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Political Writing: The Power of Words in Politics

Jun 16, 2020

Political Writing

Words are powerful. They can inspire, motivate, and unite people. Political writing can be a tool for rallying support for a cause or rallying opposition against a policy. And it can be used to build relationships with other countries or strengthen alliances with allies. Whatever your political goal may be, strong writing skills are essential to achieving it. So if you’re interested in entering the world of politics, learn how to write well. It will make all the difference.

Politics is all about words. The right words can inspire people to change the world, ruining a career. In this blog post, we’ll look at some of the most powerful political speeches throughout history and explore the power of words in politics. Stay tuned – it’s going to be a fascinating ride!

What is Political Writing?

Political writing is writing that is related to politics. This includes pieces written by or on political groups, candidates, parties, and government agencies.

Political writing is the art of writing in support of a political cause.

Political writing is a form of nonfiction. It’s one of the most common uses for language today because we often use it to express our opinions about political matters.

Political writing is nonfiction that presents an opinion or interpretation of political issues. It can be in speeches, position papers, or editorials.

Political writing is written communication that deals with government, politics, and political science.

Political writing is the act of sharing or discussing events and situations of a political nature.

Political writing is a genre of the essay, article, or other work that deals with political matters.

What is political writing, and why is it important?

Political writing is a type of writing that makes people think about their opinions, actions, and the world. It’s essential to keep reading it because it helps us get involved in our communities.

Political writing is the use of language to convince others to create change. It’s important because it allows people to express their opinions and ideas, affecting how politicians make decisions that affect everyone.

Political writing uses written language to present a view, promote a plan, or persuade readers.

Political writing is a genre of writing that analyzes and responds to politics. This type of writing is essential because it allows people to voice their opinions about politics and government, which helps create better policies for our country.

Political writing is the art of convincing people to support your point of view through rhetoric and logic.

One type of political writing his speeches. They’re essential because they can influence and educate many people on controversial topics.

Political writing is a way to express one’s opinion on issues that impact the world. It can be in different forms, such as novels, poetry, or news articles.

The history of political writing

In the 17th century, many political pamphlets were written. Many of these pamphlets contained strong opinions and biased information, but most importantly, they helped shape policy in England during this period.

Although the first political writings appeared in ancient times, it wasn’t until much later that people started writing about politics.

Politics have influenced society for thousands of years. Throughout history, politicians have defined the direction of countries and shaped people’s lives.

Types of political writing

  • Political essays are generally written formally to persuade readers to adopt an author’s point of view.
  • A political speech aims to persuade people and rally support for a person or party.
  • A manifesto is an extended essay that lays out one’s beliefs and goals in great detail.
  • Opinion writing is a form of political writing that expresses an opinion about a topic.
  • Essays are usually based on personal experiences and may be autobiographical, but they can also be analytical essays about issues or topics.
  • News reports differ from op-eds because they focus more on factual information than opinions.
  • Editorial: The author’s opinion on a topic, often supported with facts and statistics
  • Letter to the editor: A letter from an individual reader responding to something in the newspaper
  • Magazine article: A long-form article that is usually published in a magazine
  • Opinion Pieces: these are pieces that come from the writer’s personal opinion and can be either positive or negative
  • Analysis: This type of writing analyzes a topic in-depth, usually with statistics and data to back up its points
  • News Stories: news stories tell readers about current events happening around the world; they may include interviews with experts on the issue or people who have been affected by it
  • Op-Eds: op-eds are articles written by someone outside of an organization, such as a politician, activist, union leader, etc., meant for publication in a newspaper or magazine
  • Argumentation
  • Campaigning/Polemicizing
  • Persuasive writing
  • Informative writing
  • Narrative writing

How to write a persuasive political speech

A persuasive political speech is a type of writing that aims to convince the audience that your view on an issue is more valid than others. To do this, you must start by acknowledging different opinions and pointing out why they are wrong.

The initial step in writing a persuasive speech is to establish your credibility. For example, please talk about your accomplishments for the party or how many years you’ve been involved.

A persuasive political speech should be well-prepared, clear, and straightforward, logically structured. It should focus on the main points without unnecessary details.

A persuasive speech is a type of speech designed to convince the audience. This can be done through logical reasoning, testimonies, facts, figures, or stories.

It would help to tell the audience what you stand for and why and how you will fulfill your promises. It will help if you convince them they want to change their lives or won’t vote for you.

A good speech should be like a story with a beginning, middle, and end. It should present the main idea in the opening sentence or paragraph and develop it throughout the speech. A persuasive political speech will use facts and statistics to support its views.

A political speech is a great way to persuade your audience and win votes. If you’d like to learn some things you can do before writing your address, that will help with the process.

How to write an op-ed piece

Op-ed pieces help express your opinion on a topic.

An op-ed piece is an opinionated article in which the author expresses their views on a topic recently discussed in the news.

An op-ed piece is a short article published in newspapers or other media. It does not necessarily reflect the newspaper’s opinion but rather that of an individual writer.

An op-ed piece is an article that expresses a writer’s opinion on current affairs. This writing style is frequently used in newspapers, magazines, and blogs.

Best Practices for Political Writing

  • Be clear about your position on the issue
  • Provide evidence to support your point of view
  • Ensure you have a good thesis statement and the main idea of your essay or article.
  • Use strong verbs and nouns to make sentences more powerful
  • Avoid using too many adjectives or adverbs; instead, use descriptive words that show what something looks like, smells like, tastes like, feels like, etc
  • Keep it short- this means no more than five paragraphs at most (and each section should be less than three sentences)
  • Use clear, concise language
  • Avoid jargon and acronyms that are not universally-known
  • Provide evidence for your claims
  • Write in a way that is easy to understand but still has a depth of knowledge
  • allow readers to engage with you through comments or social media shares
  • Avoid using slang or idioms
  • Keep sentences short and simple
  • Use active voice, not passive voice
  • Be concise- get to the point quickly without rambling about irrelevant information.
  • Make sure you know your audience before writing anything political
  • Make sure your writing is engaging and accessible to read
  • Keep it brief, but don’t be too concise- make the reader feel like they’re getting something out of reading your article
  • Use a variety of sentences with varying lengths to keep readers interested in what you have to say
  • Be careful not to be preachy or biased when discussing political topics.
  • Use simple language- avoid jargon and acronyms.
  • Avoid hyperbole, exaggeration, and generalizations.
  • Create an apparent argument with evidence to support your claims
  • Be concise- don’t ramble or go off on tangents
  • Stick to one point at a time- present new ideas in separate paragraphs
  • Use persuasive language to connect with the reader, but avoid over-the-top rhetoric or exaggerated claims.
  • Provide specific evidence for your assertions
  • Avoid using unnecessary jargon and acronyms
  • Read the publication’s guidelines
  • Write objectively, not emotionally
  • Use active voice and strong verbs to convey power and action
  • Keep your sentences short and simple for easy readability
  • Include sources in your writing when possible
  • Use short, punchy sentences
  • Avoid using jargon or acronyms without explaining what they mean
  • Keep your writing simple and easy to read
  • Make sure you are always fair in your analysis of the issue at hand

Words are an effective tool in politics. When these words are chosen wisely, they can create the perfect storm that sweeps away opposition and makes new citizenship norms. Contact us today if you’re looking for someone with deep experience in crafting compelling political arguments or want to learn more about how language shapes our society. We have years of expertise working with politicians on both sides of the aisle and across different countries worldwide!

One way to get in touch is by filling out our online form on this site or give us a call at +91 9848321284. Let’s work together today!

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The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Political Science

What this handout is about.

This handout will help you to recognize and to follow writing standards in political science. The first step toward accomplishing this goal is to develop a basic understanding of political science and the kind of work political scientists do.

Defining politics and political science

Political scientist Harold Laswell said it best: at its most basic level, politics is the struggle of “who gets what, when, how.” This struggle may be as modest as competing interest groups fighting over control of a small municipal budget or as overwhelming as a military stand-off between international superpowers. Political scientists study such struggles, both small and large, in an effort to develop general principles or theories about the way the world of politics works. Think about the title of your course or re-read the course description in your syllabus. You’ll find that your course covers a particular sector of the large world of “politics” and brings with it a set of topics, issues, and approaches to information that may be helpful to consider as you begin a writing assignment. The diverse structure of political science reflects the diverse kinds of problems the discipline attempts to analyze and explain. In fact, political science includes at least eight major sub-fields:

  • American politics examines political behavior and institutions in the United States.
  • Comparative politics analyzes and compares political systems within and across different geographic regions.
  • International relations investigates relations among nation states and the activities of international organizations such as the United Nations, the World Bank, and NATO, as well as international actors such as terrorists, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and multi-national corporations (MNCs).
  • Political theory analyzes fundamental political concepts such as power and democracy and foundational questions, like “How should the individual and the state relate?”
  • Political methodology deals with the ways that political scientists ask and investigate questions.
  • Public policy examines the process by which governments make public decisions.
  • Public administration studies the ways that government policies are implemented.
  • Public law focuses on the role of law and courts in the political process.

What is scientific about political science?

Investigating relationships.

Although political scientists are prone to debate and disagreement, the majority view the discipline as a genuine science. As a result, political scientists generally strive to emulate the objectivity as well as the conceptual and methodological rigor typically associated with the so-called “hard” sciences (e.g., biology, chemistry, and physics). They see themselves as engaged in revealing the relationships underlying political events and conditions. Based on these revelations, they attempt to state general principles about the way the world of politics works. Given these aims, it is important for political scientists’ writing to be conceptually precise, free from bias, and well-substantiated by empirical evidence. Knowing that political scientists value objectivity may help you in making decisions about how to write your paper and what to put in it.

Political theory is an important exception to this empirical approach. You can learn more about writing for political theory classes in the section “Writing in Political Theory” below.

Building theories

Since theory-building serves as the cornerstone of the discipline, it may be useful to see how it works. You may be wrestling with theories or proposing your own as you write your paper. Consider how political scientists have arrived at the theories you are reading and discussing in your course. Most political scientists adhere to a simple model of scientific inquiry when building theories. The key to building precise and persuasive theories is to develop and test hypotheses. Hypotheses are statements that researchers construct for the purpose of testing whether or not a certain relationship exists between two phenomena. To see how political scientists use hypotheses, and to imagine how you might use a hypothesis to develop a thesis for your paper, consider the following example. Suppose that we want to know whether presidential elections are affected by economic conditions. We could formulate this question into the following hypothesis:

“When the national unemployment rate is greater than 7 percent at the time of the election, presidential incumbents are not reelected.”

Collecting data

In the research model designed to test this hypothesis, the dependent variable (the phenomenon that is affected by other variables) would be the reelection of incumbent presidents; the independent variable (the phenomenon that may have some effect on the dependent variable) would be the national unemployment rate. You could test the relationship between the independent and dependent variables by collecting data on unemployment rates and the reelection of incumbent presidents and comparing the two sets of information. If you found that in every instance that the national unemployment rate was greater than 7 percent at the time of a presidential election the incumbent lost, you would have significant support for our hypothesis.

However, research in political science seldom yields immediately conclusive results. In this case, for example, although in most recent presidential elections our hypothesis holds true, President Franklin Roosevelt was reelected in 1936 despite the fact that the national unemployment rate was 17%. To explain this important exception and to make certain that other factors besides high unemployment rates were not primarily responsible for the defeat of incumbent presidents in other election years, you would need to do further research. So you can see how political scientists use the scientific method to build ever more precise and persuasive theories and how you might begin to think about the topics that interest you as you write your paper.

Clear, consistent, objective writing

Since political scientists construct and assess theories in accordance with the principles of the scientific method, writing in the field conveys the rigor, objectivity, and logical consistency that characterize this method. Thus political scientists avoid the use of impressionistic or metaphorical language, or language which appeals primarily to our senses, emotions, or moral beliefs. In other words, rather than persuade you with the elegance of their prose or the moral virtue of their beliefs, political scientists persuade through their command of the facts and their ability to relate those facts to theories that can withstand the test of empirical investigation. In writing of this sort, clarity and concision are at a premium. To achieve such clarity and concision, political scientists precisely define any terms or concepts that are important to the arguments that they make. This precision often requires that they “operationalize” key terms or concepts. “Operationalizing” simply means that important—but possibly vague or abstract—concepts like “justice” are defined in ways that allow them to be measured or tested through scientific investigation.

Fortunately, you will generally not be expected to devise or operationalize key concepts entirely on your own. In most cases, your professor or the authors of assigned readings will already have defined and/or operationalized concepts that are important to your research. And in the event that someone hasn’t already come up with precisely the definition you need, other political scientists will in all likelihood have written enough on the topic that you’re investigating to give you some clear guidance on how to proceed. For this reason, it is always a good idea to explore what research has already been done on your topic before you begin to construct your own argument. See our handout on making an academic argument .

Example of an operationalized term

To give you an example of the kind of rigor and objectivity political scientists aim for in their writing, let’s examine how someone might operationalize a term. Reading through this example should clarify the level of analysis and precision that you will be expected to employ in your writing. Here’s how you might define key concepts in a way that allows us to measure them.

We are all familiar with the term “democracy.” If you were asked to define this term, you might make a statement like the following:

“Democracy is government by the people.”

You would, of course, be correct—democracy is government by the people. But, in order to evaluate whether or not a particular government is fully democratic or is more or less democratic when compared with other governments, we would need to have more precise criteria with which to measure or assess democracy. For example, here are some criteria that political scientists have suggested are indicators of democracy:

  • Freedom to form and join organizations
  • Freedom of expression
  • Right to vote
  • Eligibility for public office
  • Right of political leaders to compete for support
  • Right of political leaders to compete for votes
  • Alternative sources of information
  • Free and fair elections
  • Institutions for making government policies depend on votes and other expressions of preference

If we adopt these nine criteria, we now have a definition that will allow us to measure democracy empirically. Thus, if you want to determine whether Brazil is more democratic than Sweden, you can evaluate each country in terms of the degree to which it fulfills the above criteria.

What counts as good writing in political science?

While rigor, clarity, and concision will be valued in any piece of writing in political science, knowing the kind of writing task you’ve been assigned will help you to write a good paper. Two of the most common kinds of writing assignments in political science are the research paper and the theory paper.

Writing political science research papers

Your instructors use research paper assignments as a means of assessing your ability to understand a complex problem in the field, to develop a perspective on this problem, and to make a persuasive argument in favor of your perspective. In order for you to successfully meet this challenge, your research paper should include the following components:

  • An introduction
  • A problem statement
  • A discussion of methodology
  • A literature review
  • A description and evaluation of your research findings
  • A summary of your findings

Here’s a brief description of each component.

In the introduction of your research paper, you need to give the reader some basic background information on your topic that suggests why the question you are investigating is interesting and important. You will also need to provide the reader with a statement of the research problem you are attempting to address and a basic outline of your paper as a whole. The problem statement presents not only the general research problem you will address but also the hypotheses that you will consider. In the methodology section, you will explain to the reader the research methods you used to investigate your research topic and to test the hypotheses that you have formulated. For example, did you conduct interviews, use statistical analysis, rely upon previous research studies, or some combination of all of these methodological approaches?

Before you can develop each of the above components of your research paper, you will need to conduct a literature review. A literature review involves reading and analyzing what other researchers have written on your topic before going on to do research of your own. There are some very pragmatic reasons for doing this work. First, as insightful as your ideas may be, someone else may have had similar ideas and have already done research to test them. By reading what they have written on your topic, you can ensure that you don’t repeat, but rather learn from, work that has already been done. Second, to demonstrate the soundness of your hypotheses and methodology, you will need to indicate how you have borrowed from and/or improved upon the ideas of others.

By referring to what other researchers have found on your topic, you will have established a frame of reference that enables the reader to understand the full significance of your research results. Thus, once you have conducted your literature review, you will be in a position to present your research findings. In presenting these findings, you will need to refer back to your original hypotheses and explain the manner and degree to which your results fit with what you anticipated you would find. If you see strong support for your argument or perhaps some unexpected results that your original hypotheses cannot account for, this section is the place to convey such important information to your reader. This is also the place to suggest further lines of research that will help refine, clarify inconsistencies with, or provide additional support for your hypotheses. Finally, in the summary section of your paper, reiterate the significance of your research and your research findings and speculate upon the path that future research efforts should take.

Writing in political theory

Political theory differs from other subfields in political science in that it deals primarily with historical and normative, rather than empirical, analysis. In other words, political theorists are less concerned with the scientific measurement of political phenomena than with understanding how important political ideas develop over time. And they are less concerned with evaluating how things are than in debating how they should be. A return to our democracy example will make these distinctions clearer and give you some clues about how to write well in political theory.

Earlier, we talked about how to define democracy empirically so that it can be measured and tested in accordance with scientific principles. Political theorists also define democracy, but they use a different standard of measurement. Their definitions of democracy reflect their interest in political ideals—for example, liberty, equality, and citizenship—rather than scientific measurement. So, when writing about democracy from the perspective of a political theorist, you may be asked to make an argument about the proper way to define citizenship in a democratic society. Should citizens of a democratic society be expected to engage in decision-making and administration of government, or should they be satisfied with casting votes every couple of years?

In order to substantiate your position on such questions, you will need to pay special attention to two interrelated components of your writing: (1) the logical consistency of your ideas and (2) the manner in which you use the arguments of other theorists to support your own. First, you need to make sure that your conclusion and all points leading up to it follow from your original premises or assumptions. If, for example, you argue that democracy is a system of government through which citizens develop their full capacities as human beings, then your notion of citizenship will somehow need to support this broad definition of democracy. A narrow view of citizenship based exclusively or primarily on voting probably will not do. Whatever you argue, however, you will need to be sure to demonstrate in your analysis that you have considered the arguments of other theorists who have written about these issues. In some cases, their arguments will provide support for your own; in others, they will raise criticisms and concerns that you will need to address if you are going to make a convincing case for your point of view.

Drafting your paper

If you have used material from outside sources in your paper, be sure to cite them appropriately in your paper. In political science, writers most often use the APA or Turabian (a version of the Chicago Manual of Style) style guides when formatting references. Check with your instructor if they have not specified a citation style in the assignment. For more information on constructing citations, see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial.

Although all assignments are different, the preceding outlines provide a clear and simple guide that should help you in writing papers in any sub-field of political science. If you find that you need more assistance than this short guide provides, refer to the list of additional resources below or make an appointment to see a tutor at the Writing Center.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Becker, Howard S. 2007. Writing for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, Book, or Article , 2nd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Cuba, Lee. 2002. A Short Guide to Writing About Social Science , 4th ed. New York: Longman.

Lasswell, Harold Dwight. 1936. Politics: Who Gets What, When, How . New York: McGraw-Hill.

Scott, Gregory M., and Stephen M. Garrison. 1998. The Political Science Student Writer’s Manual , 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Turabian, Kate. 2018. A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, Dissertations , 9th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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writing political essays

Essay on Politics: Topics, Tips, and Examples for Students

writing political essays

Defining What is Politics Essay

The process of decision-making that applies to members of a group or society is called politics. Arguably, political activities are the backbone of human society, and everything in our daily life is a form of it.

Understanding the essence of politics, reflecting on its internal elements, and critically analyzing them make society more politically aware and let them make more educated decisions. Constantly thinking and analyzing politics is critical for societal evolution.

Political thinkers often write academic papers that explore different political concepts, policies, and events. The essay about politics may examine a wide range of topics such as government systems, political ideologies, social justice, public policies, international relations, etc.

After selecting a specific research topic, a writer should conduct extensive research, gather relevant information, and prepare a logical and well-supported argument. The paper should be clear and organized, complying with academic language and standards. A writer should demonstrate a deep understanding of the subject, an ability to evaluate and remain non-biased to different viewpoints, and a capacity to draw conclusions.

Now that we are on the same page about the question 'what is politics essay' and understand its importance, let's take a deeper dive into how to build a compelling political essay, explore the most relevant political argumentative essay topics, and finally, examine the political essay examples written by the best essay writing service team.

Politics Essay Example for Students

If you are still unsure how to structure your essay or how to present your statement, don't worry. Our team of experts has prepared an excellent essay example for you. Feel free to explore and examine it. Use it to guide you through the writing process and help you understand what a successful essay looks like.

How to Write a Political Essay: Tips + Guide

A well-written essay is easy to read and digest. You probably remember reading papers full of big words and complex ideas that no one bothered to explain. We all agree that such essays are easily forgotten and not influential, even though they might contain a very important message.

If you are writing an essay on politics, acknowledge that you are on a critical mission to easily convey complicated concepts. Hence, what you are trying to say should be your main goal. Our guide on how to write a political essay will help you succeed.

political-essay

Conduct Research for Your Politics Essay

After choosing a topic for the essay, take enough time for preparation. Even if you are familiar with the matter, conducting thorough research is wiser. Political issues are complex and multifaceted; comprehensive research will help you understand the topic better and offer a more nuanced analysis.

Research can help you identify different viewpoints and arguments around the topic, which can be beneficial for building more impartial and persuasive essays on politics. Sometimes in the hit of the moment, opposing sides are not able to see the common ground; your goal is to remain rational, speak to diverse audiences, and help them see the core of the problem and the ways to solve it.

In political papers, accuracy and credibility are vital. Researching the topic deeply will help you avoid factual errors or misrepresentations from any standpoint. It will allow you to gather reliable sources of information and create a trustworthy foundation for the entire paper.

If you want to stand out from the other students, get inspired by the list of hottest essay ideas and check out our political essay examples.

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Brainstorm Political Essay Topics

The next step to writing a compelling politics essay is to polish your thoughts and find the right angle to the chosen topic.

Before you start writing, generate fresh ideas and organize your thoughts. There are different techniques to systematize the mess going on in your head, such as freewriting, mind mapping, or even as simple as listing ideas. This will open the doors to new angles and approaches to the topic.

When writing an essay about politics, ensure the topic is not too general. It's always better to narrow it down. It will simplify your job and help the audience better understand the core of the problem. Brainstorming can help you identify key points and arguments, which you can use to find a specific angle on the topic.

Brainstorming can also help you detect informational gaps that must be covered before the writing process. Ultimately, the brainstorming phase can bring a lot more clarity and structure to your essay.

We know how exhausting it is to come up with comparative politics essay topics. Let our research paper writing service team do all the hard work for you.

Create Your Politics Essay Thesis Statement

Thesis statements, in general, serve as a starting point of the roadmap for the reader. A political essay thesis statement outlines the main ideas and arguments presented in the body paragraphs and creates a general sense of the content of the paper.

persuasive politics essay

Creating a thesis statement for essays about politics in the initial stages of writing can help you stay focused and on track throughout the working process. You can use it as an aim and constantly check your arguments and evidence against it. The question is whether they are relevant and supportive of the statement.

Get creative when creating a statement. This is the first sentence readers will see, and it should be compelling and clear.

The following is a great example of a clear and persuasive thesis statement:

 'The lack of transparency and accountability has made the World Trade Organization one of the most controversial economic entities. Despite the influence, its effectiveness in promoting free trade and economic growth in developing countries has decreased.'

Provide Facts in Your Essay about Politic

It's a no-brainer that everything you will write in your essay should be supported by strong evidence. The credibility of your argument will be questioned every step of the way, especially when you are writing about sensitive subjects such as essays on government influence on economic troubles. 

Provide facts and use them as supporting evidence in your politics essay. They will help you establish credibility and accuracy and take your paper out of the realm of speculation and mere opinions.

Facts will make your essay on political parties more persuasive, unbiased, and targeted to larger audiences. Remember, the goal is to bring the light to the core of the issue and find a solution, not to bring people even farther apart.

Speaking of facts, many students claim that when they say ' write my essay for me ' out loud, our writing team is the fastest to respond and deliver high-quality essays meeting their trickiest requirements.

Structure Your Political Essay

Your main goal is to communicate your ideas to many people. To succeed, you need to write an essay that is easy to read and understand. Creating a structure will help you present your ideas logically and lead the readers in the right direction.

Sometimes when writing about political essay topics, we get carried away. These issues can be very emotional and sensitive, and writers are not protected from becoming victims of their own writings. Having a structure will keep you on track, only focusing on providing supported arguments and relevant information.

Start with introducing the thesis statement and provide background information. Followed by the body paragraphs and discuss all the relevant facts and standpoints. Finish it up with a comprehensive conclusion, and state the main points of your essay once again.

The structure will also save you time. In the beginning, creating an outline for essays on politics will give you a general idea of what should be written, and you can track your progress against it.

Revise and Proofread Your Final Politics Essay

Once every opinion is on the paper and every argument is well-constructed, one final step should be taken. Revision!

We know nothing is better than finishing the homework and quickly submitting it, but we aim for an A+. Our political essay must be reviewed. You need to check if there is any error such as grammatical, spelling, or contextual.

Take some time off, relax, and start proofreading after a few minutes or hours. Having a fresh mind will help you review not only grammar but also the arguments. Check if something is missing from your essays about politics, and if you find gaps, provide additional information.

You had to spend a lot of time on them, don't give up now. Make sure they are in perfect condition.

Effective Political Essay Topics

We would be happy if our guide on how to write political essays helped you, but we are not stopping there. Below you will find a list of advanced and relevant political essay topics. Whether you are interested in global political topics or political science essay topics, we got you covered.

Once you select a topic, don't forget to check out our politics essay example! It will bring even more clarity, and you will be all ready to start writing your own paper.

Political Argumentative Essay Topics

Now that we know how to write a political analysis essay let's explore political argumentative essay topics:

  • Should a political party take a stance on food politics and support policies promoting sustainable food systems?
  • Should we label Winston Churchill as the most influential political figure of World War II?
  • Does the focus on GDP growth in the political economy hinder the human development index?
  • Is foreign influence a threat to national security?
  • Is foreign aid the best practice for political campaigning?
  • Does the electoral college work for an ideal political system?
  • Are social movements making a real difference, or are they politically active for temporary change?
  • Can global politics effectively address political conflicts in the modern world?
  • Are opposing political parties playing positive roles in US international relations?
  • To what extent should political influence be allowed in addressing economic concerns?
  • Can representative democracy prevent civil wars in ethnically diverse countries?
  • Should nuclear weapons be abolished for the sake of global relations?
  • Is economic development more important than ethical issues for Caribbean politics?
  • What role should neighboring nations play in preventing human rights abuse in totalitarian regimes?
  • Should political decisions guide the resolution of conflicts in the South China Sea?

Political Socialization Essay Topics

Knowing how to write a political issue essay is one thing, but have you explored our list of political socialization essay topics?

  • To what extent does a political party or an influential political figure shape the beliefs of young people?
  • Does political influence shape attitudes toward environmental politics?
  • How can individuals use their own learning process to navigate political conflicts in a polarized society?
  • How do political strategies shape cultural globalization?
  • Is gender bias used as a political instrument in political socialization?
  • How can paying attention to rural communities improve political engagement?
  • What is the role of Amnesty International in preventing the death penalty?
  • What is the role of politically involved citizens in shaping minimum wage policies?
  • How does a political party shape attitudes toward global warming?
  • How does the federal system influence urban planning and attitudes toward urban development?
  • What is the role of public opinion in shaping foreign policy, and how does it affect political decision making
  • Did other countries' experiences affect policies on restricting immigration in the US?
  • How can note-taking skills and practice tests improve political engagement? 
  • How do the cultural values of an independent country shape the attitudes toward national security?
  • Does public opinion influence international intervention in helping countries reconcile after conflicts?

Political Science Essay Topics

If you are searching for political science essay topics, check our list below and write the most compelling essay about politic:

  • Is environmental education a powerful political instrument? 
  • Can anarchist societies provide a viable alternative to traditional forms of governance?
  • Pros and cons of deterrence theory in contemporary international relations
  • Comparing the impact of the French Revolution and World War II on the political landscape of Europe
  • The role of the ruling political party in shaping national policies on nuclear weapons
  • Exploring the roots of where politics originate
  • The impact of civil wars on the processes of democratization of the third-world countries
  • The role of international organizations in promoting global health
  • Does using the death penalty in the justice system affect international relations?
  • Assessing the role of the World Trade Organization in shaping global trade policies
  • The political and environmental implications of conventional agriculture
  • The impact of the international court on political decision making
  • Is philosophical anarchism relevant to contemporary political discourse?
  • The emergence of global citizenship and its relationship with social movements
  • The impact of other countries on international relations between the US and China

Final Words

See? Writing an essay about politic seems like a super challenging job, but in reality, all it takes is excellent guidance, a well-structured outline, and an eye for credible information.

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How to Write the Political and Global Issues College Essay

writing political essays

Essays are one of the best parts of the college application process. With your grades in, your test scores decided, and your extracurriculars developed over your years in high school, your essays are the last piece of your college application that you have immediate control over. With them, you get to add a voice to your other stats, a “face” to the name, so to speak. They’re an opportunity to reveal what’s important to you and what sets you apart from other applicants and tell the admissions committee why you’d be an excellent addition to their incoming student class.

Throughout your college applications process, there are many different types of essays you’ll be asked to write. Some of the most popular essay questions you’ll see might include writing about an extracurricular, why you want to matriculate at a school, and what you want to study.

Increasingly, you might also see a supplemental college essay asking you to discuss a political or global issue that you’re passionate about. Asking this type of question helps colleges understand what you care about outside of your personal life and how you will be an active global citizen.

Some examples from the 2019-2020 cycle include:

Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service : Briefly discuss a current global issue, indicating why you consider it important and what you suggest should be done to deal with it.

Yeshiva University Honors Programs : What is one issue about which you are passionate?

Pitzer College : Pitzer College is known for our students’ intellectual and creative activism. If you could work on a cause that is meaningful to you through a project, artistic, academic, or otherwise, what would you do?

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writing political essays

Our chancing engine factors in extracurricular activities, demographic, and other holistic details.

Our chancing engine factors in extracurricular activities, demographic, and other holistic details. We’ll let you know what your chances are at your dream schools — and how to improve your chances!

Tips for Writing the Political and Global Issues College Essay

Pick an issue close to your life.

When you first see a political and global issues prompt, your gut reaction might be to go with a big-picture topic that’s all over the news, like poverty or racism. The problem with these topics is that you usually have a page or less to talk about the issue and why it matters to you. Students also might not have a direct personal connection to such a broad topic. The goal of this essay is to reveal your critical thinking skills, but the higher-level goal of every college essay is to learn more about who you are.

Rather than go with a broad issue that you’re not personally connected to, see if there’s just one facet of it that you  can  contend with. This is especially important if the prompt simply asks for “an issue,” and not necessarily a “global issue.” While some essay prompts will specifically ask that you address a  global  issue (like Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service), there are still ways to approach it from a more focused perspective.

For example, if you were to talk about world hunger, you could start with the hunger you see in your community, which is a food desert. For your solution, you can discuss your plan to build a community garden, so the town is able to access fresh produce. Food deserts, of course, aren’t the only reason world hunger exists; so, you should also explore some other reasons, and other solutions. Maybe there is a better way to prevent and recuperate produce currently being wasted, for instance. If the prompt doesn’t specifically ask for a global issue, however, you could simply focus on food deserts.

For another example, maybe you want to talk about climate change. A more personal and focused approach would deal with happenings in your community, or a community you’ve had contact with. For instance, perhaps your local river was polluted because of textile industry waste; in this case, it would be fitting to address fast fashion specifically (which is still a global issue).

Remember your audience

As you’re approaching this essay, take care to understand the political ramifications of what you’re suggesting and how the school you’re addressing might react to it. Make sure you understand the school’s political viewpoints, and keep in mind that schools are hoping to see how you might fit on their campus based on your response.

So, if you’re applying to a school known for being progressive, like Oberlin or Amherst, you might not want to write an essay arguing that religious freedom is under threat in America. Or, if you’re applying to Liberty University, you should probably avoid writing an essay with a strong pro-LGBTQ stance. You don’t have to take the opposite position, but try picking a different issue that won’t raise the same concerns.

If you have no political alignment, choose economics

If you find yourself applying to a school with which you share no political viewpoints, you might want to consider if the school would even be a good fit for you. Why do you really want to go there? Are those reasons worth it? If you think so, consider writing about an economic issue, which tend to be less contentious than social issues.

For instance, you could write about the impact of monopolies because your parents own an independent bookstore that has been affected by Amazon. Or you could discuss tax breaks for companies that keep or move their production domestically, after seeing how your town changed when factories were moved abroad. Maybe tax filing is a cause you’re really passionate about, and you think the government should institute a free electronic system for all. No matter what you write about here, the key is to keep it close to home however you can.

Pick the best possible framing

When you’re writing an essay that doesn’t fully align with the political views of the school you’re applying to, you’ll want to minimize the gap between your viewpoint and that of the school. While they still might disagree with your views, this will give your essay (and therefore you) the best possible chance. Let’s say you’re applying to a school with progressive economic views, while you firmly believe in free markets. Consider these two essay options:

Option 1:  You believe in free markets because they have pulled billions out of terrible poverty in the developing world.

Option 2:  “Greed is good,” baby! Nothing wrong with the rich getting richer.

Even if you believe equally in the two reasons above personally, essay option 1 would be more likely to resonate with an admissions committee at a progressive school.

Let’s look at another, more subtle example:

Option 1:  Adding 500 police officers to the New York City public transit system to catch fare evaders allows officers to unfairly and systematically profile individuals based on their race.

Option 2:  The cost of hiring 500 additional police officers in the New York City public transit system is higher than the money that would be recouped by fare evasion.

While you might believe both of these things, a school that places a lower priority on race issues may respond better to the second option’s focus on the fallible economics of the issue.

Structuring the Essay

Depending on how long the essay prompt is, you’ll want to use your time and word count slightly differently. For shorter essays (under 250 words), focus on your personal connection rather than the issue itself. You don’t have much space and you need to make it count. For standard essays (250-500 words), you can spend about half the time on the issue and half the time on your personal connection. This should allow you to get more into the nuance. For longer essays, you can write more on the issue itself. But remember, no matter how long the essay is, they ultimately want to learn about you–don’t spend so much time on the issue that you don’t bring it back to yourself.

Want help with your college essays to improve your admissions chances? Sign up for your free CollegeVine account and get access to our essay guides and courses. You can also get your essay peer-reviewed and improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays.

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Best Guide on How to Write a Political Essay

How to Write a Political Essay

Politics has a tremendous impact on how we shape ourselves and our cultures. Almost every element of our life is impacted by it. Students that study the principles of politics learn about a wide range of crucially important political problems, including ecology, justice, democracy, nationalism, globalization, and others. Due to the variety of issues and the requirement for in-depth information and critical thought, writing a political essay can be a challenging endeavor. When you write a political essay, you are critically analyzing a particular political idea, historical moment, political position, or legal document. This type of writing is a practice in understanding political theory, which frequently also touches on philosophical territory. If you're just starting out, allow us to reassure you that writing a political essay is a talent that becomes better with practice. So, don't worry if you have to write a paper about it; simply learn more about "how to write a political essay" by exploring both online and offline resources.

An unquestionable advantage of studying ' how to write a political essay ' is the development of critical thinking and the capacity to assess topics from the past, present, and future that matter in the world. By writing about them, one may demonstrate a unique approach to issues that are shared by all people and provide their own perspective to the understanding of global and local events.

A student must allot enough time to the politics paper in order to perform in-depth research and assess all the associated ideas. Discover "how to write a political essay" by reading the following instructions.

Basic Format of Political Essay

Introduction : The opening section presents a logical argument and a clear design for the paper structure. For a brief essay, this portion can be condensed down into a few lines or paragraphs. A large document's introductory section may cover many pages. The thesis statement for the paper must be carefully considered and must be relevant for all components of the project.

A serious political essay should include a part on literature reviews to demonstrate how your established thesis is founded on earlier research. It can be included in the introduction or any other portion of the article's body. It is up to you to choose which strategy is most suited to the study you are conducting.

Sections of the Body: The number of body parts can be decided according to the demands of the topic. Each particular feature of the topic is treated in a distinct body section. Depending on how many are required to communicate the desired argument, it may consist of one, two, three, or even more paragraphs.

The focus of the writing must remain consistent throughout, and the sections must flow naturally into one another.

Effective methods for structuring the body paragraphs

Thesis: What is the main idea of this paragraph, according to the thesis? This major point should be stated in the first statement, which should be closely related to the last sentence. Keep your thoughts flowing smoothly!

Analysis and proof : Please be aware that it is improper to reference the quotes and then analyze each one separately. The proper strategy calls for presenting the necessary proof and doing analysis simultaneously. If you mention the House's reaction to a Senate amendment to a bill, you should also provide a comment regarding the President's reaction to the same amendment.

Transitional and summary sentences : When stating a concept, don't forget to conclude in the same paragraph, either in that sentence or the one after. Include all the necessary transitional language to connect the various paragraphs and topics, as well as all the necessary explanations.

Conclusion When writing a conclusion for a political essay, keep in mind that it shouldn't only restate the thesis but should also be relevant to it. Before drafting the conclusion, check at the essay another time. Make sure the thesis statement connects to every section of the essay. Make sure the evidence used to support the argument is relevant to the thesis. If everything checks out, you may start working on the summary paragraphs. However, if you believe that there should be any adjustments made, make the necessary revisions and update the thesis.

If you want to be a competent writer, you must understand exactly how to repeat the thesis, rather than just copying it straight from the introduction and another paragraph of the conclusion. The last phrases of the essay should be a summary of the entire piece. You must take advantage of this opportunity to restate your viewpoint and underline the essential argument. Be cautious not to include any new information in the conclusion. Your job here is to clarify and offer a wider context for the material that has been presented, not to add to it.

How to Write a Political Essay: Guidelines

  • Construct an argument : Normative concerns are a common topic in political writings. The student's objective is to provide a concrete exposition of the fundamental interpretive facts and to provide his opinions on the theoretical issue. There is no right or incorrect response since it is a matter of opinion. Simply said, the student must persuade his readers by crafting a strong argument that is well supported by a thorough and insightful interpretive effort.
  • Construct a thesis : The student's aim is to create a thesis that he will stick to throughout the entire paper. The structure of a political essay should be such that the thesis emphasizes a conceptual argument. To put it another way, the student should select a perspective that is clearly defined and gather references to provide the readers a sense of confidence. The textual references will assure readers that the student has considered the question.
  • Put the theories you've learned in class into practice : The result of a student's involvement in all lectures, seminars, debates, and assigned readings is technically an essay, whether it be a political essay or another kind of essay . The student should then be able to put all of these concepts and what they learned in school to use.
  • Specify your conditions : Academic writing pieces called "political essays" offer a novel perspective on the intellectual facets of the most significant political concepts and topics. The vocabulary employed in a political essay should thus be carefully explained by the student.
  • Provide references : When delivering an argument, the student must make certain that it is backed by facts that are properly referenced in the footnotes. Aside from preventing plagiarism , the goal is to lead readers to the appropriate reference for a certain factual point if they want to learn more about it. It also contributes to a more interesting and informative article.
  • Be concise : To keep from placing the essay with too many quotes, students can use a paraphrase tool to rewrite them. However, plagiarism is not tolerated in academia, and students have to reference the original source. The student must also include an opinion on the paraphrased passage.
  • Create an outline and numerous drafts : An effective political essay does not come together immediately. A lot of important adjustments are required. The plan should also include a timeframe to ensure that you have enough time to make modifications and finish it before the end date. Editing removes illogical connections and weak sections, leading to a well-researched and concise political essay.

The Bottom Line The political science essay has numerous similarities and differences with other types of writing. The advancement of society and government is the goal of political science papers, thus there is a need to develop understanding of the defined form of writing, which highlights the significance of focus and dedication to the subject. The audience's vision would be developed, and its perspective would be widened, by one's own competence in political science. If you need qualified professionals to learn How to Write a Political Essay or to help you with your political science assignment, please get in touch with us today.

FAQS on How to Write a Political Essay

How to write a political essay.

Create an argument, establish a thesis, use ideas learnt in the course, define your words, reference sources, make an outline, and multiple drafts are just a few of the steps you must do when writing a Political Essay .

What structure does a political paper follow?

Political science research papers generally consist of six sections: an introduction, a literature review, a theory, a study design, an analysis, and a conclusion or discussion. Even though there are variations in how papers are put together, most of them manage to include these 6 components.

What characteristics distinguish a strong political essay?

A political essay needs to have the following sections: a declaration of purpose in the introduction. Body paragraphs that go into great depth into the subject, including several points of view. A summary of the essay that leaves the reader aware of the author's viewpoint is provided in the conclusion.

How can I write politics better?

Learning to read critically, analyze your writing assignment for 10 to 15 minutes, realize your shortcomings, discover relevant resources, obtain feedback along the route, and look for extracurricular writing opportunities are all ways to improve political writing.

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Essays About Politics: Top 5 Examples and 7 Writing Prompts

Essays about politics address delicate and intriguing matters. See our top essay examples and prompts you can incorporate into your writing.

Politics encompasses movements and ideas that aim to control and encourage progress. It attempts to run a country through relevant developments and efficient governance. Though it started in the 19th century , it’s also the root of many disputes. Because of its complexity, politics is a famous essay topic coaxing writers to be open-minded and wise. It’s also an extensive subject to tackle.

5 Best Essay Examples

1. the impact of media on teens’ views on politics by anonymous on gradesfixer.com, 2. the problem of gun politics in the united states by anonymous on papersowl.com, 3. education: controversial issue in florida politics by anonymous on ivypanda.com, 4. the politics of modern day abortion in jamaica by anonymous on ivypanda.com, 5. the importance of public awareness in politics by anonymous on gradesfixer.com, 1. the role of a politician, 2. why do we need political parties, 3. qualifications of a good politician, 4. the effect of having uneducated politicians , 5. social media and political campaigns, 6. politics and corruption, 7. if i were a politician….

“With the spike in internet usage and the rapid spread of thoughts and ideas, the effect on the human psyche comes into question. Applications like Instagram and Twitter have a “Like-Button” that acts as a representation for interest and has created an uproar on the need for attention amongst teens.”

The author examines the different media released online that are easily accessible to young people and how these contents receive engagement through likes and comments. The essay talks about government officials with social media accounts and how their simple posts can instantly change a teen’s view about politics. The piece also includes statistics on teens’ participation in these networking sites, the elections, and the effects of teens on politics.

“Every day 39 children and teens are shot and survive, 31 injured in an attack, 1 survives a suicide attempt and 7 shot unintentionally. Not only is the 2nd amendment giving access to guns to protect ourselves, it is giving others access to commit violent crimes that involve a firearm. Guns are not just used to have protection against harm, but it is also used to create dangerous scenarios out in the public.”

The essay delves into gun politics problems for US citizens. It mentions how bearing guns give people easy access to heinous acts such as mass shootings and suicides. The writer offers relevant statistics to demonstrate how severe the situation is, citing people who die or get injured from gun violence. At the end of the piece, the author says that they believe the 2nd amendment isn’t for protection but for crimes and violence.

“Some schools are already implementing full-time education, while others are not ready to accept students in person. Undoubtedly, this can still be dangerous for all stakeholders, but the state does not have a definite policy in this regard. Nevertheless, online education also comes with some challenges. It is difficult for teachers to maintain the required level of quality of distance learning.”

The essay focuses on Florida’s politics and how it affects the state’s educational system. Even after the pandemic’s peak, some Florida schools still struggle to implement policies that may help their schooling structure. The author also mentions that these institutions do not prioritize students’ mental health and don’t take racism seriously, which leads to high suicide rates and violence.

“Currently Jamaica maintains one of the most unique positions, with abortion being illegal officially, but still performed as part of the status quo in particular situations. The discussion around abortion in Jamaica is inherently complex, stemming from colonial influences on modern sociopolitical and religious perspectives.

The author shares their opinion about Jamaica’s political view on abortion and the protection of women. Abortion is illegal in Jamaica. However, some still do it by paying medical professionals handsomely. Abortion is a complex issue in Jamaica, as there are many things politicians need to consider before coming up with a solution. Although this topic still needs a lengthy discussion, the author believes there is a massive opportunity for change as people gradually forget the traditional beliefs about abortion.

“It’s imperative to get involved with politics so people can get educated and grasp their own opinion instead of listening to others. These aspects are vital to the understanding of how the government works and how a citizen of America will shape the country.”

The writer explains that being aware of politics is key to voting correctly during elections. Moreover, they say that involving young people in politics will help with the structure of the laws in the country. This is because understanding politics and governance yourself is better than believing others’ opinions, mainly when the country’s future depends on this framework.

Tip: If writing an essay sounds like a lot of work, simplify it. Write a simple 5 paragraph essay instead. 

7 Prompts on Essays About Politics

Essays About Politics: The role of a politician

List the duties and responsibilities of a politician running the country. Then, add your opinion on whether your country’s politicians are successfully fulfilling their duties. You can also discuss whether politicians are necessary for a country to thrive.

Political parties are groups of people sharing the same political ideas. They usually band together and support each other in hopes of earning the public’s trust. They also help shape the opinions and decision-making of the citizens on who to vote for. Use this prompt to discuss why political parties are essential in a government, give examples, and add some of their principles. You might also be interested in our guide on the best books about American politics .

Everyone can be a politician. But to be good at their job, they must have an excellent educational background and character to manage the country’s issues and its citizens. Identify and explain each qualification. You can also add events or names of politicians considered good at their jobs. 

Education is a right for everyone in most countries, and so does having educated politicians. An uneducated politician can’t successfully run a nation because they lack the knowledge to discern what’s best for different segments of the economy, etc. As a result, they tend to make wrong decisions and affect citizens’ political behavior. Discuss the risks of giving uneducated politicians government positions and add previous incidents to support your claims.

Essays About Politics: Social media and political campaigns

Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are utilized to spread information, including political campaigns. A single post from a knowledgeable person across these three platforms can change a silent reader’s mindset about a particular political party. This prompt explains how politicians use social media in today’s political campaigning. You can also add the dangers of immediately believing viral posts online. 

Politics is also concerned with managing budgets to improve infrastructures and institutions. However, because it involves large sums of money, corruption is also rampant. Use this prompt to explain how corruption happens within the government, including the measures used to stop it. You can add statistics about the most and least corrupt countries. Then, add examples or scenarios to make your essay more interesting.

Being a politician is not easy because you’ll have to consider not only yourself and your family but the welfare of many in every decision you make. Use this prompt to share what you want to focus on if you are a politician. For example, you’ll pay more attention to education so the youth can have a better future.

For help with your essays, check out our round-up of the best essay checkers.

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5 Helpful Essay Writing Tips for Political Science Students

Political science students have to write a lot of essays. Their field of study requires that they must be good at writing because later in their career they have to argue in favor of their point of view. 

It is not enough to be right, political science students must be able to prove that they are right, using evidence and critical thinking. 

That is what is required of them in their essays as well. If you are a political science student struggling to write good essays , then here are some tips for you. 

With these five helpful tips, you will improve your essay-writing skills noticeably.

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Table of Contents

5 Helpful Tips for Writing Essays for Political Science Students

  • Understand the Essays Prompt
  • Research and Find Evidence
  • Write Clearly and Format Well
  • Anticipate Counter Arguments and Prepare
  • Proofread for Errors

1. Understand the Essays Prompt

The first problem that many students face is that they do not understand what their essay is about. They have trouble understanding what the essay prompt is asking of them. This confusion can jeopardize the entire essay. 

An essay written on a misunderstood prompt cannot hope to be correct, save by a lucky coincidence.

That is why it is always advised to take your time to understand the prompt first. A helpful tip in this regard is to rephrase the prompt as a question. 

This usually makes the prompt clearer, and therefore easier to understand. Once you have a good understanding, you can develop your arguable thesis statement.

2. Research and Find Evidence

After understanding the prompt, you have to form your argument. This argument is presented in the form of a thesis statement. 

Now, the rest of the essay is spent citing evidence and facts that favor your argument and disprove opposing theories.

This can only be done if you conduct proper research on your topic. This research is supposed to unearth all kinds of evidence that you need to use in your essay. 

Now, not all evidence is equal. Some of the evidence can be quite damning, while others are just circumstantial at best.

Sifting through all the collected evidence and deciding which ones are useful is the hard part. But here is a tip for that too; use AI search engines for finding direct facts related to your topic.

3. Write Clearly and Format Well

None of your arguments are worth anything if you cannot articulate them well. A poorly written argument is hard to understand and makes the essay look unprofessional. Poor writing makes for confusing essays that are difficult to read. 

So, how well you can pen down your thoughts is directly related to your essay’s performance.

As a political science student, your essays need to be immaculate. The first thing you can do is format them properly. Follow a logical structure so that one topic leads to another naturally. Make the headings noticeable.

The other thing you need to do is paraphrase online parts of your essay. Why online? Because paraphrasing tools can do a much better job of enhancing readability than humans. 

They can replace difficult words with their synonyms and restructure confusing sentences to make them simpler. And they can do it all in under a few seconds.

4. Anticipate Counter Arguments and Prepare

Essays in political science are almost always argumentative. And there are always two sides to any argument. That is why when writing your essay, you should anticipate some counterpoints to your arguments and prepare for them.

You can do this by getting a classmate or a colleague to debate with you. Give them some time to prep, so they can bring in some relevant points and evidence. Then do your research to learn how to refute those points.

You should address some of the strongest and most obvious counterpoints in your own essay. This makes your essay more compelling and persuasive to the reader.

5. Proofread for Errors

Finally, all good essays are those that were proofread and edited. On your first draft, you will make some mistakes that you will not even know about. 

That is why proofread your essay to find them. You will be surprised how a simple session of reading your essay aloud can help you find errors.

You can find:

  • Small grammar mistakes, 
  • Tense errors, 
  • Confusing sentences,
  • Weak arguments.

Then you can address these issues and make your essay pristine. This goes a long way in improving the reception of your essay and enhancing its persuasive power. 

Even a small grammar mistake can sharply tank the credibility of your essay because it calls into question the work ethic of the writer.

So, these are the five tips to help you write a good political science essay. The tips we discussed were understanding the essay prompt, finding relevant evidence to support your arguments, writing well, anticipating counterarguments, and proofreading. 

By applying these tips to your essays, you will be writing great political science essays in no time.

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  • 150 Political Essay Topics

Whether it’s for a political science class, government class, or history class, you will eventually have to write a political essay. A political essay explores the various explanations for particular events that have transpired in the past and the different effects of those events on society and politics.

Political essays can be pretty challenging for students because the depth and scope of the subject matter can be quite vast. Additionally, a lack of knowledge about the workings of government and the political process can make writing a political essay quite difficult.

Fortunately, we’ve created a handy guide detailing essential components of political essay writing. Additionally, we’ve included 150 political essay topics students can use to get started.

The Basic Components of a Political Essay

Regardless of the topic’s complexity, political essays all have the same essential components – an introduction, a thesis, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Students can create an assertive and well-crafted political essay by understanding how these components work together.

The Introduction

The introduction of a political essay should grab the reader’s attention and give them an overview of the main points covered in the essay. An excellent way to do this is by starting with a provocative statement or posing a thought-provoking question. A great example of a political essay introduction could sound something like:

“In a world where the powerful seem to always get their way, is there any hope for democracy?”

The Thesis Statement

The thesis statement is the most critical component of a political essay. It is the main argument or points that the essay will be making. Everything else in the essay should support the thesis statement. A thesis statement is probably the most challenging part of writing a political essay for many students because it can be challenging to distill the essay’s main argument into one or two sentences.

Some tips for writing a strong thesis statement include:

  • Make sure that the thesis statement is arguable. In other words, it should be something that someone could reasonably disagree with.
  • Be as specific as possible. A thesis statement that is too vague will make it difficult to write a strong essay.
  • Keep it short and to the point. A thesis statement should be no more than one or two sentences.

Great examples of a political essay thesis statement include:

“The current state of democracy is in danger due to the rise of populist leaders who exploit the fears of the people.”

“The government should do more to combat the rising inequality in society by implementing policies that help the working class.”

The Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs of a political essay are where the essay’s main argument will be fleshed out in detail. Each body paragraph should focus on one specific point that supports the thesis statement. When writing body paragraphs, it is essential to:

  • Start with a topic sentence that introduces the main point
  • Support the topic sentence with evidence from credible sources.
  • Connect the evidence back to the thesis statement.
  • Repeat for each body paragraph.

The Conclusion

The conclusion of a political essay should sum up the main points of the essay and leave the reader with a solid and clear understanding of the argument being made. A great conclusion should:

  • Restate the thesis statement in different words.
  • Summarize the main points of the essay.
  • Leave the reader with something to think about.

Some examples of final thoughts to end a political essay could be:

“It is clear that democracy is under threat from populist leaders. However, there is still hope as long as people remain engaged and fight for their rights.”

“The current state of democracy may be troubling, but it is nothing new. Throughout history, there have always been those who seek to undermine it. The key is to remain vigilant and to stand up for what we believe in.”

The Do’s and Don’ts of Political Essay Writing

While the tips above will help you write a solid political essay, there are also some things to avoid if you want your essay to be successful. Here are some dos and don’ts of writing a political essay:

Do research your topic inside and out.

A well-informed essay is always more persuasive than one that simply regurgitates the opinions of others. When researching, always use reliable sources and take good notes so you can easily refer back to them later.

Don’t forget to proofread and edit your work.

No matter how well-written and informative an essay is, if it is full of typos and grammatical errors, it will likely not make a good impression on the reader. Before submitting, proofread your work and fix any errors you may have missed.

Do be sure to stay objective.

A political essay is not the place for you to share your personal opinions. Instead, it should be a well-reasoned and unbiased exploration of the topic at hand.

Don’t forget to cite your sources.

If you use any information from outside sources in your essay, be sure to properly cite them according to the required citation style. Not only is failing to do so plagiarism, but it also makes your argument look weaker if you cannot back up your claims with evidence.

Do try to be concise.

A political essay is not the place to ramble on and on. Instead, get to the point and make your argument in as few words as possible. This will keep the reader engaged and prevent them from getting lost in your essay.

With the advice above, you should be well on your way to writing a successful political essay. However, if you need some additional inspiration, here are 150 more essay topics to get you started.

Political Essay Topics About History

  • Compare and contrast the policies of two different presidents.
  • How did the Cold War shape American foreign policy?
  • What was the most significant event of the 20th century?
  • How did the American Revolution change the political landscape?
  • What were the causes of World War I?
  • How did Napoleon Bonaparte rise to power?
  • What were the significant effects of the French Revolution?
  • Compare and contrast the American and French Revolutions.
  • What caused the fall of the Roman Empire?
  • How did Ancient Greece contribute to modern democracy?
  • What were the major political parties of the 19th century?
  • How did the Industrial Revolution change the political landscape?
  • What were the major triggers of World War II?
  • What was the Holocaust, and how did it impact politics?
  • How did the Cold War end?
  • What are the legacies of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher?
  • How has the European Union changed over time?
  • What are the major political parties in power today?
  • Compare and contrast the administrations of Barack Obama and Donald Trump.
  • How has social media changed the way we engage in politics?

Political Essay Topics About Ideologies

  • What is the difference between socialism and communism?
  • What is capitalism, and how has it changed over time?
  • What is Marxism, and what are its significant tenets?
  • What is fascism, and how did it come to power?
  • How do different political parties view taxation?
  • What is the role of the government in a capitalist society?
  • How does socialism differ from fascism?
  • What is the difference between conservatism and liberalism?
  • What is the difference between nationalism and patriotism?
  • How do different political parties view welfare?
  • What is the role of the government in a socialist society?
  • How does communism differ from socialism?
  • What is the difference between democracy and dictatorship?
  • What is the role of the government in a communist society?
  • How do different political parties view education?
  • What is the difference between environmentalism and climate change activism?
  • What is the role of the government in protecting the environment?
  • How do different political parties view gun control?
  • What is the role of the government in ensuring public safety?
  • How do different political parties view healthcare?

Political Essay Topics About International Relations

  • Compare and contrast the foreign policies of two different countries.
  • How has globalization changed the international political landscape?
  • What are the major causes of war?
  • How does terrorism impact international relations?
  • What is the role of the United Nations in international politics?
  • What are the significant issues facing the European Union today?
  • What is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and what is its role in international politics?
  • What are the major issues facing NATO today?
  • What is the difference between developed and developing countries?
  • How do developed and developing countries view each other?
  • What is the role of the International Monetary Fund in international politics?
  • What are the significant issues facing the International Monetary Fund today?
  • What is the World Trade Organization, and what is its role in international politics?
  • What are the major issues facing the World Trade Organization today?

Political Essay Topics About Social Issues

  • How has the abortion debate changed over time?
  • Discuss the political influences that make someone pro-choice or pro-life?
  • How has the gay rights movement changed over time?
  • Has the government been effective in stymieing the rise of racism?
  • What is the difference between sexism and misogyny, and is one political party more prone to it than another?
  • How has the Me Too movement changed the conversation about sexual assault and harassment?
  • What is the relationship between poverty and crime, and does politics have anything to do with it?
  • What is the relationship between education and income inequality?
  • Has the government been effective in tackling income inequality?
  • How do different political parties view reproductive rights?
  • How does religion influence politics?
  • What is the relationship between immigration and crime?

Political Essay Topics About Economic Issues

  • Should political affiliation have any bearing on economic policy?
  • What is the difference between a free market and a command economy?
  • How has globalization changed the world economy?
  • What are the major issues facing today’s world economy, and are politics to blame?
  • Should voters or Congress be responsible for economic policy?
  • What is the role of the government in an economy?
  • What is the difference between Keynesian economics and supply-side economics?
  • What is the difference between laissez-faire capitalism and crony capitalism?
  • How have politics funded the rise of inequality in the United States?
  • Should the rising cost of healthcare be considered a political issue or a social issue?
  • How do different political parties view deregulation?

Political Essay Topics About Politicians

  • Compare and contrast the political careers of two different politicians.
  • Analyze the effectiveness of a politician’s political campaigns.
  • Discuss the role that charisma plays in politics.
  • How much does a politician’s personal life influence their political career?
  • What is the difference between a successful and unsuccessful politician?
  • How do special interest groups influence politics?
  • What is the difference between a lobbyist and a politician?
  • What is the difference between a career politician and a term politician?
  • Compare and contrast the political ideologies of two different politicians.
  • Are career politicians more effective than term politicians?
  • How do campaign finance laws influence politicians’ decision-making processes?

Political Essay Topics About Elections

  • Should the Electoral College be reformed or abolished?
  • What is the difference between primary and general elections?
  • Discuss the role that voter turnout plays in elections.
  • How does gerrymandering influence elections?
  • How do campaign finance laws influence elections?
  • What is the difference between open and closed elections?
  • Should there be term limits for politicians?
  • Should people be allowed to vote by mail or early voting?
  • How did democratic elections come to be?
  • Should voting be mandatory?
  • How can we make sure that every vote is counted?
  • What is the difference between a hung parliament and a coalition government?
  • Should countries have more than two political parties?
  • What is the difference between a first-past-the-post system and a proportional representation system?
  • What is the difference between a parliamentary system and a presidential system?

Political Essay Topics About Laws and Regulations

  • How does a bill become a law?
  • What is the difference between a law and a regulation?
  • How do regulatory agencies influence politics?
  • Discuss the pros and cons of gun control laws.
  • Should there be stricter penalties for hate crimes?
  • Should the death penalty be abolished?
  • Should there be term limits for Supreme Court justices?
  • What is the difference between civil law and criminal law?
  • How do interest groups influence the passage of laws?
  • Should there be limits on campaign spending?
  • Should corporations be allowed to donate to political campaigns?
  • What is the difference between a veto and a filibuster?
  • How does the process of impeachment work?
  • What is the difference between judicial review and judicial activism?
  • Should members of Congress be allowed to vote for pay raises?

Political Essay Topics About Foreign Policy

  • Should the United States have a policy of isolationism?
  • How does foreign aid influence politics?
  • Should the United States intervene in other countries’ affairs?
  • How does the United Nations influence politics?
  • What is the difference between diplomacy and foreign policy?
  • How do trade agreements influence politics?
  • What is the difference between an alliance and a treaty?
  • How do sanctions influence politics?
  • What is the difference between a colony and an empire?
  • How does decolonization influence politics?
  • How do border disputes influence politics?
  • What is the difference between a refugee and an immigrant?
  • How does immigration policy influence politics?
  • What is the difference between a country and a nation?
  • How does nationalism influence politics?

Political Essay Topics About Civil Rights and Liberties

  • What is the difference between civil rights and civil liberties?
  • How do the Bill of Rights and the Constitution influence politics?
  • Should there be limits on free speech?
  • How do hate speech laws influence politics?
  • Should there be limits on the right to bear arms?
  • How do gun control laws influence politics?
  • What is the difference between a search warrant and a warrantless search?
  • How do search and seizure laws influence politics?
  • How do Miranda rights influence police interrogation?
  • What is the difference between probable cause and reasonable suspicion?
  • How do stop and frisk laws influence politics?
  • Should there be limits on police use of deadly force?
  • How do racial profiling laws influence politics?
  • What is the difference between affirmative action and reverse discrimination?
  • Should there be limits on affirmative action?

No matter the type of essay you need to write, these 150 political essay topics should give you plenty of material to work with. Remember that you can always narrow your focus to a specific country, a specific type of government, or specific law or regulation. And if you need help writing your essay, re-read the helpful tips above to ensure you get a good grade.

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How to Write Political Essay

A political essay deals with political or governmental issues. It is a piece of writing made as a way to practice in interpreting specific political theories. It is usually composed of historical information and statistics and is somewhat similar to  writing a rhetorical analysis essay . The purpose of which is for students to demonstrate their ability to argue effectively and logically within defined theoretical frameworks. We've got some tips for you in order to make your writing easier.

Guidelines to Write a Political Essay

Create an argument. Political essays often deal with normative issues. The goal of the student is to give a concrete treatment of the basic interpretative facts and give his thoughts on the theoretical problem. As it is an opinion, there is no correct or wrong answer. The student just simply has to persuade his readers by developing a compelling argument which is well substantiated by a comprehensive and insightful interpretative work.

Develop a thesis. The goal of the student is to develop a thesis which he should sustain during whole paper. A political essay should be organized in such a way that it will be a thesis emphasizing a conceptual argument. That is, the student should choose a position which is clearly stated, and assemble references to offer the readers some sense of credibility. The textual references will ensure the readers that the student has observed the question in a thoughtful manner.

Apply theories learned in the course. Political essays and essays, in general, are technically the application of all the lectures and seminars attended by the student, all the discussions, and all the of the assigned readings. The student then should be able to apply all these theories and lessons learned in school.

Define your terms. Political essays are scholarly written documents that give a new perspective on the conceptual sides of main political theories and problems this is why a student who is writing a political essay should define terms used in the document with great precision.

Cite sources. When making an argument, the student has to ensure that he substantiates it with facts that are properly cited in the footnotes. The reason for this, aside from not plagiarizing these authors, is to refer the readers to a particular factual claim to its proper reference should they want to read about it further. It also helps to write an essay  that is more interesting and informative.

Write an outline and several drafts. A good political essay is not crafted overnight. It takes a great amount of critical revisions. The outline should also have a timeline to ensure that you have ample time to make revisions and finalize it accordingly before the due date. Editing and proofreading eliminate weak paragraphs and illogical transitions, and ultimately makes the political essay a well-research and well-written one. 

Other Reminders on Writing a Political Essay

Be analytical. A political essay is not just a simple collation of all data and information related to political theories. The student must emphasize an informed argument and ensure that he has made a thorough research so he has enough tools to use for independent and creative thinking. As an example, you can include obvious meanings to arguments, as well as the subtle and even contradictory dimensions of it.

Keep it scholarly. The student author must avoid casual language and sloppy argumentations. He has to remember that political essays are an academic type of discourse. A scholarly tone will give the readers the impression that the essay is going to be informative and interesting, without compromising the kind of words and arguments to be included in the essay.

Comment on quotes. At some point, the student will have to quote sources and references to build an argument. But after providing the direct quotation, he must ensure to make a commentary on it. After all, the paper has to be an analysis of your research, not a simple compilation of it.

Be concise. For a student to avoid filling the political essay with too many quotes, he can paraphrase passages, using paraphrase tool . Although, he has to remember that plagiarism is no way acceptable in the academe and must still cite the original source. The rule still applies that the student has to include a commentary of the paraphrased passage. This is to avoid making your paper strike a reader as a plain summary as it is not supposed to.

Explore texts carefully. While the student may oppose arguments, he must avoid bias and recognize both its strengths and weaknesses to engage in advanced forms of interpretative work.

Assume non-experts as readers. In writing political essays, make sure to limit the use of jargons and complicated terminologies. And when the student does use it, he must define the terms thoroughly. A good political essay must not only present a well-researched and well-written paper but should be able to educate the reader about political theories. To do so, the student then should craft in a way that is easy to understand by the common mind.

Embrace objections. Not everyone will agree with your thesis or arguments. When a reader raises an issue, accept it and rebut accordingly. This process should be able to develop your political essay in a way that you can spot weaknesses and instead make it richer and more penetrating.

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Technical Requirements of a Political Essay

Ultimately, the requirements will be coming from the professor or instructor assigning the political essay. General rules, however, apply starting from presenting the different parts of your argument in a logical order, footnoting original sources used or writing a bibliography for references not included in the footnotes, avoiding plagiarism at all cost and practicing proper citation, meeting the deadline set by the professor or instructor, and following the format prescribed.

Blog writer for GrabMyEssay

Andy Preisler

I’m Andy Preisler, and I’m super happy to be joining the blog team at GrabMyEssay.com!

While I hail from Fayetteville, Arkansas (I know, not the most progressive state!), I left the Southern life behind me many years ago when I went to college for my first degree. I’ve received it in University of Arkansas, Fayetteville and I’m really proud of this. Since then, I have studied in the U.S., and later on, continued my education in Loughborough University, UK, where I actually my second Bachelor’s Degree along the way.

With my perpetual studies (my parents wonder if it will ever stop), I have become a bit of an expert on college life – academic, social, and financial – and love sharing my experiences and my methods of “circumventing the system” with others.  I will be sharing all of these great tips and strategies with my readers, so stay tuned!

When I am not blogging or enrolling in some new course that interests me, I am backpacking through Europe and staying in hostels, working on my second novel (a riveting murder mystery), and pursuing my interest in music. Yes, I travel with my guitar, and you would be amazed at the amount of cash I can accumulate, just performing on the streets of European cities (they are so much more tolerant of vagabond musicians). 

My other passion is environmental. In my short 27 years of life on this planet, I have witnessed the extinction of species, the destruction of rain forests, and irreparable harm to our oceans. I contribute both time and money to several international environmental organizations, because we all must do our part to save Mother Earth.

But I digress! If you are interested in the “ins and outs” of college life, and want some great tales of navigating through the game of “degree attainment,” as well as tips for easing the pain of those pesky essay and paper assignments, follow my blog!

I would love to hear from you, to give you advice, and to lend a listening ear. You can contact me at  [email protected]  anytime! And follow my posts – you won’t be disappointed!

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Student Opinion

310 Prompts for Argumentative Writing

Questions on everything from mental health and sports to video games and dating. Which ones inspire you to take a stand?

Breanna Campbell and Nathaniel Esubonteng, in “Vote 16” sweatshirts, are interviewed by a television reporter at Newark City Hall.

By Natalie Proulx

Does social media harm young people’s mental health? Do video games deserve the bad rap they often get? Should parents track their children? Who is the greatest athlete of all time?

Every school day, we publish new questions for students based on the news of the day, including prompts, like these, that inspire persuasive writing.

Below, we’ve rounded up over 300 of those argumentative prompts, organized by topic, all in one place. They cover everything from parenting and schools to music and social media. Each one, drawn from our Student Opinion column , links to a free New York Times article as well as additional subquestions that can help you think more deeply about it.

You can use these prompts however you like, whether to inspire an entry for our new Open Letter Contest , to hone your persuasive writing skills or simply to share your opinions on the issues of today. So scroll through the list below and see which ones inspire you to take a stand.

If you enjoy these questions, know that you can find all of our argumentative writing prompts, as they publish, here . Students 13 and up from anywhere in the world are invited to comment.

Argumentative Prompt Topics

Technology and social media, college, work and money, health and relationships, gender and race, arts and entertainment, parenting and childhood, government and politics, animals, science and time.

Social Media

1. Does Social Media Harm Young People’s Mental Health? 2. How Much Should Speech Be Moderated on Social Media? 3. Should the United States Ban TikTok? 4. How Young Is Too Young to Use Social Media? 5. Should Kids Be Social Media Influencers? 6. What Should Be Done to Protect Children Online? 7. Should There Be Separate Social Media Apps for Children? 8. Are You a Fan of ‘School Accounts’ on Social Media? 9. Will Social Media Help or Hurt Your College and Career Goals? 10. Is It Ever OK to Use Strangers as Content for Social Media?

Phones and Devices

11. Should More Teenagers Ditch Their Smartphones? 12. Should the Adults in Your Life Be Worried by How Much You Use Your Phone? 13. Should Phones Ever Be a Part of Family or Holiday Gatherings? 14. What Are Your Texting Dos and Don’ts? 15. Does Grammar Still Matter in the Age of Twitter? 16. Is Your Phone Love Hurting Your Relationships? 17. Should Texting While Driving Be Treated Like Drunken Driving? 18. How Young Is Too Young for an Apple Watch?

The Internet

19. Do Memes Make the Internet a Better Place? 20. How Excited Are You About the Metaverse? 21. Should Websites Force Users to Prove How Old They Are? 22. What Is the Best Way to Stop Abusive Language Online? 23. How Do You Feel About Cancel Culture? 24. Does Online Public Shaming Prevent Us From Being Able to Grow and Change? 25. Do You Think Online Conspiracy Theories Can Be Dangerous? 26. Does Technology Make Us More Alone?

School Discipline and Attendance

27. Should Schools Ban Cellphones? 28. How Should Schools Hold Students Accountable for Hurting Others? 29. What Are Your Thoughts on Uniforms and Strict Dress Codes? 30. Should Schools Test Their Students for Nicotine and Drug Use? 31. How Can Schools Engage Students Who Are at Risk of Dropping Out? 32. Should Students Be Allowed to Miss School for Mental Health Reasons? 33. Should Your School Day Start Later? 34. Should There Still Be Snow Days? 35. Do Kids Need Recess? 36. Should Students Be Punished for Not Having Lunch Money?

School Quality and Effectiveness

37. How Do You Think American Education Could Be Improved? 38. Do Schools Need to Do More to Hold Students Accountable? 39. Are Straight A’s Always a Good Thing? 40. Should Students Have the Same Teachers Year After Year? 41. Do Teachers Assign Too Much Homework? 42. Should We Get Rid of Homework? 43. Should We Eliminate Gifted and Talented Programs? 44. Is It Time to Get Rid of Timed Tests? 45. What Role Should Textbooks Play in Education? 46. How Should Senior Year in High School Be Spent? 47. Does Your School Need More Money? 48. Do School Employees Deserve More Respect — and Pay? 49. Should Public Preschool Be a Right for All Children?

Teaching and Learning

50. Do You Think We Need to Change the Way Math Is Taught? 51. Should Financial Literacy Be a Required Course in School? 52. Should Schools Teach Students Kitchen and Household Skills? 53. Do We Need Better Music Education? 54. What Are the Most Important Things Students Should Learn in School? 55. What Is the Purpose of Teaching U.S. History? 56. Do Schools Need to Do More to Support Visual Thinkers? 57. Is School a Place for Self-Expression? 58. Should Media Literacy Be a Required Course in School? 59. Can Empathy Be Taught? Should Schools Try to Help Us Feel One Another’s Pain? 60. Should Schools Teach You How to Be Happy? 61. Should All Schools Teach Cursive? 62. Should Kids Still Learn to Tell Time? 63. How Important Is Knowing a Foreign Language

Technology in School

64. How Should Schools Respond to ChatGPT? 65. Does Learning to Be a Good Writer Still Matter in the Age of A.I.? 66. Is Online Learning Effective? 67. Should Students Be Monitored When Taking Online Tests? 68. Should Schools Be Able to Discipline Students for What They Say on Social Media? 69. Can Social Media Be a Tool for Learning and Growth in Schools? 70. Should Facial Recognition Technology Be Used in Schools? 71. Is Live-Streaming Classrooms a Good Idea? 72. Should Teachers and Professors Ban Student Use of Laptops in Class? 73. Are the Web Filters at Your School Too Restrictive?

Education Politics

74. Do You Feel Your School and Teachers Welcome Both Conservative and Liberal Points of View? 75. Should Students Learn About Climate Change in School? 76. Should Teachers Provide Trigger Warnings for ‘Traumatic Content’? 77. Should Teachers Be Allowed to Wear Political Symbols? 78. What Do You Think About Efforts to Ban Books From School Libraries? 79. What Is Your Reaction to the Growing Fight Over What Young People Can Read? 80. What Do You Think About the Controversy Surrounding the New A.P. Course on African American Studies? 81. Should Schools or Employers Be Allowed to Tell People How They Should Wear Their Hair? 82. Does Prayer Have Any Place in Public Schools? 83. Should Schools Be Allowed to Censor Student Newspapers?

College Admissions

84. Should Colleges Consider Standardized Tests in Admissions? 85. Should Students Let ChatGPT Help Them Write Their College Essays? 86. What Is Your Reaction to the End of Race-Based Affirmative Action in College Admissions? 87. Are Early-Decision Programs Unfair? Should Colleges Do Away With Them? 88. Is the College Admissions Process Fair? 89. How Much Do You Think It Matters Where You Go to College? 90. Should Everyone Go to College? 91. Should College Be Free? 92. Is Student Debt Worth It? 93. Should High Schools Post Their Annual College Lists?

Campus Life

94. What Should Free Speech Look Like on Campus? 95. Should Greek Life on College Campuses Come to an End? 96. Should Universities Work to Curtail Student Drinking? 97. How Should the Problem of Sexual Assault on Campuses Be Addressed? 98. Are Lavish Amenities on College Campuses Useful or Frivolous? 99. Should ‘Despised Dissenters’ Be Allowed to Speak on College Campuses? 100. Should Emotional Support Animals Be Allowed on College Campuses?

Jobs and Careers

101. Is High School a Good Time to Train for a Career? 102. Is There Such a Thing as a ‘Useless’ College Major? 103. Should All High School Students Have Part-Time Jobs? 104. Should National Service Be Required for All Young Americans? 105. Is It OK to Use Family Connections to Get a Job?

Money and Business

106. Do You Think the American Dream Is Real? 107. Should All Young People Learn How to Invest in the Stock Market? 108. Should We All Go Cashless? 109. When Should You Tip? 110. Should We End the Practice of Tipping? 111. Are You a Crypto Optimist or Skeptic? 112. Do Celebrities and Influencers Make You Want to Buy What They’re Selling? 113. Is $1 Billion Too Much Money for Any One Person to Have? 114. Are C.E.O.s Paid Too Much? 115. Is It Immoral to Increase the Price of Goods During a Crisis? 116. What Should Stores Do With Unsold Goods? 117. Is There a ‘Right Way’ to Be a Tourist? 118. Who Should We Honor on Our Money?

Mental Health

119. Is Teen Mental Health in a State of Crisis? 120. ‘Love-Bombing.’ ‘Gaslighting.’ ‘Victim.’ Is ‘Trauma Talk’ Overused? 121. Does Achieving Success Always Include Being Happy? 122. Is Struggle Essential to Happiness? 123. Should Schools Teach Mindfulness? 124. How Can We Bring an End to the ‘Epidemic of Loneliness’? 125. Does Every Country Need a ‘Loneliness Minister’? 126. What Ideas Do You Have to Bring Your Community Closer Together? 127. Are Emotional-Support Animals a Scam? 128. Is It OK to Laugh During Dark Times?

Dating and Relationships

129. Who Should Pay for Dates? 130. Do Marriage Proposals Still Have a Place in Today’s Society? 131. Should Your Significant Other Be Your Best Friend? 132. How Do You Think Technology Affects Dating?

Physical Health

133. Should Governments Do More to Discourage People From Smoking and Vaping? 134. How Should Adults Talk to Kids About Drugs? 135. Can Laziness Be a Good Thing? 136. Should There Be Requirements for Teens Who Want to Ride E-Bikes? 137. What Advice Should Parents and Counselors Give Teenagers About Sexting? 138. Should All Children Be Vaccinated? 139. Do We Worry Too Much About Germs?

140. Is It Becoming More Acceptable for Men and Boys to Cry? 141. Is It Harder for Men and Boys to Make and Keep Friends? 142. Should Award Shows Eliminate Gendered Categories? 143. Should There Be More Gender Options on Identification Documents? 144. Justice Ginsburg Fought for Gender Equality. How Close Are We to Achieving That Goal? 145. What Should #MeToo Mean for Teenage Boys? 146. What Is Hard About Being a Boy? 147. Should There Be More Boy Dolls? 148. Is Single-Sex Education Still Useful? 149. Are Beauty Pageants Still Relevant? 150. Should Period Products Be Free? 151. What Are Your Thoughts on Last Names? 152. What Rules Should Apply to Transgender Athletes When They Compete? 153. What Is Your Reaction to the Recent Wave of Legislation That Seeks to Regulate the Lives of Transgender Youths? 154. What Do You Wish Lawmakers Knew About How Anti-L.G.B.T.Q. Legislation Affects Teenagers?

Identity, Race and Ethnicity

155. How Should Schools Respond to Racist Jokes? 156. How Should Parents Teach Their Children About Race and Racism? 157. What Is Your Reaction to Efforts to Limit Teaching on Race in Schools? 158. How Should Racial Slurs in Literature Be Handled in the Classroom? 159. Should Confederate Statues Be Removed or Remain in Place? 160. Should We Rename Schools Named for Historical Figures With Ties to Racism, Sexism or Slavery? 161. How Should We Remember the Problematic Actions of the Nation’s Founders? 162. Does the United States Owe Reparations to the Descendants of Enslaved People? 163. What Can History Teach Us About Resilience? 164. Should All Americans Receive Anti-Bias Education? 165. Is Fear of ‘The Other’ Poisoning Public Life? 166. What Stereotypical Characters Make You Cringe? 167. When Talking About Identity, How Much Do Words Matter? 168. How Useful Is It to Be Multilingual?

TV and Movies

169. Is True Crime As a Form of Entertainment Ethical? 170. Should Old TV Shows Be Brought Back? 171. Does Reality TV Deserve Its Bad Rap? 172. How Closely Should Actors’ Identities Reflect the Roles They Play? 173. In the Age of Digital Streaming, Are Movie Theaters Still Relevant? 174. Do We Need More Female Superheroes? 175. Is Hollywood Becoming More Diverse? 176. When Does Lying in Comedy Cross a Line? 177. How Do You Feel About ‘Nepotism Babies’?

Music and Video Games

178. Will A.I. Replace Pop Stars? 179. If Two Songs Sound Alike, Is It Stealing? 180. Should Musicians Be Allowed to Copy or Borrow From Other Artists? 181. How Do You Feel About Censored Music? 182. What Are the Greatest Songs of All Time? 183. Do Video Games Deserve the Bad Rap They Often Get? 184. Should There Be Limits on How Much Time Young People Spend Playing Video Games? 185. Should More Parents Play Video Games With Their Kids?

186. Are A.I.-Generated Pictures Art? 187. What Work of Art Should Your Friends Fall in Love With? 188. If Artwork Offends People, Should It Be Removed? 189. Should Museums Return Looted Artifacts to Their Countries of Origin? 190. Should Art Come With Trigger Warnings? 191. Is the Digital Era Improving or Ruining the Experience of Art? 192. Are Museums Still Important in the Digital Age? 193. Can You Separate Art From the Artist? 194. Are There Subjects That Should Be Off-Limits to Artists, or to Certain Artists in Particular? 195. Should Graffiti Be Protected?

Books and Literature

196. Is Listening to a Book Just as Good as Reading It? 197. Should Classic Children’s Books Be Updated for Today’s Young Readers? 198. Should White Writers Translate a Black Author’s Work? 199. Is There Any Benefit to Reading Books You Hate? 200. Should Libraries Get Rid of Late Fees?

201. What’s the Best — and Worst — Part of Being a Sports Fan? 202. Who Is the GOAT? 203. Do Women’s Sports Deserve More Attention? 204. What Should Be Done About the Gender Pay Gap in Sports? 205. Should Girls and Boys Sports Teams Compete in the Same League? 206. Should More Sports Be Coed? 207. College Athletes Can Now Be Paid. But Not All of Them Are Seeing Money. Is That Fair? 208. Should High School-Age Basketball Players Be Able to Get Paid? 209. Are Some Youth Sports Too Intense? 210. Are Youth Sports Too Competitive? 211. Is It Bad Sportsmanship to Run Up the Score in Youth Sports? 212. Is It Ethical to Be a Football Fan? 213. Does the N.F.L. Have a Race Problem? 214. What New Rules Would Improve Your Favorite Sport? 215. What Sports Deserve More Hype? 216. How Should We Punish Sports Cheaters? 217. Should Technology in Sports Be Limited? 218. Does Better Sports Equipment Unfairly Improve Athletic Ability? 219. Is It Offensive for Sports Teams and Their Fans to Use Native American Names, Imagery and Gestures? 220. Is It Selfish to Pursue Risky Sports Like Extreme Mountain Climbing? 221. Should Cheerleading Be an Olympic Sport?

writing political essays

Related Writing Prompt

222. Should Parents Ever Be Held Responsible for the Harmful Actions of Their Children? 223. Where Is the Line Between Helping a Child Become More Resilient and Pushing Them Too Hard? 224. Should Parents Give Children More Responsibility at Younger Ages? 225. Should Parents Tell Children the Truth About Santa? 226. Should Parents Weigh in on Their Kids’ Dating Lives? 227. Should Parents Track Their Children? 228. How Should Parents Support a Student Who Has Fallen Behind in School? 229. Do Parents Ever Cross a Line by Helping Too Much With Schoolwork? 230. What’s the Best Way to Discipline Children? 231. What Are Your Thoughts on ‘Snowplow Parents’? 232. Should Stay-at-Home Parents Be Paid? 233. Should Parents Bribe Their Children?

Childhood and Growing Up

234. Is It Harder to Grow Up in the 21st Century Than It Was in the Past? 235. Is Childhood Today Over-Supervised? 236. When Do You Become an Adult? 237. Who Should Decide Whether a Teenager Can Get a Tattoo or Piercing? 238. Do We Give Children Too Many Trophies? 239. What Can Older Generations Learn From Gen Z? 240. What Is the Worst Toy Ever?

Legislation and Policy

241. Should the Death Penalty Be Abolished? 242. Should Marijuana Be Legal? 243. Should the United States Decriminalize the Possession of Drugs? 244. What Is Your Reaction to the State of Abortion Rights? 245. Should the Government Cancel Student Debt? 246. Should Public Transit Be Free? 247. Should There Be More Public Restrooms? 248. Should the U.S. Be Doing More to Prevent Child Poverty? 249. Should the Government Provide a Guaranteed Income for Families With Children? 250. Should Law Enforcement Be Able to Use DNA Data From Genealogy Websites for Criminal Investigations?

Gun Violence

251. Are You Concerned About Violence in America? 252. How Should Americans Deal With the Problem of Gun Violence? 253. What Should Lawmakers Do About Guns and Gun Violence? 254. Should the U.S. Ban Military-Style Semiautomatic Weapons? 255. Should Teachers Be Armed With Guns?

Voting and Elections

256. How Much Faith Do You Have in the U.S. Political System? 257. Is the Electoral College a Problem? Does It Need to Be Fixed? 258. Does Everyone Have a Responsibility to Vote? 259. Should We All Be Able to Vote by Mail? 260. Should There Be a Minimum Voting Age? 261. Should the Voting Age Be Lowered to 16? 262. Should Ex-Felons Have the Right to Vote? 263. Are Presidential Debates Helpful to Voters? Or Should They Be Scrapped?

Freedoms and Rights

264. How Important Is Freedom of the Press? 265. Why Does the Right to Protest Matter? 266. Does the U.S. Constitution Need an Equal Rights Amendment? 267. Do You Care Who Sits on the Supreme Court? Should We Care? 268. Should You Have a Right to Be Rude? 269. Should Prisons Offer Incarcerated People Education Opportunities?

Civic Participation

270. Are You Optimistic About the State of the World? 271. If You Could Take On One Problem Facing Our World, What Would It Be? 272. If You Were Mayor, What Problems Facing Your Community Would You Tackle? 273. Do You Think Teenagers Can Make a Difference in the World? 274. Do You Think It Is Important for Teenagers to Participate in Political Activism? 275. Is Your Generation Doing Its Part to Strengthen Our Democracy? 276. How Is Your Generation Changing Politics? 277. Why Is It Important for People With Different Political Beliefs to Talk to Each Other? 278. Are We Being Bad Citizens If We Don’t Keep Up With the News? 279. Why Do Bystanders Sometimes Fail to Help When They See Someone in Danger? 280. When Is It OK to Be a Snitch? 281. Should Reporters Ever Help the People They Are Covering? 282. Should Celebrities Weigh In on Politics? 283. Should Athletes Speak Out On Social and Political Issues? 284. Should Corporations Take Political Stands? 285. What Do You Think the Role of the First Lady — or First Spouse — Should Be Today?

286. Is Animal Testing Ever Justified? 287. What Is Our Responsibility to Lab Animals? 288. What Are Your Thoughts About Hunting Animals? 289. Should We Be Concerned With Where We Get Our Pets? 290. What Do You Think of Pet Weddings? 291. Is It Wrong to Focus on Animal Welfare When Humans Are Suffering? 292. Should We Bring Back Animals From Extinction? 293. Are Zoos Immoral? 294. Do Bugs Deserve More Respect?

Environment and Science

295. What Role Should Young People Play in the Fight Against Climate Change? 296. Should We Be More Optimistic About Efforts to Combat Climate Change? 297. How Far Is Too Far in the Fight Against Climate Change? 298. Should Plastic Bags Be Banned Everywhere? 299. Is It Ethical to Create Genetically Edited Humans? 300. Should We Still Be Sending Astronauts to Space? 301. Do You Think Pluto Should Be a Planet? 302. Should We Treat Robots Like People?

Time and Seasons

303. What Is the Best Month of the Year? What Is the Worst? 304. Would Life Be Better Without Time Zones? 305. Do You Think It Is Time to Get Rid of Daylight Saving Time? 306. When Do Holiday Decorations Go From Festive to Excessive? 307. Should We Rethink Thanksgiving? 308. When Does a Halloween Costume Cross the Line? 309. Should School Be a Place to Celebrate Halloween? 310. Should the Week Be Four Days Instead of Five?

Students 13 and older in the United States and Britain, and 16 and older elsewhere, are invited to comment. All comments are moderated by the Learning Network staff, but please keep in mind that once your comment is accepted, it will be made public and may appear in print.

Find more Student Opinion questions here. Teachers, check out this guide to learn how you can incorporate these prompts into your classroom.

Natalie Proulx joined The Learning Network as a staff editor in 2017 after working as an English language arts teacher and curriculum writer. More about Natalie Proulx

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writing political essays

Mary Gaitskill on the Challenges—and Risks—of Writing Political Fiction

“politics is how we fight it out on the ground.”.

The following essay was originally published in Mary Gaitskill’s Substack, Out of It , and an excerpt from it appeared in Lit Hub’s The Craft of Writing newsletter— sign up here .

Since I’ve been alive (or a teenager anyway) I’ve been aware of forever arguments about whether or not fiction should be political, written to address injustice or at least to support social morality. Right now this could seem like an especially frivolous question: wherever you are on the ideological spectrum, social issues are sitting atop us like demon beasts, that is, if “social issues” is even a strong enough phrase for the literally burning evidence of planetary destruction, daily gun violence, grinding economic fear, violent racism, unpredictable pandemic illness and pointless war being waged by an unhinged superpower, all on rumbling sub-crawl under our daily lives.

Even in less harrowing times, social institutions and the political machinations surrounding them are huge facts of life that we are all subject to, regardless of where we live on the spectrum of class and privilege; the stories of small, soft humans—all humans—caught up in the wheels of such institutions are dramatically compelling even when they are badly written. Multiply that times ten when what is happening makes you want to cry out, not as some little person carefully writing and looking out the window, but as a member of a group, because groups are more politically powerful.

But writing well about politics is hugely challenging because… unlike music or film, writing is not done in groups; it is hard to effectively transform the language or power of groups into the power of an individual working alone with their wrists and fingers on a keyboard. Fiction speaks in a specific language of individual consciousness that senses and interprets the world with a moral ambiguity in which issues and impulses large and small fluctuate and conflict nonstop, running from ugly to beautiful, blending the two categories in mysterious, asocial ways that reflect the depths of human nature in darkish, dream-like flashes. In my first post I described the process as related to the rational mind but in a way that dreams are related to thought—poetically and irrationally. It is through poetic and irrational means that the unseen world of your story gets radically illuminated.

Political communication is almost the opposite of this. To put it as simply as I can, politics is how we fight it out on the ground and to fight that way, to get what we want and need and believe is right, we have to agree with one another on what we are talking about and that necessitates shutting out a great deal that has to do with “mysterious, asocial” anything. Political writing requires clear definition, consistent, recognizable language and a “take-away” that will get people moving down the street as opposed to sitting on the curb wondering “what did he mean by that?” It requires consensus in thought and language.

Twitter is the most obvious example of consensual thinking in extremity; a mode in which people who are unable to see or hear each other’s voices and faces type at the world in flattened shorthand that brooks no complexity and which can create a perhaps illusory sense of group cohesion on a massive scale. Great for political drum-beating; a bad habit for almost anything else.

Twitter did not invent this mode of thinking or expressing; humans have always loved the excitement and comfort of crowd-think. Decades before Twitter existed, readers of fiction had long become accustomed to seeing the physical life of stories represented by visually-based mediums like movies and television which are great at showing what consensual reality looks like. Students in writing classes, whether undergrad or grad, typically write as if there were a director and camera crew filling in the scenery for them, along with actors who are providing voice and facial expressions for the characters—or rather they appear to assume that readers will fill in these things automatically and generally, because as demonstrated by film and TV, everyone knows what a “typical” living room or a city street or a pretty girl’s face looks like.

I can only think that this natural human tendency (to assume that what I am seeing in my mind’s eye is what everyone is seeing) has been magnified by lifetimes of watching stories unfold on TV and movie screens where (even taking subtle multifarious artistic choices into account) people behave and scenery looks as we expect in very basic ways—on a city street you have pedestrians, traffic, the sky-line; it all looks pretty much exactly as one expects it to.

And so we have come to expect our fictional worlds to be… expected in that way; if we were watching a movie set in a major metropolis we would be confused and bothered if we briefly glimpsed a giant lizard waddling up the street without anyone noticing, especially if the lizard was never seen or referred to again, it would make no sense. But on the first pages of his 1853 novel Bleak House, Charles Dickens has exactly that, a casual reference to a Megalosaurus waddling up the road as a metaphor for timelessness and the reader doesn’t blink because she doesn’t expect Dickens’ London to be a sensible (or relatable) place.

In 1949, Vladimir Nabokov wrote a playful essay titled The Art of Literature and Commonsense in which he dismissed consensual thinking in the form of common sense, which he somewhat strangely declared to be “fundamentally immoral.” In this essay he exults in the unexpected and rare beauty of art as a kind of spiritual nurture for the “irrational belief in the goodness of man” and “the lovely and loveable world which quietly persists” even in the midst of the most brutal circumstances. He speaks passionately of “divine and irrational standards” by which he meant the “supremacy of the detail over the whole, of the little thing which a man observes and greets with a friendly nod of the spirit while the crowd around him is being driven by some common impulse to some common goal.

“I remember a cartoon depicting a chimney sweep falling from the roof of a tall building and noticing on the way that a sign-board had one word spelled wrong, and wondering in his headlong flight why nobody had thought of correcting it. In a sense, we all are crashing to our death from the top story of our birth to the flat stones of the churchyard and wondering with an immortal Alice in Wonderland at the patterns of the passing wall. This capacity to wonder at trifles—no matter the imminent peril—these asides of the spirit, these footnotes in the volume of life are the highest form of consciousness, and it is in this childishly speculative state of mind, so different from commonsense and its logic that we know the world to be good.”

Why good? I’m not sure, but I think he meant that the capacity to notice such things is a transcendent good because it takes us out of our pragmatic concerns, even the matter of our well-being and survival, and so allows us, for a sideways, flashing moment, to experience the greater world, that is to say:

The earth below us. The sky above us. The ocean; did you know that brainless, eyeless 10-foot worms with multi-faceted mouth-parts called Bobbit worms live at the bottom of the ocean? That they are weirdly beautiful?

Back on solid land, did you know that there is a species of fly that lives inside ants until it decapitates the ant from the inside and exits? Speaking of ants you surely know that fire ants live in complex tunnels beneath the earth except that, when there is flooding, they can link together with their biting jaws, making colonies of thousands that can float on the surface with the help of ant-created air bubbles.

Creatures that have nothing to do with us and our systems, but who are busily living their lives all around us and in us, on our eyelashes and in our stomachs for example. I don’t bring them up to say we should write about them. I do it to say that we live in a world of surpassing strangeness and power, a world that for all we understand about it, we still don’t understand. A world that deserves far more respect than we’ve shown it, a world of fundamental force at play in our bodies and psyches, and yes, our social structures.

As big as political institutions and forces are, they are insignificant in this far bigger and stranger world that has nothing to do with us and our concerns about equality and power or anything else.

I’m not arguing against political writing. Some of my favorite novels are political novels (not in the sense that they exist to convey a political message, but rather that they describe political situations). What I am saying is that stories about political systems or social struggle are most poignant and effective when they acknowledge that we are all up against such harsh mystery whether we are a powerful statesman or a poor child.

I am going to read a paragraph from a story by Nabokov called “Signs and Symbols” which was written in 1948. It is 6 pages long and it is one of the best stories in the world. It is about an impoverished, hapless immigrant couple who are old and who’s only child is in a mental hospital. We learn that they have fled Nazi Germany where some of their relatives have been killed. This is the elderly women sitting by herself at night, following the day that her son has, again, tried to kill himself.

The politics of the time, which were truly earth-shattering, are mentioned only glancingly; it is the son’s delusion of a secret system communicating to him in a symbolic language that is given pride of place in the story and in this old woman’s moment of reflection, sanity meets insanity, the political system of mass murder meets an unknowable system of “signs and symbols.” She is the most hapless of people pressed up against forces she doesn’t understand, forces that are both political and cosmic, and against which she can do nothing but endure.

And yet look at how she endures, at the vastness of her perception. In this moment of maximum pain her heart is big enough to hold “the incalculable amount of tenderness in the world” and its destruction, and even though her heart may be broken by what may happen next her dignity in this paragraph is unbreakable. Her ability to see beyond herself, to psychically receive the suffering of the entire world which she can do nothing to fix is what I believe Nabokov meant by irrational goodness.

So now here is a piece of fiction that is more directly political, that puts the political opinions of the author into the mouth of a character. Its from a story written in 1939 by Katherine Anne Porter called Pale Horse, Pale Rider . It’s set during WWI (a conflict that Porter, like many people, opposed) at the peak of the influenza epidemic, which killed more people than the war did. The main character, Miranda, is a critic for a local paper and she’s reviewing a play that she is seeing with her lover Adam. Adam is about to deploy for the front and Miranda is letting us know what she thinks of that:

Notice how she uses the power of the disgusting speaker’s rhetoric to pull you along; it’s his voice that gives the scene power—the power of the fanaticism that Porter so dislikes. The scene is saved from simplistic satire by the whispered asides of the two protagonists which cut against the one-directional ranting of the rhetoric and create subtle tension—and yet these asides are swept up with the dominant tone anyway at the end, the characters reduced like everyone else in a sea of pallid faces with open black mouths, a picture of mindless assent. There is no question what Porter wants you to feel: the way war destroys people’s hearts and minds, makes them ugly even when the cause they serve is just, because sometimes justice and truth empower bullies through righteousness, and cause people to, as Porter says, become “ready to leap if you say one word or make one gesture that they do not understand instantly.”

Finally, I want to read an excerpt from the novel Cloud Splitter, written in 1998 by Russell Banks. It is a fictional account of the abolitionist John Brown who many people believe inspired the Civil War with a failed attack on Harper’s Ferry in West Virginia; Brown sacrificed his life and the lives of his sons in the fight.

Russell Banks’ fictional depiction of Brown is extremely mixed and ambiguous; he is undoubtedly a hero, truly outraged by slavery and willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to fight it—but also fanatic, half out of his mind and driven by his own personal sense of failure and humiliation, through which he identifies with the anguish of slavery. He wants to be what would now be called a “white savior” but you can’t deny his sincerity given how far he’s willing to go. It is this mixed quality that makes the book so powerful. The scene I will read is set in the territory of Kansas which was not yet a state, and which both anti-slavery and pro-slavery forces were fighting to claim; Brown and his sons are conducting a late-night attack on a family of pro-slavers.

The power of this is like the power of John Brown’s character as Banks has written him. Heroic, capable of riding into battle when he could not win—but ruthless, half-crazy, absolutely moral and absolutely demonic. The scene is gripping for many reasons but for me the most piercing line in it is “Oh Bonny!” The young man who cries out is a perpetrator of evil, willing to brutalize untold numbers of fellow humans—yet he has a tender connection with his animal. I’m not expressing sympathy for enslavers because they love their dogs; from the point of view of their crime, love of dogs is irrelevant.

But I AM expressing honor for art that illuminates this mystery of our human nature, where good and evil are constantly and unpredictably mixed. Because I think as artists it is of primary importance that we remember this paradox and maintain humility before it.

What all of these excerpts have in common: They understand and in the case of the last two, portray the brutal world of political struggle and war. But they never forget the larger context in which such struggle lives: the bit of sky, the strangeness of a face, the children humming to themselves in unswept corners, the innocent cry from an otherwise evil heart. The inutile beauty of that part of humanity and nature that does not care about power and dominion over others and which has nothing to do with commonsense.

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Political Science Essay Example

Cathy A.

Get Inspired with these Amazing Political Science Essay Examples

Published on: May 8, 2023

Last updated on: Jan 30, 2024

political science essay example

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Many students struggle to write effective political science essays that meet the expectations of their professors. They may have difficulty organizing their thoughts, conducting research, or making persuasive arguments.

One way to improve your political science essay writing skills is to study examples of successful essays in this field. 

By analyzing the structure, and content of these essays, you can learn valuable lessons that will help you write better essays.

In this blog, we provide examples of high-quality political science essays in different different areas of the field. 

Whether you're a beginner or an advanced student, you'll find valuable insights to help you succeed in your coursework.

Let’s get started!

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What is a Political Science Essay? Understanding the Basics

A political science essay explores a particular topic or issue within the field of political science. It typically requires students to conduct research, analyze data, and make persuasive arguments based on their findings.

These essays can take many different forms, depending on the specific requirements of the assignment. They can be comparative essays that examine the similarities and differences between two or more political systems.

They can also be theoretical essays that explore different political theories that analyze real-world political phenomena.

Regardless of its specific type, all such essays should adhere to certain basic principles. They should have a clear thesis statement, use evidence to support their arguments, and be written in clear and concise language.

Political Science Essay Examples

Now that we have a basic understanding of these essays, let's take a closer look at some of its examples.

By analyzing these essays, you can gain valuable insights into how to write political essays.

Political Science Paper Example

Political Science Research Paper Example

Political Science Analysis Paper Example

Political Science Term Paper Examples

Political Science Essay Example for Different Fields

Political science is a diverse and dynamic field that encompasses a wide range of topics and perspectives. 

To gain a comprehensive understanding, it's important to study the examples that explore different areas of research and inquiry.

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The examples given below will help you understand the richness and complexity of political science research.

Political Essay About Poverty

Political Science

The Impact Of Social Movements On National Security

Characteristics Of Political Science

American Political Science

The Political Reform of Japan

The United States and Terrorism

The Role of Political Parties and Political Figures in Shaping Political Landscapes

Kosovo protests 2022

Rishi sunak's political career

Political Essay on Politics and Political Decisions

Tips To Write A Write A Compelling Political Science Essay 

To write an effective essay, it is important to approach the topic with care and attention to detail. Consider the following tips for writing a political essay that stands out:

  • Define your Topic: Be clear about the focus of your essay and ensure that it is relevant and interesting to your readers.
  • Conduct Thorough Research: Gather information from credible sources, including academic journals, government reports, and news outlets, to ensure that your arguments are well-supported.
  • Develop A Clear Thesis Statement: Your thesis should be concise and clearly state your argument or position on the topic.
  • Organize Your Essay Effectively: Use clear and logical structure to ensure that your arguments are presented in a coherent and convincing manner.
  • Use Evidence To Support Your Arguments: Incorporate relevant data and examples to support your arguments, and ensure that they are credible and well-sourced.
  • Consider Opposing Viewpoints: Acknowledge and address counterarguments to your position to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the topic.
  • Write Clearly And Concisely : Use simple and direct language to convey your ideas, and avoid unnecessary jargon or technical terms.

Pitfalls To Avoid While Writing A Political Science Essay

To write a strong political essay, it is important to not only follow best practices, but also avoid common pitfalls. 

By keeping these pitfalls in mind, you can create a thoughtful and thorough essay that engages your readers.

  • Oversimplification

Political science is a complex field that deals with multifaceted political issues. Avoid oversimplifying the topic or argument in your essay, and make sure to provide a nuanced and in-depth analysis.

These essays should be objective and free from personal biases. Avoid using emotionally charged language or cherry-picking evidence to support a preconceived conclusion.

  • Using Vague Language

Political essays should be precise and clear in their language. Avoid using vague terms or generalizations, and strive to use concrete and specific language.

  • Ignoring Counterarguments

To write a convincing political science essay, it is important to consider and address counterarguments. Avoid ignoring opposing viewpoints, and make sure to provide a thorough analysis of alternative perspectives.

In conclusion, writing political science essays is a great way to explore important political issues. It can also help you in learning about how power and governance work. 

By looking at examples, and writing tips, you can write a strong essay that contributes to the field. 

Whether you're a student, a policy analyst, or just interested in politics, political essays help you understand how decisions get made.

If you need help writing your essay, CollegeEssay.org has an AI essay generator that can assist you. 

Our political science essay writing service can help you write a well-organized essay that meets your needs.

So what are you waiting for? Reach out to us and request ' write me an essay ' to get started!

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  • Get Paid to Write: 15 Political Writing Markets for Freelancers

1.  The American Conservative

2. the atlantic, 3. new statesman, 4. salon.com, 5. the national review, 8. washington monthly, 10. vox first person, 11. liberal america, 12. polizette, 13. new york observer, 14. the progressive, 15. the nation, get paid to write about politics.

Get Paid to Write About Politics. Makealivingwriting.com

Maybe you’re one of those news junkies who follows government trends, key political players, or the issues and policies that have an impact on everyday people.

Find a fresh angle, and you can get paid to write about it.

As a newbie freelancer, I was able to get paid to write a political piece for a national magazine. More about that later.

Maybe you want to get paid to write about your political views, opinions, and life experiences impacted by politics and government. There’s a market for that.

And if you’re interested in finding freelance writing jobs and digging deep into government and politics as an investigative journalist, feature writer, or contributing freelancer, you can find political markets to get paid to write those types of articles, too.

Check out this list of political writing markets, study the guidelines, start pitching, and get paid to write:

Interested in political writing from a conservative perspective? You’ll need solid journalism skills to report and write about current events, trends and issues for The American Conservative, a magazine published by the American Ideas Institute.

“We believe in constitutional government, fiscal prudence, sound monetary policy, clearly delineated borders, protection of civil liberties, authentically free markets, and restraint in foreign policy mixed with diplomatic acuity,” says editor Robert Merry .

Rate s: Pays $150 and up depending on assignment.

If you want to write for The Atlantic, a magazine that covers news and analysis on politics, business, culture, technology, national, international and political life, read this by former Atlantic staffer Garance Franke-Ruta: “ How (not) to pitch: A guide for freelance writers .”

FYI – The Atlantic is also open to working with new freelancers. It’s where I landed my first magazine assignment as a newbie  for a piece about the career trajectory of Donald Trump that landed him in the White House.

Want to write for The Atlantic? Study the magazine and pitch an idea with a query first .

Rates: Pays $150 to $1,600 depending on assignment.

This progressive-thinking political magazine, based in the United Kingdom, has been covering politics and issues from around the world for more than 100 years.

“Timely, well-written contributions that bring a new angle to topics within the  New Statesman ‘s remit,” says editor Jason Cowley. “Make sure you’re familiar with the website and what we cover before pitching – following us  on Twitter  is a good way of doing this.”

Have a story idea for The New Statesman? Pitch editors Julia Rampen or George Eaton .

Rates : Pays $150.00 to $300.00 per article.

Salon.com was born from the slow-and-steady demise of traditional print newspapers, and covers politics and other topics with investigative reporting, commentary, criticism, and provocative personal essays. Pitch story ideas to Managing Editor Erin Keane . Note: If you can, be sure to mention you can provide video clips.

Rates: Pays $150 and up, depending on assignment.

You’ll only find conservative-focused articles in this 60-year-old magazine that features news and commentary pieces on political, social, and cultural affairs.

Want to write for The National Review? Pitch Senior Editor Richard Brookhiser , but current issues and read The Magazine’s Credenda first.

Got a knack for writing witty and opinionated analysis pieces about political issues? That’s the Slate’s niche in the world of online journalism.

“We are a general-interest publication offering analysis and commentary about politics, news, business, technology, and culture,” says Editor-in-Chief Julia Turner.

Pitch story ideas to Political Editor Reid Pillifant .

Rates: Pays $0.23 per word.  

Here’s an interesting way to differentiate yourself as a news and literary magazine…no advertising. That’s the Sun’s approach to focus on great writing.

This magazine has been around for 40 years, and is looking for essays, interviews, and story ideas about political and cultural issues.

“We’ve been described in many ways,” says Editor and Publish Sy Safransky. “Celebratory, fierce, unflinching, thoughtful, truthful, dark, darkly funny, tender.”

And it shows in recent articles on wealth and poverty, Donald Trump as a taboo topic at work, inequalities in education, and much more.

Rates: Pays $300 to $2,000 per assignment.

Class warfare, the latest insights on the Nunes memo and the FBI, party battles over climate change, and rural America in the 21 st century. Those are the kinds of reported stories you’ll find in the Washington Monthly.

And if you have an idea for an investigative piece, opinion-based feature, or even book reviews of political titles, pitch Editor Gilad Edelman .

Rates: Pays $0.10/word

Do you know where politics and Jewish life intersect? Then pitch a story idea to Tablet, a daily online magazine of Jewish news, ideas, and culture.

Recent freelance political pieces published in Tablet include: “ Three theories of the rise of Trump ,” “ George Loinger’s simple game of catch ,” “ Mob rule ,” among others.

Query news and politics editor Matthew Fishbane , and include a brief summary of your story idea, bio, and writing experience.

Rates : Pays $150 and up depending on assignment.

Got a political view and personal experience you’d like to share and get paid to write? Vox First person wants to hear from you. This news-opinion-style site welcomes opinion-focused articles, essays, and points of view that help explain politics and current events from a first-person perspective.

Rates : Pays $150 and up.

When Texas-born Tiffany Willis Clark spent time working with disadvantaged and oppressed populations, the elderly, people living in poverty, at-risk youth, and the unemployed, it changed the way she sees the world. And it’s one reason why she founded Liberal America.

This site covers political and social issues liberals care about. And if you have an idea for a story, send your pitch to [email protected] .

Rates: Pays $50 and up.

PoliZette is a division of LifeZette, and features political articles that offer commentary, insight, and explanation of the sometimes crazy world of politics. Pitch story ideas to Senior Editor Mark Tapscott . But do your homework, he’s a guy who’s been on the front lines of political journalism for more than 30 years.

Rates:  Pays $100 to $200 per assignment.

Like writing about the latest news from the White House? Or have an inside scoop, opinion, or point of view about New York politics? If you can write for a “sophisticated readership of metropolitan professionals,” pitch an idea to Contributors Editor Kelsey Smith .

Rates: Pays $100 per assignment.

If you want to write about the people, events, and issues shaping social and economic justice, civil liberties, human rights, the environment, and democracy, pitch a story idea to Managing Editor Bill Lueders at The Progressive.

Rates:  $50 to $1,300 per assignment.

“We are a weekly journal of left/liberal opinion, covering national and international affairs as well as the arts publishing in both print and digitally,” says Editor and Publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel.

The Nation was founded on principles of investigative journalism and old-school reporting. Stories include analysis of breaking news, politics, social issues and the arts. Check The Masthead to pitch the appropriate editor.

Rates: $225 and up per assignment.

If political writing is your thing, or you want to break into this niche, and get paid to write, you can. Here’s how:

  • Find a market (these are just a few of many political markets where you can get paid to write).
  • Study the guidelines.
  • Read articles on the publication’s website/and or back issues.
  • Come up with a fresh angle or story idea.
  • Write a query and pitch your idea.

And in case you haven’t noticed, there’s ample story ideas out there to get paid to write about politics.

What political markets have you written for?  Let’s discuss on Facebook and LinkedIn .

Douglas Fitzpatrick  is a freelance writer based in Dallas, Texas.

Grow your Writing Income. Freelancewritersden.com

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Get Paid to Write: 23 Sites That Pay Freelancers $100+

Get Paid to Write: 23 Sites That Pay Freelancers $100+

In this list of sites that pay freelance writers, we’ve identified new markets we haven’t featured before. And even though these sites represent a variety of different niches, they all have one thing in common.

These are sites that pay $100 or more for blog posts, articles, essays, tutorials, and other types of writing assignments.

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March 26, 2024

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Essays on democracy draw attention to critical threats, explore safeguards ahead of Jan. 6

by Tracy DeStazio, University of Notre Dame

Essays on democracy draw attention to critical threats, explore safeguards ahead of Jan. 6

Following the events of Jan. 6, 2021—when a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol building in an effort to interrupt the certification process of the 2020 presidential election—experts began to question how to protect the next presidential election from a similar threat. To that end, University of Notre Dame political scientists have partnered with preeminent scholars of democracy from across the country to produce a set of recommendations to strengthen and safeguard democracy in America.

The University's Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy established the January 6th, 2025, Project in an effort to understand the social, political, psychological and demographic factors that led to that troublesome day in the capital.

By pursuing research, teaching and public engagement , the project offers insight into how American democracy got to this point and how to strengthen and protect it, while emphasizing how to prepare for a similar attack many deem imminent on Jan. 6, 2025, when Congress seeks to certify the 2024 presidential election results. The project includes 34 members who represent various disciplines and leading universities—10 of whom hail from Notre Dame's faculty.

Matthew E.K. Hall, director of the Rooney Center, said one of the project's first goals was to create a collection of essays written by its members to be included in a special issue of The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science , which was published this month. These essays aim to draw attention to the vulnerabilities in our democratic system and the threats building against it, and to create consensus on ways to remedy both problems.

The authors set out to tackle the following tough questions, but from different perspectives: How serious are the threats to our democracy, how did we get to this point, and what can we do to fix the situation? The 14 essays are broken down into categories, falling under the headings of "'Us' Versus 'Them,'" "Dangerous Ideas" and "Undermining Democratic Institutions." With most pieces being co-authored by faculty from multiple institutions, the collection offers a collaborative approach to evaluating what led America to this crisis and how to avert it.

David Campbell, director of the Notre Dame Democracy Initiative and the Packey J. Dee Professor of American Democracy in the Department of Political Science, described the project as "an example of how Notre Dame can be a national leader on the issue of preserving American democracy. Not only do we have top scholars working on the issue, but we can provide a forum for a community of scholars across many leading universities. Maintaining democracy will require all hands on deck."

In the collection's introduction, Hall explained the backdrop of what led America to this point and why these essays help acknowledge the challenges we are facing as a nation.

"We are basically living through a revival of fascist politics in the U.S.," Hall wrote, "where politicians are using divisive rhetoric to separate us into an 'us' versus 'them' paradigm—left versus right, white versus Black, rich versus poor, urban versus rural, religious versus secular—the divisions go on and on."

Hall estimated that between 25 and 30% of Americans have consistently endorsed some fascist ideas such as racial oppression, conspiracy theories and authoritarianism. "Ordinarily, this consistent minority is held in check by the democratic process," Hall explained.

"These candidates don't even get nominated for major political positions because their co-partisan allies don't want to lose the general election.

"But when our politics become this intensely polarized, most partisans will support their party no matter who is nominated," he continued. "As a result, politicians pushing these fascist ideas can gain power by taking over one political party and then exploiting the polarization to win elections. Once taking power, they will likely manipulate the electoral process to remain in power."

Consequently, Hall said, fascist leaders are able to exploit these social divisions to break down basic social norms and shared understandings about American politics. This pushes huge swaths of society toward accepting dangerous ideas that would normally be rejected, such as expanded executive power, intense animosity toward political opponents, a wavering support for free speech, and political candidates who deny election losses.

This weakened support for democratic norms enables attacks on our democratic institutions, such as ignoring court rulings, enacting voter suppression laws and—most shockingly (as in the case of Jan. 6)—openly subverting elections.

With the political situation as dire as many feel it to be, the January 6th, 2025, Project's essays outline a few practical steps that can be taken to strengthen and safeguard democracy in America.

For example, Hall said, as the nation moves forward into this next election year, American voters have to stay focused on the "deliberate denial of reality" on the part of some politicians so that they can discern the difference between lies, truths and just plain distractions.

"The more we lose touch with basic facts and accept misinformation, conspiracies and contradictory claims as the norm in our society," he said, "the more vulnerable we are to losing our democracy.

"Even more importantly, we have to be willing to sacrifice short-term political gains in order to preserve the long-term stability of our democracy. That might mean holding your nose to vote for candidates that you would not otherwise support."

Hall added that Americans must redouble their devotion to democratic principles such as open elections and free speech, and states should adopt institutional reforms that remove partisans from the electoral process (for example, employing nonpartisan election commissions). He also noted the importance of paying close attention to efforts that divide groups of Americans, especially those that portray outgroup members as evil or less than human.

The members of the project hope that by honestly acknowledging the challenges our nation is facing, understanding the mistakes that were made and recognizing the vulnerabilities in our system that led us to this situation—and by resolving to fix these issues—we can pull our country's political system back from the edge of the cliff before it's too late.

"The public needs to take these critical threats seriously and we're hoping that these essays draw attention to them, and help to build consensus about the underlying problems in our politics and potential remedies," Hall concluded.

Democracy is one of several University-wide initiatives emerging from Notre Dame's recently released Strategic Framework . The Democracy Initiative will further establish Notre Dame as a global leader in the study of democracy, a convenor for conversations about and actions to preserve democracy, and a model for the formation of civically engaged citizens and public servants.

Provided by University of Notre Dame

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Essay: Russia Is Back to the Stalinist Future

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Russia Is Back to the Stalinist Future

With a soviet-style election, vladimir putin’s russia has come full circle..

  • Human Rights

In 1968, the American scholar Jerome M. Gilison described Soviet elections as a “ psychological curiosity ”—a ritualized, performative affirmation of the regime rather than a real vote in any sense of the word. These staged elections with their nearly unanimous official results, Gilison wrote, served to isolate non-conformists and weld the people to their regime.

Last Sunday, Russia completed the circle and returned to Soviet practice. State election officials reported that 87 percent of Russians had cast their vote for Vladimir Putin in national elections, giving the Russian president a fifth term in office. Not only were many of the reported election numbers mathematically impossible , but there was also no longer much of a choice: All prominent opposition figures had been either murdered , imprisoned , or exiled . Like in Soviet times, the election also welded Russians to their regime by serving as a referendum on Putin’s war against Ukraine. All in all, last weekend’s Soviet-style election sealed Putin’s transformation of post-Communist Russia into a repressive society with many of the features of Soviet totalitarianism.

Russia’s return to Soviet practice goes far beyond elections. A recent study by exiled Russian journalists from Proekt Media used data to determine that Russia is more politically repressive today than the Soviet Union under all leaders since Joseph Stalin. During the last six years, the study reports, the Putin regime has indicted 5,613 Russians on explicitly political charges—including “discrediting the army,” “disseminating misinformation,” “justification of terrorism,” and other purported crimes, which have been widely used to punish criticism of Russia’s war on Ukraine and justification of Ukraine’s defense of its territory. This number is significantly greater than in any other six-year period of Soviet rule after 1956—all the more glaring given that Russia’s population is only half that of the Soviet Union before its collapse.

In addition to repressive criminal charges and sentences, over the last six years more than 105,000 people have been tried on administrative charges, which carry heavy fines and compulsory labor for up to 30 days without appeal. Many of these individuals were punished for taking part in unsanctioned marches or political activity, including anti-war protests. Others were charged with violations of COVID pandemic regulations. Such administrative punishments are administered and implemented rapidly, without time for an appeal.

On March 4, 2022, a little over a week after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, Russia’s puppet parliament rapidly adopted amendments to the Russian Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code that established criminal and administrative punishments for the vague transgressions of “discrediting” the Russian military or disseminating “false information” about it. This widely expanded the repressive powers of the state to criminally prosecute political beliefs and activity. Prosecutions have surged since the new laws were passed, likely leading to a dramatic increase in the number of political prisoners in the coming years. In particular, punishments for “discrediting the army” or “justification of terrorism”—which includes voicing support for Ukraine’s right to defend itself—have resulted in hundreds of sentences meted out each year since the war began. The most recent such case: On Feb. 27, the 70-year-old co-chairman of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning human rights group Memorial, Oleg Orlov, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for “discrediting” the Russian military.

As the Proekt report ominously concludes, “[I]n terms of repression, Putin has long ago surpassed almost all Soviet general secretaries, except for one—Joseph Stalin.” While this conclusion is in itself significant, it is only the tip of the iceberg of the totalitarian state Putin has gradually and systematically rebuilt.

A man votes in Russia’s presidential election in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk on March 15. ladimir Nikolayev/AFP via Getty Images

As in the Soviet years, there is no independent media in Russia today. The last of these news organizations were banned or fled the country after Putin’s all-out war on Ukraine, including Proekt, Meduza, Ekho Moskvy, Nobel Prize-winning Novaya Gazeta, and TV Dozhd. In their place, strictly regime-aligned newspapers, social media, and television and radio stations emit a steady drumbeat of militaristic propaganda, promote Russian imperialist grandeur, and celebrate Putin as the country’s infallible commander in chief. In another reprise of totalitarian practice, lists of banned books have been dramatically expanded and thousands of titles have been removed from the shelves of Russian libraries and bookstores. Bans have been extended to numerous Wikipedia pages, social media channels, and websites.

Human rights activists and independent civic leaders have been jailed, physically attacked, intimidated into silence, or driven into exile. Civic organizations that show independence from the state are banned as “ undesirable ” and subjected to fines and prosecution if they continue to operate. The most recent such organizations include the Andrei Sakharov Foundation, Memorial, the legendary Moscow Helsinki Group, and the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum . In their place, the state finances a vast array of pro-regime and pro-war groups, with significant state resources supporting youth groups that promote the cult of Putin and educate children in martial values to prepare them for military service. Then there are the numerous murders of opposition leaders, journalists, and activists at home and abroad. Through these various means, almost all critical Russian voices have been silenced.

Private and family life is also increasingly coming under the scope of government regulation and persecution. The web of repression particularly affects the LGBT community, putting large numbers of Russians in direct peril. A court ruling in 2023 declared the “international LGBT movement” extremist and banned the rainbow flag as a forbidden symbol, which was quickly followed by raids and arrests . Homosexuality has been reclassified as an illness, and Russian gay rights organizations have shut down their operations for fear of prosecution. Legislation aimed at reinforcing “traditional values”—including the right of husbands to discipline their wives—has led to the reduction in sentences and the decriminalization of some forms of domestic violence.

Russia’s Military Is Already Preparing for Its Next War 

Moscow is rebuilding its military in anticipation of a conflict with NATO in the next decade, Estonian officials warn.

It’s Time to Declare Putin an Illegitimate Leader

Russia’s sham elections next month—with voting on occupied Ukrainian territory—should not be recognized.

Ukraine Isn’t Putin’s War—It’s Russia’s War

Jade McGlynn’s books paint an unsettling picture of ordinary Russians’ support for the invasion and occupation of Ukraine.

Many of the techniques of totalitarian control now operating throughout Russia were first incubated in territories where the Kremlin spread war and conflict. Chechnya was the first testing ground for widespread repression, including massive numbers of victims subjected to imprisonment, execution, disappearance, torture, and rape. Coupled with the merciless targeting of civilians in Russia’s two wars in Chechnya, these practices normalized wanton criminal behavior within Russian state security structures. Out of this crucible of fear and intimidation, Putin has shaped a culture and means of governing that were further elaborated in other places Russia invaded and eventually came to Russia itself.

In Russian-occupied Crimea and eastern Ukraine since 2014, there has been a widespread campaign of surveillance, summary executions, arrests, torture, and intimidation—all entirely consistent with Soviet practice toward conquered populations. More recently, this includes the old practice of forced political recantations: A Telegram channel ominously called Crimean SMERSH (a portmanteau of the Russian words for “death to spies,” coined by Stalin himself) has posted dozens of videos of frightened Ukrainians recanting their Ukrainian identity or the display of Ukrainian symbols. Made in conjunction with police operations, these videos appear to be coordinated with state security services.

In the parts of Ukraine newly occupied since 2022, human rights groups have widely documented human rights abuses and potential war crimes. These include the abduction of children, imprisonment of Ukrainians in a system of filtration camps that recall the Soviet gulags, and the systematic use of rape and torture to break the will of Ukrainians. Castrations of Ukrainian men have also been employed.

As Russia’s violence in Ukraine has expanded, so, too, has the acceptance of these abominations throughout the state and in much of society. As during the Stalin era, the cult of cruelty and the culture of fear are now the legal and moral standards. The climate of fear initially employed to assert order in occupied regions is now being applied to Russia itself. In this context, the murder of Alexei Navalny ahead of the presidential election was an important message from Putin to the Russian people: There is no longer any alternative to the war and repressive political order he has imposed, of which Navalny’s elimination is a part.

All the techniques and means of repression bespeak a criminal regime that now closely resembles the totalitarian rule of Stalin, whom Putin now fully embraces. After Putin first came to power in 1999, he often praised Stalin as a great war leader while disapproving of his cruelty and brutality. But as Putin pivoted toward war and repression, Russia has systematically promoted a more positive image of Stalin. High school textbooks not only celebrate his legacy but also whitewash his terror regime. There has been a proliferation of new Stalin monuments, with more than 100 throughout the country today. On state-controlled media, Russian propagandists consistently hammer away on the theme of Stalin’s greatness and underscore similarities between his wartime leadership and Putin’s. Discussion of Stalinist terror has disappeared, as has the memorialization of his millions of victims. Whereas only one in five Russians had a positive view of Stalin in the 1990s, polls conducted over the last five years show that number has risen to between 60 percent and 70 percent. In normalizing Stalin, Putin is not glossing over the tyrant’s crimes; rather, he is deliberately normalizing Stalin as a justification for his own war-making and repression.

Putin now resembles Stalin more closely than any other Soviet or Russian leader. Unlike Nikita Khrushchev, Leonid Brezhnev, Konstantin Chernenko, and Yuri Andropov—not to mention Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin—Putin has unquestioned power that is not shared or limited in any way by parliament, courts, or a Politburo. State propaganda has created a Stalin-like personality cult that lionizes Putin’s absolute power, genius as a leader, and role as a brilliant wartime generalissimo. It projects him as the fearsome and all-powerful head of a militarized nation aiming, like Stalin, to defeat a “Nazi” regime in Ukraine and reassert hegemony over Eastern and Central Europe. Just as Stalin made effective use of the Russian Orthodox Church to support Russia’s effort during World War II, Putin has effectively used Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill as a critical ally and cheerleader of Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine. And just like Stalin, Putin has made invading neighboring countries and annexing territory a central focus of the Kremlin’s foreign policy.

A young Communist holds a flag depicting Stalin before placing flowers on his tomb in Moscow on March 5, during a memorial ceremony to mark the anniversary of the Soviet leader’s death. Alexander Nemenov/AFP via Getty Images

Putin’s descent into tyranny has been accompanied by his gradual isolation from the rest of society. Like the latter-day Stalin, Putin began living an isolated life as a bachelor even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Like the later Stalin, Putin lacks a stable family life and is believed to have replaced it with a string of mistresses, some of whom are reported to have borne him children for whom he remains a remote figure. Like Stalin, he stays up late into the early-morning hours, and like the Soviet dictator, Putin has assembled around him a small coterie of trusted intimates, mostly men in their 60s and 70s, with whom he has maintained friendships for decades, including businessmen Yury Kovalchuk and Igor Sechin, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, and security chief Nikolai Patrushev. This coterie resembles Stalin’s small network of cronies: security chief Lavrentiy Beria, military leader Kliment Voroshilov, and Communist Party official Georgy Malenkov. To others in leadership positions, Putin is a distant, absolute leader who openly humiliates seemingly powerful officials, such as spy chief Sergey Naryshkin , when the latter seemed to hesitate in his support during Putin’s declaration of war on Ukraine.

Through near-total control of domestic civic life and media, his widening campaign of repression and terror, relentless state propaganda promoting his personality cult, and his vast geopolitical ambitions, Putin is consciously mimicking the Stalin playbook, especially the parts of that playbook dealing with World War II. Even if Putin has no love for Soviet Communist ideology, he has transformed Russia and its people in ways that are no less fundamental than Stalin’s efforts to shape a new Soviet man.

Putin’s massive victory in a Soviet-style election last weekend represents the ratification by the Russian people of his brutal war, militarization of Russian society, and establishment of a totalitarian dictatorship. It is a good moment to acknowledge that Russia’s descent into tyranny, mobilization of society onto a war footing, spread of hatred for the West, and indoctrination of the population in imperialist tropes represent far more than a threat to Ukraine. Russia’s transformation into a neo-Stalinist, neo-imperialist power represents a rising threat to the United States, its European allies, and other states on Russia’s periphery. By recognizing how deeply Russia has changed and how significantly Putin is borrowing from Stalin’s playbook, we can better understand that meeting the modern-day Russian threat will require as much consistency and as deep a commitment as when the West faced down Stalin’s Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War.

Adrian Karatnycky is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, the founder of Myrmidon Group, and the author of Battleground Ukraine: From Independence to the War with Russia , to be published by Yale University Press in June 2024.

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