Senior Project Format




  • Introduction should clearly outline the purpose, methodology, and format of the project; operational definitions of key terms must be given, where appropriate.
  • Succeeding chapters should fit together effectively.
  • Give the reader occasional “road-signs” throughout the several chapters:  remind the reader of the project’s aim(s); summarize and extended analysis, data set, or line of reasoning; tie an argument back to an earlier point; relate a sub-theme to something that will be included later; etc.
  • The conclusion is very important.  Use it effectively and creatively:  for example, synthesize your findings; place your findings within a larger context; discuss the significance of your research or compare it with another body of literature; project your findings into the future; make new policy suggestions; suggest new lines of research; etc.
  • Each chapter should be numbered sequentially and have a title.


  • Each item should be separately numbered and classified according to the particular chapter (i.e., Table 1-2; Graph 3-1)
  • Use these when the data can be presented more clearly, effectively, succinctly in this form.
  • Explain meaning, use, significance of the tables in the text.
  • Check figures and other data for accuracy and clarity.
  • Cite source(s) of data where appropriate.


  • Please use the APA or APSA style of in-text citations, with proper accompanying references.  Full details of this citation format can be found in Diana Hacker, A Writer’s Reference.


  • Use these for presentation of statistical data or other materials that are too long or too complicated to include in the text itself.


  • It is now a requirement that your Senior Project be uploaded to D-Space. Instructions and Permission forms will be found here.


LENGTH: Most senior projects are 55-75 pages.

INITIAL PAGES: A title page (with Honor Code) and Table of Contents must be included.  All chapters must have numbers and titles.  Where appropriate, separate pages should be used for List of Tables, etc. and Appendices.  When desired, a Dedication and/or Acknowledgements may be included.

PAGINATION: Each page should be numbered sequentially; initial pages mentioned above should not be included in numbered sequence.

WRITING STYLE & PROOFREADING: This should be a professional work; write clearly and effectively; carefully check spelling, punctuation, capitalization, plurals, possessives, verb tense and noun/verb agreement.

READERS: Second readers are assigned by the Department; for double majors, you should consult with your first reader to determine if you need a second reader in Political Science.

DRAFT CHAPTERS: The Department does not accept draft chapters in the week before the deadline.

DUE DATE: The project must be handed in on time.  Late papers will not be accepted and will receive an “F” grade, unless an extension has been officially (and previously) granted by the department.  Students are required to hand in their finished and bound senior projects to the Department Secretary in Quigley 107.


  1. Three bound copies, keep one for yourself in preparation for the oral presentation.
  2. Double majors should make the number of copies corresponding to the number of readers (typically 2) plus one for yourself
  3. You will also need to submit the PDF version of your comp to D-space according to instructions at