Assessment Item 2: Research Essay
Students will be required to write a research essay of 2500 words on one of the following topics:
1.    What is the principal cause of the current crisis in the World Trade Organisation? What does your diagnosis imply for how we understand the causes of economic cooperation?
2.    A nation that opens its economy and keeps governments role to a minimum invariably experiences more rapid economic growth and rising incomes. Critically discuss.
3.    Is the relative decline of the US making it more difficult to develop international economic institutions?
All essays must include in-text referencing as well as an alphabetical list of all referenced sources used. I
The 2,500-word count excludes in text references and the reference list. In addition, a word count up to 5% above the limit, although not ideal, will not be subject to a formal word limit penalty.
Grading Criteria
The essay will be graded on: (i) your capacity to thoroughly research a topic (ii) your comprehension of material you have read and (iii) your capacity to develop a structured, reasoned and evidenced argument in response to the selected question.
Guidelines for researching and drafting the essay
The Required Readings and Further Readings listed for each topic in the units learning guide provide an excellent starting point for researching the essay. The question choices for the essay closely parallel the units Topics, so focus on the relevant reading list for the question you select (if in doubt, ask your tutor).
Beyond the reading topic reading lists, a strongly researched essay would also include evidence of independent research of relevant source materials. These could be from academic journals, academic books, news reports and other media, and internet sources if these are of an appropriate form for the research.
Wikipedia and the like should NOT be used as a source for your essay as many of these sources are not refereed to academic standards and are therefore considered of questionable authority and reliability. Wikipedia may be of use for raw research purposes, but any information obtained from Wikipedia, etc., should be treated cautiously and must be checked against acceptable and citable sources before being incorporated into your written work.
Number of refences and citations
15 minimum references on the number of references/citations/sources incorporated into your research essay. More important is the quality of the sources, their relevance to the essays topic, and how effectively they are used. As a general guide, it would be expected that a well written and presented research essay for POL298 would, as a minimum, make use of several sources from the relevant topic required and further reading list/s as well as additional sources obtained through independent research that are not listed on the reading lists.

Professional standards for submitted work:
It is important that students adopt professional stylistic/presentational standards for their submitted work. Failure to do so may lead to penalties. As well as using correct and consistent English spelling and grammar, the submissions must:
1.    include the students name and student number at the top of the first page;
2.    include the title of the question addressed, written in full at the top of the first page;
3.    number all pages consecutively;
4.    include (at the end of the assignment) an alphabetical list of all references directly
cited, paraphrased, or otherwise used in the assignment;
5.    use font size no smaller than 11 or larger than 12;
6.    use full alignment (justification) of text on both left- and right-hand side margins;
7.    use 1.5 line spacing.