(Theory Section): Your theory section will consist of a narrative text describing a theory that has been drawn-out from the existing literature that forms the cornerstone for understanding your problem, topic, and hypothesis. Theory helps you design your research, helps you better formulate your research question, helps you understand what data is relevant, how you will interpret that data, and guide your explanations of the results you find. Tell your reader what theory you are using, who developed it, what discipline it comes from originally, how it has been applied, and how you will use it to guide your research.
For example, if I were to be researching the acquisition of knowledge in college students, I would surely use the classical theories that exist to lay the theoretical foundation of my analysis. I would include the contributions of Jean Piaget (cognitive development theory) and John Dewey (Experiential learning and pragmatism) to position my theoretical frame and orientation to the literature and data. From this paradigm, I would be better able to understand my findings and make interpretations.
You might seek the assistance of a reference librarian to help you locate appropriate theory in the literature related to your analysis.
The purpose of this assignment is to help you demonstrate applied learning specific to the discipline of political science. It will demonstrate your ability to read and understand the literature, identify, integrate, and synthesize ideas, understand applications and approaches, think critically, apply, and analyze theoretical approaches, communicate political and cultural perspectives, demonstrate knowledge and intellectual comprehension, and build your skills communicating clearly and effectively. Moreover, it will expand your information literacy skills-set.
This assignment is typically 1/2 to 1 page long.