A. collect information, data, facts, etc. (this becomes the basis of your evidence and logical reasoning). If you simply present this, what you’ll be doing is essentially a report about what you found. This is part of what you do for this assignment and not all of it. If you do this and do not take it to the next step you will not be meeting the expectation of this assignment.

B.Think about the information you discovered in step A.  Can you think of a question that is worth answering?  If so, the answer to the question becomes your working hypothesis.  A question that is worth answering is one that others would be interested to know.  A question that is worth answering is one whose answer does not elicit a “so what?” response.  In the end, you’d be providing an explanation for yourself and for others (who might do something useful with your answer).

C. Consider a question of your own but you can also consider a question raised by others in
anticipation that you might have a better answer for it.  Make sure the question you ask does
not have an obvious answer (for which not real research would be needed, i.e., where does the

D. Consider how others answer the question.  Acknowledge the strengths of their answer but also show where they fail or would be lacking relative to your answer.  This exercise here is part of you doing a literature review and weighing the evidence.  Do not assume you’re the first or only person to think about the question or its answers.  So reading scholarly writing about the topic and its question is essential.  You cannot provide an answer without considering what others have said about it.  The logical sequence can be this: your working hypothesis or main claim followed by sections each of which tackles one reason for the claim and provides supporting evidence.  The sections can be as many as you have reasons to justify the working hypothesis or claim.

E. Read directly relevant sources (books, scholarly journal articles, etc.).  Take notes as you’re reading, sort, and organize them in a logical manner based on a “storyline” you create.  How many articles and books should one read for this?  A minimum of 10 scholarly articles and 3 books (for undergraduates 7-10 articles plus 2 books).  Make sure that the articles and books are directly relevant, current, and have substantial information in them about your topic.  Graduate students who are asked to review two books can propose to review two books relevant to this assignment.  Can one use newspaper articles?  Yes, but they do not count as scholarly journal articles.  Newspaper articles and others are additional.

F.The answer you start with is simply your working hypothesis—it could be modified or even jettisoned after further research and after consideration of the literature.  Obviously, your answer must be supported by the evidence you find and by the argument you employ.

G. Draft & re-draft.  Length, style manual, and other matters are indicated in the syllabus

J. Fix what needs to be fixed to avoid plagiarism.  Indicate after the title of the paper and in brackets the Word Count.  The Word Count should be for the body of the paper and does not include the bibliography.  The paper should not have pictures or images but can have a small map if the map is illustrative of the discussion in the paper.

The list below should help you think about a topic for your paper (although you can propose a topic
outside these):
Struggle over Kashmir (take an aspect)
Role of the UN in Arab-Israel conflict
Israeli-Palestinian peace process
Role of colonialism in conflict (e.g., in Rwanda, Palestine, Kashmir, etc.)
Cultural violence (take a case to analyze this)
Role of economic sanctions in conflict or conflict resolution
Role of historical memory in conflict
Role of individuals in conflict resolution (Mandela, Gorbachev)
Government setup (structure, constitution) in conflict/conflict resolution (Libya might be a good
case to analyze; also, Lebanon)
State-building (or nation-building) in conflict resolution (Timor Leste, Haiti, Somalia, Iraq)
Role of great power in conflict resolution (during/post Cold War)
Role of regional organizations in conflict resolution (AU, OAS, EU)
Role of nationalism in conflict (Myanmar, Sri Lanka)
Role of weapons in conflict (do weapons fuel conflict?)
Democracy and conflict resolution
Conflict resolution (take a case to evaluate experience with CR)
Conflict resolution in civil wars (e.g., Syria, Yemen, Libya)
Conflict resolution and “truth and reconciliation” (take a case and analyze it)
Self-determination and conflict resolution (experience of South Sudan, Kurds, Basque, Western
Two-state solution in Palestine
Religion & conflict resolution/conflict
Role of non-violence in CR

Make sure to narrow your topic (the question will help you do that) so that it becomes manageable.  
The use of cases can be a good idea so that you are not staying at an abstract level.  
Start with Mavscholar at the library webpage to do a search for sources.  Lots of e-books are now available.  But you can identify the books you need and have them delivered to you via the library’s
Inter-library loan service.  Do this asap to get the books quickly.  Consult JSTOR for scholarly journal articles. Data & statistics can be found on websites of UN agencies, World Bank, IMF, etc.  For magazine
articles, use ProQuest, Academic Search Premier; for newspaper articles, use ProQuest, Nexis Uni,


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