As part of their evaluation in this course students are expected to complete three engagement papers,
one for each part of the course. The purpose of this assignment is to gauge students’ engagement (i.e.,
active participation) with the content and discussion of the lectures, and their absorption of the material
in a way that they can apply the knowledge acquired to similar contexts.
Each paper is expected to be 3-4 pages (double-spaced, 12 font), and students have considerable
flexibility on the choice of their topic from the lists provided below. Each paper should start with a brief
and clear description of the topic, followed by a convincing explanation of why it matters. Since
research is a required component (starting with the assigned readings and sources mentioned in class),
arguments in support of or against the main thesis should proceed in a logical and non-repetitive
manner and be supported with relevant data. The paper must demonstrate critical and strategic
thinking and identify relevant linkages with other issues discussed in class.
Grades for this assignment will be based on:
Thesis: You will be asked to respond to a specific statement/question, and you must state and argue a
clear thesis statement. All content in the paper must logically link to either supporting or providing an
alternative perspective to that thesis. The significance of your topic should be well explained and the
overall thrust of your arguments must be easily understandable.
Analysis: Your work must convey the salient points clearly, explain the changes brought about, and even
link to your own personal behaviour – to the extent applicable. Supporting data are expected to
illuminate the context. While repeating and documenting arguments already made in class may be
enough for a pass, critically assessing and cross-checking such arguments, especially infusing your own,
will be rewarded with higher marks.
Research and data: Research is necessary to provide context to your topic, prove and substantiate any
important points made, and generally enrich the quality of your answers. Such research should not be
vague but purposeful, in the sense that it should be used to contribute to your arguments and underpin
specific points made. You should also explicitly identify how the collected data contribute to your thesis,
point to any specific limitations, and clearly identify your sources.
Presentation: In addition to the quality and the informational value of the content, the overall
communication of your work matters. Good sequence of story lines, the language used and the clarity
of messages, as well as the proper integration of text, charts and tables will be rewarded