How to Improve Professional Writing in the Field of Political Science
In professional writing, one of the tough parts about developing your writing is understanding where you need to improve, and how you might work towards addressing your shortcomings.
1. Learn how to Read Critically
Don’t trust everything written in the newspapers or shown on TV. Political writers cannot afford it, they need to boost their skill of critical reading. Pay attention to nuances and compare what it is said about the issue by different stakeholders.
Most political science writers follow the similar system in their writing:
- introduce an observation or a puzzle, which lead to them asking a question;
- investigate other researchers’ work to come up with an argument in response to the question asked; and
- use proof (qualitative or quantitative data) to test their argument.
2. Get Used to Credible Sources of Information
Professional political writers care about their reputation, thus they don’t utilize information taken from sources with questionable credibility. When looking for sources, especially websites, think about whether they are reliable or not. What you want is your paper containing sources from professional and unbiased experts, rather than from businessmen with commercial interests.
3. Deep Assessment and Critical Thinking
When writing, analyzing the topic can encourage making a reasonable outline for your paper. Make use of empirical evidence, numbers, facts, and history, to back up your argument. Sometimes, purely deductive argument may be appropriate, however, but a more persuasive argument is that backed by evidence.
“Argue against yourself.” After establishing your argument, identify questions or objections that may be raised by a skeptical reader, and address them quickly. This demonstrates to the readers that you were thorough, careful, thoughtful, and paid due respect to alternate interpretations or possible objections.
4. Generate New Ideas
One of the greatest challenges that political writers face is coming up with new ideas. It is a common problem called “writer’s block”. It surprises many new writers.
Without too much effort, most people can think of a bunch of creative ideas about familiar topics. Most people who start to write articles begin with those simple topics, and the writing goes quickly.
They naturally expect all their writing to be that easy. It won’t. Writer’s block is a common problem.
Every writer gets to a point where they come up short on ideas. That is why the ability to generate new ideas is quite essential.
5. Humanize Your Writing
Keep the writing in your voice. It’s really easy to take on the voice of the topic rather than your own when you’re out of your comfort zone. Strive to make it your own and what your readers are stylistically used to seeing from you.
You may use a picture, video or an official statement to launch your argument.
As daunting as it sounds, you don’t necessarily have to call a press officer to get information, dozens of press releases are posted on the website of almost every governmental agency each week.
6. Get Feedback along the Way
The feedback or what we call “bouncing ideas” between friends, both positive and critical, help shape self-evaluation of analytical skills to work on honing and enhancing them.
Ask a friend or two to take a look at your Political Science paper. Two heads are better than one.
You can have a discussion about the gaps in the argument that needs addressing, or the transition sentences that may help the argument “flow” quite logically.
Some of the most efficient feedbacks comes as early as brainstorming on your approach to the topic or when drafting your paper’s research question.
You may have brilliant political ideas, but if you cannot get them across with sound arguments, your ideas won’t get you anywhere! Improve on them, and see how good you’ll get.