1. Most things that you think are self-evidently interesting are probably not interesting to most people, even those who work in your own little corner of your discipline. Write as if no one cares unless you explain to them why they have to care.
The classic, write your stuff as if the person studies or does refuse removal rather than political science. 
2. Do not motivate your argument through an appeal to what the literature says.
Aye. Most people could not give a rat's ass what the literature says, especially since appealing to the literature is often the way to building strawmen and strawwomen and even strawkids.  
3. Labeling something a “puzzle” does not make it so.
Indeed, what you think of as being counter-intuitive may just be, well, intuitive.  Like, say, ethnic ties cause countries to take sides in other people's ethnic conflicts. But it was my dissertation, so consider it an amateur's tendency.  Oh, and the fact that people still believe that vulnerability to secession inhibits supporting secession.  Anyway, enough about me.
4. “Puzzling” and “consequential” are different. People are more likely to remember consequential than puzzling.
 Yes, there are different.  No, folks may very well remember the puzzle and not the consequential.  Depends on the nature of the puzzle, but asking an interesting question often gets someone heaps more interest and attention than actually figuring out the answer.  Making someone go "huh?!" is an accomplishment.  But the larger point remains--minor trivial puzzles are less important than arguments that have consequences attached--hence the joy of the democratic peace, for instance.
5. Problematizing something is not a goal. It’s a strategy that you only adopt because it has some sort of payoff that you can demonstrate.
Oh, I hate the word problematizing. Can we just call it something else, like thinking real hard?
6. Your super-duper methodological advance must make a substantive contribution too.
Yes, oh yes.  Super skills are only super if they add value.  If you have to explain the next generation technique but cannot explain what value it adds, then only the technofetishists will be thrilled.  The reality is that most profs are obsolescing shortly after grad school, so some will be impressed but others not so much.  Having said that, if you have super skills that can get at things that we lesser trained folks cannot, then more pwoer too you.
7. Very few things have not been theorized to death already, so don’t try to pretend otherwise.
Oh, yes.  In International Relations, much of the work seems to be at the middle-range theory/problem-solving rather than fighting the paradigm battles.  To do good theory now is to think carefully about your independent variables, your dependent variables, the connections between them and trying to figure out creative ways to observe stuff that can be hard to observe.  
8. Your task is not to show that everyone else is wrong, your task is to show why the reader cares that you’re right.
Yes, yes.  How does your stuff made sense of the world?
9. Don’t oversell. My reading your paper will not contribute to world peace.
I often compare the job market to dating: you want to be interested but not desperate, confident but not arrogant.  Same with the research.  You want to show that your stuff has added value, but unless your name is Karl Marx or Max Weber, you are unlikely to be changing the world much.
10. Sometimes, just sometimes, you can ignore these rules. But if you can, you probably don’t have to!