Political Science 211
Assignment 1. Due: January 30 at the beginning of Lecture
The main purpose of this assignment is to give you some practice writing
an essay. Half of the points on the midterm, and three-quarters of the
points on the final exam will be from essay questions.
Specifics of the Assignment
Read and/or review the following:
After you have finished reading and reviewing, put away the books, notes and any
other materials. You will have 30 minutes to write an answer to the following
essay question. You may not consult anyone or anything to write the essay
(closed book, closed notes). You may spend no more than 30 minutes writing the
essay. The answer you turn in must be typed. If you typed your answer, you are
done with this part of the assignment. If you wrote your essay by hand, you
should type your answer (typing time does not count toward the 30 minute limit).
You must turn in the handwritten answer as well as the typed answer.
- Chapter 4 of Russett, Starr, and Kinsella (RSK).
- Chapter 3 of Stiles.
- Any notes from lecture or tutorial relevant to polarity
The essay topic is:
Many observers believe that the polarity of the international system plays a
major role in determining the stability of the international system. In your
essay, write about the following:
- How do Russett, Starr, and Kinsella define polarity? Be sure to explain
what is meant by a pole.
- What type of polarity does Stiles believe exists now and will exist in the
future? Why does he believe this?
- What type of polarity do RSK see in the world of today? Why do they believe
- What do you think? Pick one of these two opinions (Stiles or RSK) and
argue why you believe it is a more accurate assessment.
In most essay questions in the course you will be asked to make a choice. Failure to make
a choice will mean that you get a poor grade. As well, expressing your thoughts and arguments is
also critical to getting a good grade.
This assignment is pledged. Do not work with or consult any other person about
the assignment. If you have any questions, talk to Dr. Stoll or your