Value: 15% of your Total Course Grade
Studying politics is about learning concepts. Concepts are important because they help us see and understand the world around us.
You are required to use the textbook along with 2 scholarly sources and write a short essay on a core concept in the field of political science.
You must choose a concept from the following list. Make sure you choose one that interests you.
3. The Common Good
4. The State
How to Write a Concept Summary:
The purpose of a Concept Summary is to provide a clear definition and overview of a particular concept. Think of it in the following way: Let’s pretend that a friend, family member, or colleague has asked you to explain a particular concept. The concept summary would be your formal response to them. That means it should be written using proper sentences and scholarly writing technique.
You are required to use the course textbook for your summary. Outside sources are optional.
Your concept summary must do two things:
1. Define the concept. What is the State? What is Nationalism? Be sure to explain what the concept means as clearly as you can. And don’t be afraid to get into some details. For example, do scholars agree on the definition or are there different, competing definitions? *this is the part where you will use the textbook.
2. Discuss an example of your concept as it applies in the real world. For example, if you write on power, you should discuss a historical or contemporary example of the exercise of power. The aim here is to show how your concept sheds light on some aspect of political reality. *this is the part where you will use two scholarly sources.
Concept Summaries must be:
• Word format
• Times New Roman, 12 Point Font, regular margins (Do not adjust font size and margins to make the paper appear longer than it really is).
• A minimum of 2 full pages in length, double-spaced (this does not include your title page and bibliography).
• A title page is required where you list the concept you are writing on, your full name, student number, course name, and the submission date. See the example I have posted on Elearn.
• A bibliography is required at the end of the essay. This must be done in Chicago Style (The essay/bibliography example I have posted on Elearn will help you here. You can use it as a model. Also, I have posted a brief guide to Chicago style citations).
• Using and citing the course textbook is required. It must be listed in your bibliography and cited in the body of the text.
• Using and citing two additional scholarly sources is required. These must be listed in your bibliography and cited in the body of the text.
• Points taken directly from the textbook should either be paraphrased (put into your own words) or placed in quotations.
• Scholarly sources consist of books and peer-reviewed articles from credible academic journals (this means no Wikipedia, no blogs, no online encyclopedias, and so on.)
• Focus on your writing technique. Are your sentences clear? Do they make sense? How is your grammar and syntax?
• Is your summary structured well? Does it proceed from point to point in a logical way? It always helps to plan out your points before writing.
• Paraphrase! Put textbook points into your own words. Tell me what the author means in your own words. This is a great skill to develop. Practice it.
• It’s ok to directly quote an author from time to time. But don’t rely too heavily on quotes, because that drowns out your own voice. And if you do use a direct quote, always explain what it means in your own words.
On the elearn course page, there is a link/portal to submit your Concept Summary. Word format submission is required.