research paper
  • Step One: Determine the purpose of the paper. ...
  • Step Two: Refine your research question. ...
  • Step Three: Organize your approach. ...
  • Step Four: Collect information. ...
  • Step Five: Attribute the information. ...
  • Step Six: Write your conclusion. ...
  • Step Seven: Refine your thesis statement.
20 Dec 2020

How do you structure an IR essay? ›

The structure of this type of paper is conventional and includes the following sections:
  1. Introduction. Includes some key issues, the problem to be discussed and the outline of the essay stages.
  2. Main Body. Has subheadings that break the entire essay into thematic sections. ...
  3. Conclusion.

What are the key topics of study in international relations? ›

The study and practice of international relations is interdisciplinary in nature, blending the fields of economics, history, and political science to examine topics such as human rights, global poverty, the environment, economics, globalization, security, global ethics, and the political environment.

What are the three images in international relations? ›

The book is influential within the field of international relations theory for establishing the three 'images of analysis' used to explain conflict in international politics: the international system, the state, and the individual.

What are the 5 major parts of a research paper? ›

A complete research paper in APA style that is reporting on experimental research will typically contain a Title page, Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, and References sections.

What are the 4 basic parts to the writing a research paper? ›

Title (cover page) Introduction. Literature review. Research methodology.

What are the 3 parts of a research paper? ›

A typical research paper will contain the following sections in a sequence. (1) Introduction; (2) Material and methods and (3) Results and discussion. This is sometimes abbreviated as IMRAD. In addition to this, there is 'Abstract', which is the first section of any research paper.

What are the 7 qualities of a good research paper? ›

What are the Qualities of a Good Research Paper
  • Rigorous. Research is a laborious and hard work in reality and it requires great patience and control. ...
  • Controlled. ...
  • Accurate. ...
  • Clear. ...
  • Concise. ...
  • Valid. ...
  • Verifiable. ...
  • Sequential.
26 Mar 2013

Can you write a 10 page research paper in 2 days? ›

A 10-page paper will have approximately 2500 to 2750 words, double-spaced. It can be written within few hours to a week.

What are the five key features of a good research topic? ›

characteristics of good research topics
  • a good topic is ethical.
  • select a worthwhile problem.
  • a good topic is manageable.
  • a good research topic has theoretical or practical significance.
  • topic is researchable.
2 Dec 2014

What writing style is used in international relations? ›

Chicago style is the preferred citation format for the International Relations program.

What is Methodology in IR? ›

Research methods in International Relations can be daunting to grasp, but put simply they are the tools and techniques used by students and academics to properly design research questions, and more importantly to reach persuasive and credible answers to those questions.

What is the main reason to study IR? ›

Studying international relations is a surefire way to hone your decision-making, analytical, and interpersonal skills. You gain a comprehensive understanding of society, people, globalization and multinational markets. This skill set is in high demand among leading employers in both the private and public sectors.

What are the 4 approaches in studying international relations? ›

There are three major international relations approaches: realism, liberalism, and Marxism. Realism is the approach that emphasizes the self-interest of the state within the international community.

What are the 4 great debates in international relations? ›

These disputes throughout IR's short history have come to be known as 'The Great Debates', and though disputed it is generally felt there have been four, namely 'Realism/Liberalism', 'Traditionalism/Behaviouralism', 'Neorealism/Neoliberalism' and the most recent 'Rationalism/Reflectivism'.

What are the three main theories of international relations? ›

This article identifies Realism, Liberalism, and Constructivism as the three major branches of IR theory. These three branches have replaced the earlier realism-idealism dichotomy.

What are the two main branches of international relations? ›

International relations is traditionally divided into two main fields: international security (the study of war, conflict, peace, etc.,) and international political economy (trade, foreign direct investment, international finance, etc.).

What are the two main theories of international relations? ›

Traditionally there have been two central theories of IR: liberalism and realism. Although they have come under great challenge from other theories, they remain central to the discipline. At its height, liberalism in IR was referred to as a 'utopian' theory and is still recognised as such to some degree today.

What are the five theories of international relations? ›

The five main theories of international relations include: realism theory, liberalism theory, Marxism theory, constructivism theory, and feminism theory.

What is the easiest part of a research paper? ›

Method. This should be the easiest part of the paper to write, as it is a run-down of the exact design and methodology used to perform the research. Obviously, the exact methodology varies depending upon the exact field and type of experiment.

What is the most important part of a research paper? ›

Abstract is the most important part of a paper. Every section is important while the Abstract puts them all together. The Introduction, Method of study, Results, Conclusion and future prospects, not yet covered are included in the Abstract.

What part of research paper do you find difficult? ›

Selecting a topic can be the most challenging part of a research assignment. Since this is the very first step in writing a paper, it is vital that it be done correctly.

How do you write an introduction to a research paper? ›

What should you include in an introduction for a research paper?
  1. An overview of the topic. Start with a general overview of your topic. ...
  2. Prior research. Your introduction is the place to review other conclusions on your topic. ...
  3. A rationale for your paper. ...
  4. Describe the methodology you used. ...
  5. A thesis statement. ...
  6. An outline.
10 Aug 2021

What is the best title for research title? ›

Effective titles in academic research papers have several characteristics.
  • Indicate accurately the subject and scope of the study.
  • Avoid using abbreviations.
  • Use words that create a positive impression and stimulate reader interest.
  • Use current nomenclature from the field of study.
7 Sept 2022

What does the introduction of a research paper contain? ›

Stating the intent of your study, Outlining the key characteristics of your study, Describing important results, and. Giving a brief overview of the structure of the paper.

What makes a bad research paper? ›

Research that is chopped up into lots of small chunks, in terms of article length/word or page counts. Research that makes extremely small or incremental arguments. Research that is in the “wrong” journal – low prestige, niche, online, or in a lower status discipline.

What makes a strong research paper? ›

A good research paper should be rigorous, controlled, Accurate, replicable, Clear, Concise, Valid, Verifiable, Sequential, etc. The data the researcher adds in the research paper should have to be verifiable and provable.

What are the 10 qualities of a good research? ›

Ten Qualities of a Good Researcher
  • ABSTRACT.
  • QUALITY #1: INTEREST.
  • QUALITY #2: MOTIVATION.
  • QUALITY #3: INQUISITIVENESS.
  • QUALITY #4: COMMITMENT.
  • QUALITY #5: SACRIFICE.
  • QUALITY #6: EXCELLENCE.
  • QUALITY #7: KNOWLEDGE.
1 Aug 2012

Can I write 10 pages in 4 hours? ›

Writing 10 pages will take about 2.1 hours for the average writer typing on a keyboard and 4.2 hours for handwriting. However, if the content needs to include in-depth research, links, citations, or graphics such as for a blog article or high school essay, the length can grow to 16.7 hours.

Can you finish a research paper in one day? ›

By following the typical structure of a research paper, creating an outline and finding good sources, you can get your research paper done in a night.

Can you write a 2000 word paper in a day? ›

In sum, there is really no reason why anyone can't write 2000 words a day. That said, it's important to take care of your health during the process. Get up regularly, stretch, and don't forget to those other rhythms: eating and sleeping.

What are the 3 important qualities of a good research? ›

The research should focus on priority problems. The research should be systematic. It emphasizes that a researcher should employ a structured procedure. The research should be logical.

How do I know my research topic is good? ›

Here are some things to consider:
  • Make sure your topic meets the assignment requirements. Ask your professor for feedback if you are unsure.
  • Choose a topic that is interesting to you. It may seem obvious, but this will make the research process more fun and engaging for you.
  • Consider the scope of your topic.
4 Jan 2022

What are the 5 styles of writing? ›

there are only five main kinds of writing: expository, descriptive, persuasive, narrative, and journal or letter writing. Each writing genre has its own unique purpose and requires different skills.

What are the 4 main styles of writing? ›

Your audience and writing purpose will determine your writing style. The four main types of writing styles are persuasive, narrative, expository, and descriptive. In this blog post, we'll briefly explore the defining features of these four writing styles.

What are the 5 steps of methodology? ›

  • Step 1 – Locating and Defining Issues or Problems. This step focuses on uncovering the nature and boundaries of a situation or question that needs to be answered or studied. ...
  • Step 2 – Designing the Research Project. ...
  • Step 3 – Collecting Data. ...
  • Step 4 – Interpreting Research Data. ...
  • Step 5 – Report Research Findings.
21 Jun 2022

What are the three types of methodology? ›

The three types of methodology used by researchers are qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods.

What are the levels of analysis in IR? ›

IR generally distinguishes between three levels of analysis: the system, the state, and the individual – but the group level is also important to consider as a fourth. To be able to use the level of analysis as an analytical device, we need to be clear about what we are most interested in.

How do I prepare for IR? ›

When you start reading the IR study material, you must begin by reading about:
  1. The basic philosophy underlying international relations.
  2. Evolution of the foreign policy of India.
  3. Major changes in the world in the last few decades and how India has been affected by those changes.

What is the most important theory of IR? ›

Realism or political realism has been the dominant theory of international relations since the conception of the discipline.

Is IR a good degree? ›

IR is definitely not a worthless degree. It does matter which university you go to, so try and get the best grades you can and go to the best uni you can for the course. Congratulations! What would you consider the best postgraduate options for International Relations graduates?

What is the format of a research paper? ›

A complete research paper in APA style that is reporting on experimental research will typically contain a Title page, Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, and References sections. Many will also contain Figures and Tables and some will have an Appendix or Appendices.

What are the two basic forms of international research? ›

Primary research involves gathering new data directly from the consumer or potential customer. Activities such as questionnaires, interviews, focus groups and surveys fall under the remit of primary research. Secondary research uses data that already exists. There are two types.

How do you start a research paper for a country? ›

  1. Step 1: Introduce your topic. The first job of the introduction is to tell the reader what your topic is and why it's interesting or important. ...
  2. Step 2: Describe the background. ...
  3. Step 3: Establish your research problem. ...
  4. Step 4: Specify your objective(s) ...
  5. Step 5: Map out your paper.
24 Sept 2020

How do you write an IR dissertation? ›

What Is The Secret To Writing The Best Dissertation In International
  1. Start with analytical reading.
  2. Provide your unique understanding of the studied issue.
  3. Write a dissertation outline first.
  4. Include all the necessary dissertation elements.
  5. Reserve enough time for revising your writing.

What is the easiest format for a research paper? ›

If you are writing a standard research paper that reviews sources and presents an argument gleaned from the sources, then MLA is certainly the easiest format. MLA requires a mere block at the top left hand of the page with your name, the date, the course name, and the title of the article centered below it.

What are the 3 phases of international research? ›

There are three basic data collection approaches in international marketing research: (1) secondary data, (2) survey data, and (3) experimental data.

What are the 4 main primary research methods? ›

Types of primary research

The most common primary market research methods are interviews, surveys, focus groups and observations.

What are the 10 steps to writing a research paper? ›

Following these ten steps will help you write a good research paper.
  1. Choose Your Topic. ...
  2. Locate Information. ...
  3. Prepare Bibliography Cards. ...
  4. Prepare Note Cards. ...
  5. Prepare an Outline. ...
  6. Write A Rough Draft. ...
  7. Revise Your Rough Draft. ...
  8. Prepare Your Bibliography.

Can I start my research paper with a question? ›

It should provide more information about your research and the main outcome that you have achieved. It is not advisable to have a question as the title of your paper as it is the first thing readers will see about your paper.

Is studying IR worth it? ›

Studying international relations is a surefire way to hone your decision-making, analytical, and interpersonal skills. You gain a comprehensive understanding of society, people, globalization and multinational markets. This skill set is in high demand among leading employers in both the private and public sectors.

How do I become an IR expert? ›

Get a Masters in International Relations

Recruiters expect their new hires to have not only cross-cultural experience but also cross-disciplinary skills. Among different graduate programs, a Masters in International Relations would be the most relevant, helping give students both the skills and experience necessary.

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