Analyze an Op-Ed Instructions for Part 2
Do NOT begin this process until you looked over the feedback from Part 1
By this stage you should have:
a. Selected an Op-Ed
b. Identified three arguments from this Op-Ed
c. Identified the theoretical lenses used in making these arguments
d. Identified at least three sources from the course that are useful in analyzing this Op-Ed
e. Received feedback on Part 1
Now you must write a 1, 250 – 1,750 word response to this Op-Ed. This is an analytical,
argumentative response (you must take a position), not an opportunity to ‘spout off’ or a
descriptive summary of the issue.
To complete Part 2 of the writing assignment, follow the following steps:
Step 1: Read, Think, and Take a Position
Do more research on the topic of the Op-Ed you have selected. Focus on articles
published in reputable academic journals (e.g., search scholar.google.com using the university
network). It is unlikely that everyone agrees with the position taken by the author of your OpEd. Although you have already identified three sources in your outline, find at least two more,
although these do not need to be from the course syllabus (but MUST be from peer-reviewed,
After having read more about the topic, reflect on the Op-Ed and the arguments you have
identified. Do you agree / disagree / partially agree with the author? Write down a tentative
thesis of your position.
Step 2: Open the Provided Template
Download and edit the provided template. Note that there are 6 subheadings already
provided. Edit these headings to reflect what you are arguing in your paper, and feel free to add
additional ones or to customize them. These headings provide the structure to your paper
2. Argument #1: Replace with Relevant Subheading
3. Argument #2: Replace with Relevant Subheading
4. Argument #3: Replace with Relevant Subheading
6. Works Cited
Step 3: Filling in the Sections
Copy and Paste the thesis you wrote down in Step #1 in the section labelled
‘Introduction.’ Consider this a placeholder.
For each one of the arguments you identified, you must think about counter-arguments
(i.e., argue against). To do this, apply a different ‘theoretical’ lens (or lenses) than the one you
identified the original argument as being based-on. For example, if you identified an argument
made by the author as using a ‘realist’ lens, provide an analysis using a ‘liberal,’ ‘constructivist,’
or ‘feminist’ lens (or lenses). Be sure to make references to theory and evidence, and explain
counterarguments as if the reader had never taken a course in international relations.
Now, link what you have written to your thesis. If you agree with the author, write a
compelling explanation refuting these counter-arguments. Conversely, if you disagree, write a
compelling explanation refuting the author’s argument. To do this, you need to draw on both
theory and empirical evidence.
Step 4: Introduction and Conclusion
Go to your introduction section and revise your thesis statement – make sure that it reflects that
you are now arguing in the body of your paper. Write your introduction so that is summarizes
what you argue in the paper. Now go to your conclusion, don’t just summarize, but perhaps raise
an issue or two to make it interesting (e.g., further implications).
Step 5: Works Cited
Insert your works cited – this MUST have at least 3 sources from the course, and overall contain
at least 5 ACADEMIC sources. It should be properly formatted according to whatever style you
have chosen (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago).
Step 6: Revise
Read over your paper for spelling mistakes and run SPELL CHECK. Aggressively delete
any ‘fluff’ such as empty sentences (e.g., ‘there are many problems in the world, and solving
them is complex’) or descriptive information that serves no purpose to your argument (e.g.,
‘Chemical weapons have a long history in warfare. The first chemical weapons were used by
crusaders . . . ’). The key to good writing is re-writing. Your paper should be clear, concise,
coherent and compelling. It should have headings that structure it.
Step 7: Submission
Finally, add the word count at the top of the first page (excluding the works cited and any
quotations), and submit both a paper copy and a digital copy on Moodle.
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