Pol_S 103.02 – Spring 2019 – Paper 1 Prompt
Due: February 19th at 12:00 PM
Theories of International Politics seek to provide a framework for understanding why
international actors behave in the way they do, and what variables in international politics are
important. Why states go to war, why states cooperate or behave aggressively, why and how
trade agreements and alliances function, are all questions that theory aims to explore and explain.
While each theory has a similar goal in explaining and understanding international politics, all of
these theories hold very different views on what actually matters in international politics, and
what causes states and other international actors to do what they do.
Your task in this paper is to take a position on which theory of International Politics you consider
to be the most convincing/correct of those we have discussed in class (Realism, Liberalism,
Marxism, Constructivism or Feminism). Remember, you are arguing for which theory explains
the world best and/or which theory possesses the normative arguments you find most convincing
or appropriate. You are NOT making an argument for whether a given government should be
Realist, Liberal or whatever. This is neither what the assignment is asking of you, nor is it an
appropriate use of International Politics theories.
Your paper should include:
• A clear thesis statement (Example: X Theory of International Politics is the most correct
because of x; y; and z.)
• An overview of the key principles and assumptions of your chosen theory
• Supporting arguments with examples from global politics
• At least one paragraph addressing counter-arguments to your own
• And a concise conclusion
If all these elements are not present, your grade will be adversely affected.
This is meant to be an argumentative paper, so there is no right or wrong position to take, but
you must support your thesis with clear argumentation as well as data and evidence. Your paper
should include at least two real world examples, either contemporary or from history, that would
support your argument. (Note: all examples should come from international politics, NOT
domestic) You must also provide at least one real world example that would NOT support your
argument or shows short-comings of the theory you have chosen. You must use at least three
reliable sources for your paper, two of which cannot be the course textbook. Your paper must
include either footnotes or parenthetical citations with appropriate page numbers and/or URL’s
to cite any ideas, quotations, data, or other information from all sources used in your paper.
(Note: Neither course lectures nor the course instructor count as sources for the paper) In
addition, you should list in a bibliography all the sources you consulted and used in researching
and writing your paper (the bibliography and/or footnotes do NOT count toward the page
Your paper must be 3-5 pages long, double spaced, 12-point font in Times New Roman, with
one-inch margins. DO NOT attempt to use spacing or margin gimmicks/tricks to lengthen your
paper. Below you will find a template for correct formatting, please reference this template if
you have doubts about what constitutes a gimmick or trick. Any deviation from this format will
adversely affect your grade. Your paper should be submitted directly on Blackboard by
February 19th at 12:00 PM (by the start of class).
Submission Instructions: In the Content Section on Blackboard you will find the icon titled
“Paper 1”, this is where you will submit your paper. You will be submitting ONLY an attached
Word of PDF version of your paper; no hard copies are necessary.
Late Policy: If you turn your paper in at any time after 12:00 PM on the February 19th deadline
(i.e. between 12:01 PM and 11:59 PM), you will receive an automatic 10% deduction. If you turn
your paper in at any time on February 20th you will receive an automatic 20% deduction. Any
time on the 21st will result in a 30% deduction, and any time on the 22nd will result in an
automatic 40% deduction. February 22nd is the last day you will be able to submit your paper for
*SEE NEXT PAGE FOR THE FORMATTING TEMPLATE*
FORMATTING TEMPLATE (Title)
This is a paper on a topic from international politics that I have chosen. I understand that
the paper should be properly formatted and that any deviation from the proper format will
adversely affect my grade (Mikami, 2018). I further realize that Nate Mikami absolutely detests
any attempt to game the system by putting dumb spacing or 1.5-inch margins in my paper.
Nate’s formatting instructions make complete sense and I will follow them, as the formatting
makes my paper look clean and pretty, and following simple instructions and fully reading the
prompt demonstrates that I care about my academic career and that I am invested in this course.
When you start a new paragraph there is absolutely NO need to put quadruple spaces
between the paragraphs. As stated in the instructions, double spacing is the expectation. Doesn’t
this look nice and clean? Also, there is no need to put your bibliography on an entirely new page.
Just put a bolded ‘Bibliography’ or ‘Works Cited’ title, and then proceed to list your sources.
The sources themselves should be single spaced, with double space between each source. Good
luck with your paper.
Mikami, Nathan. “I Don’t Care What Citation Format You Use, Just Make it Consistent”,
Journal of Proper Paper Formatting Sciences, 25. 1:1. 2018.
Other, Source. “See How the Sources Are Single Spaced and There is a Double Space Between
Sources?”, The Good Formatting Times. 2018.
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