Term Project: Developing and Advocating for a Policy
The term project this year will be divided into THREE parts. The goal of the project is to allow you to choose a current international policy issue, and become an expert and an advocate for a particular policy solution. This is a project that will cover the entire semester. It is worth 40% of your final grade, so work hard!
Students will have their choice of topics to address. Students should feel free to address any topic, even if it is not covered in the syllabus, provided they can justify its classification as an issue of international policy. Students in the past have addressed various topics ranging from trade policy, national security, human rights, war and peace, and human trafficking, among others. If it is occurring at the international level (meaning you are not allowed to address primarily domestic issues), it is fair game.
Part I: The Research Proposal:
Students will present a research proposal, a written 1-page summary of the policy issue they intend to address, to the instructor by Lecture 3 for comment, feedback and approval. The research proposal is not optional, and will be worth 5% of your final grade.
Part II: The Position Paper
Each student will then draft a position paper of approximately 7-10 pages, typewritten and double-spaced, describing and analyzing the issue they are addressing. Papers should include an analysis of the background and underlying facts of the issue, as well as a discussion of the policy choices available to the decision makers, and recommendations as to the best policy to pursue. YOU MUST INCLUDE A POLICY RECOMMENDATION IN YOUR PAPER.
Policy Position Papers will be due by Lecture 5, and are worth 25% of your final grade. All papers should be properly cited with either footnotes or endnotes and a bibliography. Late papers will be subject to a 5% penalty for every day they are late. If you are looking for additional guidance on how to craft a policy position paper, please see: http://www.valdosta.edu/colleges/arts-sciences/public-administration/documents/polpospa.pdf.
Part III: Oral Advocacy
Students will then record a video where they make an oral presentation of their policy position paper to the Professor. Students should treat this presentation as if they were meeting with the ultimate decision-maker. Explain the facts, the policy options available, and why your recommended policy is the best choice. You will be graded on the substance of your presentation, as well as your presentation style. As I have often imparted to students and colleagues, how you say something is often as important as what you say. Take time to think about how you will most persuasively make your case. Your presentation should last between 5-7 minutes, and will be worth 10% of your final grade, and is due in Week 7.
Oral presentations should employ technology such as webcams and presentation software L(e.g. Powerpoint, Keynote, Screenflow, Camtasia, etc.