The course grade is based on the following assessments:
Discussion Forums – 20 percent
Each week, a discussion question is provided and posts should reflect an assimilation of the readings. Students are required to provide a substantive initial post by Thursday at 11:55 pm ET and respond to 2 or more classmates by Sunday 11:55 pm ET. Forum posts are graded on timeliness, relevance, knowledge of the weekly readings, and the quality of original ideas.
Assignment #1 (Research question or Policy backgrounder) – 15 percent
The purpose of this assignment is to make a plan for your research. It will take a few steps for you to get to a complete proposal. It must include: research question/introduction, hypothesis, methodology, literature review, conclusion, and proposed source of data. Your proposal should be about 8-12 pages, double spaced, TNR 12.
The purpose of this assignment is to write a policy brief including an history and a current summary of the important issues needed to make decision on a specific topic of your choosing (using the list in the assignments tab). Your policy backgrounder should be about 8-12 pages, double spaced, TNR 12.
Assignment #2 (Research paper or Policy recommendations) – 35 percent
The research paper will build on the proposal assignment from week two (with improvements based on the instructor’s comments) and should be at least 10 additional pages of data/findings/analysis of your topic -- not including the cover page, the reference list, and any appendices – for a total of 18-20 pages. Please use a specific political science research method.
The Policy recommendations will build on the backgrounder from week two (but not recopy or repeat it). Continuing with the same threat area that you chose in Assignment #1, provide a list of policy options (with specific recommendations) to include identification and definition of issues, conceptualization of creative alternative solutions, anticipation of reactions and objections, advantages and disadvantages of each policy option, and an-depth analysis on technical aspects of program policies and implementation processes. This assignment should be about 12-15 pages, double spaced, TNR 12.
Assignment #3 – 30 percent
This assignment is a take-home essay assignment of two questions, 4-5 pages each, to test knowledge and assimilation of the course objectives. Please refer to the required text and readings from this course. You may supplement with other readings, but do not supplant the course readings. You will be required to know the course scholarship and literature.