– There’s only one prompt to write about but it needs to be answered for both sides of one sided prompt.
– Focus on theory not description
– Sources also have to be the readings from textbook. The link to access the textbook website is included in the uploaded file.
– Make one final conclusion about which side should be taking and make more sense.
“Realism explains more about the most important things in world politics than any rival theoretical approach. The assumptions underlying Realism correctly describe the realities of world politics – the anarchical and insecure system, and the importance of survival, self-help, and power. Realism is an enduring paradigm, as the behavior of nations, and especially great powers, has not changed for centuries, and never will. The Realist perspective applies to most real-world situations, and accurately describes how nations behave in practice.”
Some notes on the prompt: This is obviously a slanted and one-sided quotation, but remember that you will need to master opposing views as well. “Realism” refers to both classical and structural variants, but make sure to keep the two distinct, when necessary.
You will write a 5-page double-spaced essay on the prompt above. Use reasonable fonts and margins.
You should turn in the written portion of the exam to your TA at the end of the debate.
The essay should be in standard essay format. You must present the main arguments and counter-arguments from BOTH sides of the one-sided prompt, in a fair and roughly equal manner. In this case, you will need to give a full accounting not only of Realism, but also the same for Liberalism, plus relevant aspects of Constructivism.
You of course can/should have your own position, but you must demonstrate your understanding of the other sides(s) of the argument, at the minimum. Think hard about the arguments, counter-arguments, critiques, and comebacks. This means analysis, not mere description. You will find that there is so much that you could write, so the trick is to include in your essay only what is most crucial and relevant. Remember to stay focused on the prompt.
You are responsible for all materials covered in the readings, lectures, and class discussions. You need to demonstrate that you have mastered the readings for the course. For the essay, cite relevant authors when appropriate, either in footnotes, parenthetically, or in the text of your analysis.
Rubric for grading essays:
I. Substance and presentation
— covers both sides, in a balanced manner; stays focused on the parameters of the debate
— covers all core points, with proper emphasis on the most important arguments
— presents materials in an organized manner (demonstrating understanding of the argument)
II. Strength of Analysis
— grapples with arguments on both sides, assesses validity of assumptions and evidence
— presents strong, thoughtful, deep, and insightful analysis (as opposed to mere description)
— has a clear and analytically supported argument/conclusion
— shows evidence of having really thought about all aspects of the prompt
— incorporates insights from the readings (i.e., not just based on lecture or group work)
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