Identify a critical issue in the US foreign policy relationship with one other nation. Try to pick a country of personal interest, which should help motivate your research efforts


This project is an opportunity to carefully examine a contemporary foreign policy issue between the United States government and one other foreign government.

Completing this activity is a mandatory component of this course. It serves as the standard course assessment for all GOVT 2305 students and is a college requirement. Failure to submit and complete this project in its entirety will result in a failing grade for the course.

There are four steps to completing this project:

Step 1 – Identifying the Issue

Identify a critical issue in the US foreign policy relationship with one other nation. Try to pick a country of personal interest, which should help motivate your research efforts. Finally, identify strategies that could be used to improve the policy (a thesis statement).

Choose one of the following topics:

US foreign policy regarding Venezuelan political instability
US foreign policy regarding China’s influence in the South China Sea
US foreign policy regarding economic trade with Mexico
US foreign policy regarding Kenyan political instability
US foreign policy regarding economic development in Brazil
US foreign policy regarding the Syrian conflict
US foreign policy regarding the Israeli/Palestinian conflict
US foreign policy regarding Turkish democratization
Step 2 – Gathering Sources

Conduct research to locate three peer-reviewed, scholarly journal articles (aka: academic sources) that specifically address issues within the foreign policy relationship you selected and meet the following criteria:

The articles must be no more than ten (10) years old.
The article must have more than five (5) pages of actual content (without graphs, charts, footnotes, citations, etc.).
Books will not count toward the scholarly source minimum requirements.
Carefully choose those sources that provide a variety of perspectives on your selected topic.
In addition to the minimum research requirements, you should offer “supplemental sources” for essential current events information relevant to your topic. These may include academic sources that are not peer-reviewed (position papers), newspaper articles, magazine articles, and other quality or reputable sources.
The course textbook, encyclopedias (including Wikipedia), and almanacs, are reference materials and are not to be listed as sources on the collegiate level.
Provide the formal MLA citation for each source, both in text and on the References page.
Step 3 – The Proposal

*Failure to submit the Proposal by the assigned due date, or revise and resubmit upon request, will result in a 50 point deduction from the final Policy Paper grade.

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:
Summarize the foreign policy topic you will be addressing
Describe the current status of the policy or topic
Describe why this policy is important to the United States
Include a bibliography listing the three scholarly, peer-reviewed sources that will form the basis of your policy paper. These three references must be used in the final policy paper. The bibliography should be formatted using MLA citation style.
Do not use first person in the proposal or final policy paper!

References provided in the proposal cannot be changed at a later date without approval (see Step 4 below). An example of a good policy proposal is provided in eCampus.

A fundamental expectation of college writing is that all key arguments, facts, assertions and claims are supported with research (i.e. parenthetical citations). When a source has been cited, you are expected to acknowledge the source in the body of your text and on a works cited page using formal MLA citation format. The paper must be completed using the formatting guidelines provided in the syllabus as “Guidelines for all Coursework.”


I do not allow students to recycle or use essays from other courses. You must receive consent from me in order to do so and you will need to provide a solid justification. Please do not simply submit an assignment that you’ve used in another course as it will not be accepted unless approved.

Revise and Resubmit Policy: The purpose of the proposal process is for your instructor to confirm that 1) you have selected three appropriate scholarly, peer-reviewed sources and 2) that you have selected an appropriate topic. Additionally, it allows your instructor to give you feedback on your writing (grammar, sentence composition, punctuation, and spelling) as well as your use of proper MLA citation formatting.

Should you submit a proposal that does not address an appropriate foreign policy topic, or one in which three scholarly sources are not provided, you will be asked to “revise and resubmit” the assignment. In such cases, a minimum letter grade deduction is always applied to the resubmitted assignment. The instructor will inform you of the due date and conditions of resubmission. Failure to resubmit the revision before the provided due date, or failure to correct the identified issues in need of revision, will result in a zero for the proposal grade.

Step 4 – The Policy Paper

Prepare a formal research paper regarding the selected policy. The assignment must be between 5-7 pages excluding citations.

The essay should address the following:

An introduction and brief overview of the policy relationship including the major issues facing the countries.
The reasons for initiating changes to existing policy.
The possible policy options or alternatives to be considered (discuss several).
The pros and cons of each policy option or alternative (costs v. benefits).
The best policy option or alternative (pick one).
A summary and conclusion
The paper must be a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 7 full pages in length, double-spaced. No more and no less is necessary for this activity. Keep direct quotes to a minimum; do not use block quotations. All key arguments, facts, assertions, and claims must be supported with research. The references approved in the policy proposal must be used in the policy paper: you may add additional sources (and probably should if you want an A on the assignment), but you must seek approval from the instructor at least 72 hours before the policy paper due date if you intend to change any of the scholarly sources approved in the proposal


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