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Paperback 160 pp.
11 figures; 8 tables, 5.5" x 8.5"



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Imprint: OUP Canada

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Political Argument

A Guide to Research, Writing, and Debating

Marc Menard

This comprehensive yet concise guide to research, writing, and debating in political science provides students with the skills they need to conduct proper research, present clear arguments, and produce effective written work.

Readership : First- and second-year college and university courses in political science.


  • "This text helps students understand why argumentation and critical thinking are important not only for doing well on assignments but in politics, democracy, and life."
    --Michelle Bonner, University of Victoria

  • "This is a highly readable book that clearly lays out a basic framework for conducting research and writing. . . . It will give political science students a toolbox of different methods and philosophical traditions to draw from when thinking through the research process."
    --Sandra Ignagni, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

  • "The main strength [of this text] is that the process of doing research has been broken down into the proper steps that are explained in a clear and straightforward way . . . This is a good fit for students being introduced to social science research."
    --David Long, The King's University College

  • "The debating section sets this text apart, as does the detail in organizing ideas and researching before beginning to write a research paper."
    --Andrea Brown, Wilfrid Laurier University

Introduction: Valuing the Political Argument
Part One: Researching
1. The Importance of Research in Political Argument
2. Research Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them
Part Two: Writing
3. The Writing Process
4. Preparing the Argument
Part Three: Debating
5. The Art of Debating in Politics

Companion Website:
Annotated list of further readings
E-Book (ISBN 9780199018758):
Available through CourseSmart.com

Marc Menard is a professor in the School of English and Liberal Studies at Toronto's Seneca College where he develops and teaches political science courses. Every year, he introduces Canadian and International students to the world of politics with the aim of engaging their interest in the world around them and developing their writing, researching and critical thinking skills. Prior to teaching, Ménard worked in both the civil service and in the private sector, better enabling him to bring a practical political element to the classroom. Political Argument is his second book.

Canadian Democracy - Stephen Brooks
Canadian Democracy - Stephen Brooks and Marc Menard
Politics - George A. MacLean and Duncan R. Wood
Introduction to Politics - Robert Garner, Peter Ferdinand, Stephanie Lawson and David MacDonald

Special Features

  • Emphasis on critical thinking throughout - including a section on common logical fallacies - highlights the importance of critical thinking in political research, writing, and debate.
  • Standalone chapter on debate introduces students to this key topic, including coverage of the five canons of rhetoric and common forms of debate.
  • Section on internet literacy guides students through the process of properly and effectively using the internet for political science research.
  • Reality Check exercises ask students to consider the issues being discussed from a critical perspective.
  • Emphasis on the scientific approach throughout helps students understand the importance of scientific reasoning and its application to political science.
  • Written for Canadian students, this is an accessible, engaging guide for political science students in this country.