PCST/SOC/POSC 354 Final Paper Outline
Below are the expectations of what your final paper should feature. You do not need to feature
everything or follow this order necessarily – you can pick and choose what is most important for your
paper in your own point of view – but you do need to feature an answer to most of these questions within
Pick a social movement of your interest. This movement can be historical, modern, or current.
• Give a history/summary of the conflict’s major events as well as an overview of the major/most
• What are some of the main issues that led to the emergence of the movement? Were other issues
added on to the movement as the conflict went on?
• What have been some of the most important changes that occurred due to the conflict?
• What tactics were used by the movement and the opposition? Would you categorize the movement to
be non-violent, violent, or a mixture? Were the tactics aptly and strategically chosen?
• What were some of the attempts at resolving the conflict? Did they work out? Why or why not?
o Some of these questions might be more or less applicable to your specific conflict. Consider
how much space you would like to spend on each.
• IF the movement is HISTORICAL: you will need to underline how a similar movement might play out
differently if applied in the current context and what lessons learned from this movement could be
applied (and which lessons are no longer applicable) to current movements.
• IF the movement is CURRENTLY ONGOING: you will need to use more newspaper/magazine-based
sources. Definitely check out policy briefs, grey papers, and think tank reports which tend to be
published more often. You will also need to include – based on your research – some educated
guesses as to how the movement might play out (based on tactics used by the movements and the
responses to the movement).
For the purposes of this paper, you will need to provide (not necessarily in separate sections):
• An introduction to the movement (including a question which you will aim to answer or a
statement/hypothesis which you will aim to verify regarding social movements);
o The question can be something along the line of: What effect did Beyonce’s activism have on
the BLM movement (if any at all)? Or Will the violence in the universities of Hong Kong spell
the doom of the movement there? Etc.
• A summary of the movement (it can be a timeline or outline of the movement);
• A review of the literature and what is argued regarding the movement (at least 5 academic sources
on the movement UNLESS the movement is ongoing and quite recent – where you will use academic
blogs/grey papers, etc.);
• Analysis: Based on what you have found out regarding the movement, what are your takes on the
conflict and why (your argumentation) – if additional research has been conducted, what was your
methodology to collect data and what are the implications of the new data?
• Implications: what are some of the implications of your research and analysis/argument regarding
movements for social change? Are there some larger, generally-applicable lessons learned?
• Conclusion: What are some of your major take-aways regarding non-violent social change? Is nonviolence an effective mechanism? How can we enact true social change?
You are expected to connect the class readings/lectures/discussions (and, if you’d like, even your learnings
from the class project) with your analysis/implications/conclusions at the very least.
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