GUIDE FOR SECOND ESSAY ASSIGNMENT
PSCI 2602A (Fall 2015)
The second assignment has a length of 1200 words and is worth 20% of your final mark. It should take you about 20 hours to research and write up this assignment if you anticipate keeping up with your regular class readings. This allocation of time includes reading the material connected to this assignment, organizing your thoughts, establishing an essay outline, writing a first draft, and then reviewing and redrafting the text. Remember that good essays require advance preparation and planning; last minute creations can be ’inspired’, but they often lack rigour and attention to detail. Keep these simple truths in mind as you plan out your essay.
The due date for the essay is 11.55pm on Friday October 23rd, and the essay will not be accepted for marking after 11.55pm on Monday November 2nd. Late essays are penalized at a rate of 3% per day without an extension. Only the course director can grant extensions, which must be supported by documentation. All essays are to be deposited in the cuLearn ‘drop-box’ for this assignment.
The second assignment asks you to compare and contrast the structure and organization of the global political economy in any two of the following historical periods:
- 19th century gold standard (1850-1914)
- Inter-war period (1919-1939)
- Bretton Woods period (1945-1975)
- Contemporary period (1975-2010)
The main objective of this assignment is to increase your familiarity with the history and evolution of the global political economy. Accordingly, your point of comparison should be the overall structure and organization of the global political economy during each period, including some combination of one or at most two of: 1) the balance of power of the inter-state system; 2) the world’s monetary and financial system; 3) the world’s trading system; 4) the international class structure; 5) the projection of political power; 6) or the predominant forms of state. At the end of the assignment I shall expect a clear argument about how your two chosen periods compare in terms of the differences and continuities between them.
As with the first assignment, given the relatively short length of this piece of work you will have to undertake considerable advance preparation to narrow down the scope of your comparison. Not only am I asking you to explore big blocks of time, but since the canvass you are working with is basically the entire world, you will need to establish at an early point in the essay the prism through which you will organize your comparison. This is why I suggest using one of the 6 analytical points of comparison above.
You do not need to use readings outside of the course outline, but please note that there is an expectation that you will use at least five sources from the outline and/or the Selected IPE Bibliography and Further Readings found on cuLearn. You may of course use other sources beyond these five. The textbook also contains many further sources that are appropriate.
Your essay will be marked against how well you meet the following criteria, which can range from unsatisfactory to excellent:
- familiarity with the material in question
- organization and structure of the essay
- use and range of your sources
- clarity and sophistication of your assessment
- clarity and sophistication of your argument
- adequacy of syntax, grammar and spelling
Arriving at an appropriate mark is an amalgam of how well you meet all of these benchmarks, however the first five criteria are the most important.
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