*Formal Assessment Guidelines – POTUS Foreign Policy Memo (Mandatory Term Project)
This project is an opportunity to discuss what you think should be the highest priority (national interest) in the future of American foreign policy (NOTE: The policy selected must be a foreign policy).
Completing this activity is a mandatory component of this course. It serves as the standard course assessment for all GOVT 2305 students. Failure to submit this project in its entirety will result in a failing grade for the course.
A model of a strong POTUS memo is available in eCampus. There are four steps to completing this project.
Step 1: Identify a foreign policy issue and how the US government is currently addressing it. Then, identify strategies that could be used to improve those efforts.
Step 2: Gather three scholarly research articles that address the issue you selected and offer suggestions for improvement.
Step 3: Submit a one page proposal to the appropriate dropbox by the date specified in the course calendar. The proposal must identify the topic in a short paragraph and present a bibliography listing the three primary sources to be used. This portion of the assignment is worth 50 points. If it is not submitted, the activity will be considered incomplete.
Step 4: Prepare a formal policy memo for the President of the United States (POTUS). The final product should be submitted to the appropriate dropbox in the course.
The grading standards used to assess the quality of your work for this project will be detailed in a grading rubric, which will be provided during the semester.
It is strongly suggested that student read ahead and use the library database during the first week of the course to begin researching a topic. This project requires carefully planning throughout the semester. Refer to the course calendar for the specific due date. The final product is to be submitted as a single file via the submission guidelines identified by the instructor.
Step 1 – Identifying the Issue
A. In the course textbook you will find discussions of core issues used to create the foreign policy agenda. Use this information as a starting point for identifying the subject of your own research.
B. Next, identify a single issue that you feel should be the highest priority in American foreign policy and specifically how the nation should go about pursuing that policy. Try to pick a country or topic of personal interest, which should help motivate your research efforts.
Step 2 – Gathering Sources
A. Find three scholarly/academic reference materials (peer-reviewed articles published in an academic journal) using the following criteria:
- The article must be no more than ten years old, a minimum of five pages in length, and should meet the standards of college level material.
- Carefully choose those works that provide a variety of perspectives on your topic.
- Newspaper articles, magazine articles, textbooks and items of the like are considered “supplemental sources” on the collegiate level and are not quality research materials.
- Textbooks, dictionaries, encyclopedias (including Wikipedia), almanacs, or an atlas are reference materials and should not be listed in any works cited page on the collegiate level.
- Properly document your sources in your memo and on a works cited page.
Step 3 – The Proposal (50 points)
Submit a one page proposal to the appropriate dropbox by the date specified in the course calendar. The proposal should:
- Identify the topic in a single paragraph
- Include a bibliography listing the 3 primary sources. The bibliography should be formatted using APA or MLA citation style.
Step 4 – The Memo (250 points)
A. Your paper should quickly explain how the President can take your advice and put it into action. He is a busy man, so keep it short and to the point.
B. This document should quickly articulate the relevance of the issue, the current policy issue, your policy position (citing the supporting evidence) and conclude with a suggested course of action.
C.&bsp;The memo is to be 1.5 – 2 full pages in length using single spacing (using the formal formatting protocols for a memo). No more and no less is necessary for this activity. Keep citations to a minimum; do not use block quotations. Failure to meet the minimum writing requirement will result in a zero for the entire assignment (no partial credit will be awarded as this is a formal institutional assessment).
D. Finally, add a cover page to the front of the document and include the works cited page at the end. Submit all pages together as one file to the instructor.
NOTE: Procrastination on this project has resulted in many students, who were otherwise passing, having to fail and repeat the course.