ternational news story that is relevant to one week’s readings from the course to that point

Current Events Analysis

POLI 1140

Fall 2023

Length: 1000 words (+/-10%, including everything except bibliography), double-spaced, with a standard black font and type setting.

Due: 10 November 2023

Find a recent (i.e. in the last two years) international news story that is relevant to one week’s readings from the course to that point (i.e. Week 9).

Explain (briefly) what happened and whether/how course concepts and readings help to understand the story.

Note the relationship between the course materials and the event constitutes the thesis for the essay. For example, does the news story concern an international incident where international organizations play a key role in resolving (or failing to resolve) an international conflict? Does the situation serve to illustrate and confirm relevant international theory(ies), or does it defy theoretical expectations? You must be explicit as to the readings you see the news story relating to, and provide citations to any news stories you use in researching the event.

  • Be sure to include
    • A BRIEF description of what happened. What are the salient details?
    • An explanation of how course materials help to understand it (note this is the heart of the assignment).
      • For example, does the news story concern an international conflict where the outcome seems to defy the predictions of particular theory of international politics? If so, how do the week’s readings help us to understand the outcome?
      • If you read about the event/development through an opinion piece, do you agree with the opinion of the author? Why or why not? Use arguments and evidence to support your conclusion
    • Be sure to make explicit any links between the event and the readings you see as related (ie. explain why they’re related).
    • Provide citations to any sources you use in researching the event

Finding a particular “angle” to use to apply course readings to the event will help you to articulate an argument for the paper.

You must be explicit as to the readings you see the news story relating to, and provide citations to any news stories you use in researching the event.

Please note that the failure to cite sources used in an academic paper, particularly if you fail to indicate that you are quoting or paraphrasing someone else, is considered a serious form of academic misconduct by Langara. Please ensure that you are familiar with the university’s rules, standards and guidelines regarding plagiarism. You can find information about those standards regarding plagiarism on the syllabus and on the university website.

The criteria used for marking the assignment are:

  1. Comprehensiveness. Have you fully addressed each section above? Have you incorporate all relevant course materials?
  2. Argument. Are your own conclusions about the readings and topic clear? Are the reasons for those conclusions clear?
  3. Links to course materials: Have you made clear the links between course readings and the event in consideration?
  4. Clarity, Organization, Structure.  There should be a clear structure with good transitions between sections. As the paper is short, you should make every sentence count: i.e. does it answer the question and support your argument or address a counter-argument? The paper should be clearly written: grammatical, with correct spelling, and in short logical paragraphs. It should not go over the page limit and should follow the correct formatting (see above).

Where to look for further information:

For current events:

  • Some international sources such as BBC, CNN, the New York Times, Al-Jazeera, Reuters, the Washington Post, the Economist, the Wall Street Journal, etc; you may find information on. Politics-specific outlets such as iPolitics and the Hill Times, and magazines like The Atlantic are also reliable.
  • Some topic-specific think tanks can provide useful analysis, though note all material from organizations (and opinion writers) devoted to promoting a particular world view will carry some degree of bias, which can influence not only choice of what to write, but also how to write about it.
  • My office hours. If you have questions about sources, you can come see me, or get in touch via email (though note, if you email me a couple of days before the deadline I may not be able to respond in time.)

For academic and legal information:

  • Langara’s library website, and in person
  • Google Scholar for books and journal articles

Grading Rubric

Letter Grade%Definition
A+90-100%Excellent Performance: few or no mistakes, clear thesis, effectively supported by well-chosen arguments and evidence. Paper demonstrates a nuanced understanding of the materials and issues in question.
B+76-79%Good Performance: a few mistakes, clear thesis supported by satisfactory evidence and arguments. Demonstrates a good understanding of materials and issues in question.
C+64-67%Satisfactory Performance: A thesis supported by evidence and arguments. Paper demonstrates some understanding of materials and issues in question. A number of mistakes found throughout the text.
C-55-59%Marginal Performance: Paper is deficient in one or more areas, failing to effective present and support a thesis. Numerous mistakes throughout, impairing the reader’s ability to understand the argument.
F<50%Fail. Unsatisfactory Performance. Student has not completed the assignment.