Guidelines for writing research paper :
• It should be of about 3000 words including footnotes and bibliography (approx. 6-10 pages).
• Critical research paper requires you to make an argument, not just describe what
happened, but to provide analysis of the situation. You can provide different points of
view or various interpretations of the same event / issue and then argue in favor of one.
The general structure should be:
• Present your major argument and objectives. E.g. The paper analyses the issue of… It
argues that… It aims at demonstrating that…
• Point out the importance of your chosen research topic (beyond the fact that it was
proposed by professor in the list of topics for research paper)
• You can briefly mention the steps you will take to prove your argument.
• You can provide short summary of the most important points.
• Don’t go into details, the introduction should be about 1 page and should not include a lot of factual information. The aim of introduction is to make reader aware of what is your
research topic, why it’s important and what is your position.
Proof of your argument - should be bulk of the paper
• Might involve a number of sub-arguments – mini statements to prove your larger
argument. For example, if your argument is that capitalism is the best model for global
economy you might prove this by:
• Providing historical background on how this economic system came into being and argue
that it’s the longest surviving (from 16th century), and after the end of the Cold War the most
widely accepted (even by the countries from the former communist block) system.
• Presenting arguments of famous scholars, politicians, using concrete facts,
numbers/statistics, examples, stories, cases that would prove your position. In this part you
can go into details.
• Analyzing alternative views and points of criticism of capitalism and demonstrating why
you disagree with these points, why you think they are flawed, or incomplete. Sometimes it
can seem intimidating as a BA student to “criticize” famous professors and experienced
policymakers. However, part of this exercise is to develop your critical thinking and to analyze
whether argument is compelling or not.
• You can acknowledge that it’s not so black and white and in fact there are some setbacks
in capitalist system that became visible during Asian financial crisis of 1997 and global financial
crisis of 2007-2008, however….
• You can even make your proposition/ recommendation in favor of the reform or
improvement. However, it’s not mandatory. I don’t expect you to provide concrete policy
recommendations. You can have a second argument, but for your research paper I don not suggest you to have
more than one or maximum two major arguments.
• Summarize your main ideas/points if possible with new and stronger words.
You need to cite your information, using footnotes or endnotes. Both MLA and Chicago style
are acceptable for citations.
At the end provide full and detailed bibliography – list of sources you used for writing your
Mention the name of the author, title of the book or article, publishing place and house, or
name of the journal and issue (in case of article), year of publication and page.
In case of web-site: state the name of the author, title of the article, web-site and date of
Use reliable academic sources: books and articles, established newspapers, magazines and
web-sites. If there is no author on the web-site the article is not reliable. Avoid use of