For the final paper you may write on any topic you choose, subject to my approval. The paper should use one or more of the analytical approaches considered in the course to analyze some political decision, or it should examine a relevant electoral topic in some interesting way. Your paper should in some way feature your original analysis of some kind of data. This may be anything from an informal case study based on personal interviews or archival research to a statistical analysis. I encourage you to talk to me either in person or via email to discuss ideas for the paper.
To get approval for a topic, you must submit a 1-3 page proposal for the paper. The proposal should summarize the argument you expect to make (e.g., what is the principal hypothesis) and give some indication of the data you expect to use to build evidence for your argument. It should also identify relevant literature--at least two academic research articles or books that are closely related to your topic. As much as possible you should explain clearly how the data you plan to examine will be sufficient for your analysis. The proposal is due in class on Thursday, April 19 (I'll also accept it earlier).
The paper itself should run about 15 pages (double-spaced) and is due at my office on Friday, May 11. Both the proposal and the paper should use normal scholarly apparatus for footnotes, citations, bibliography and any tables or figures.