Brief Description: The aim of this exercise to help you become familiar with current debates in international relations and formulate an argument that advocates a specific policy position. The learning goals here are three-fold. First, you will have the opportunity to learn about a current controversy in international relations in more depth. Second, this is an opportunity for you to start engaging in public discussions in an informed way about issues that affect us all, such as war, peace, prosperity, and human rights. Finally, you will be able to improve your research, critical thinking, and oral presentation skills, which are vital to success in college, future employment, and life in general.
I. Research: For your assigned topic, conduct some research about a topic where public opinion or governments are divided. You will want to consult newspaper articles, op-eds, and short journal articles from popular international affairs magazines (i.e., Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, World Affairs Journal, The Economist, etc.). Some of these journals are behind pay-walls. The library has online access to them. Other sources may be blogs, policy papers from think tanks, and official speeches. Your goals are:
a) Understand what the debate is about
b) State your argument, BRIEFLY, and support it with both logical claims and evidence. Do not just give your opinion, but explain why your perspective is more valid than others.
c) Engage what you believe are the valid arguments against your position and why they are possibly mistaken.
INSTRUCTIONS: Your paper should be a minimum of 750 and a maximum of 1000 words in 12-point Times-New Roman font, normal margins, and double-spaced. You may cite materials from which your ideas or words are not your own using footnotes or endnotes that contain full bibliographic information and a hyperlink, if applicable.