Here’s another example of how to bring more authenticity to a writing assignment by specifying the role of the author, the audience for which the author is writing, and the format that the author should follow.
Below are the directions from last year for one assignment in my globalization course.
1. Charles A. Kupchan, Ch. 5 “Alternatives to the Western Way,” No One’s World.
2. Charles A. Kupchan, “Democracy in Egypt Can Wait,” New York Times.
3. Chris Buckley, “China Takes Aim at Western Ideas,” New York Times.
Choose one of the “multiple modernities” predicted by Kupchan. Find a peer-reviewed journal article about democratization in a nation-state in the region that Kupchan discusses. Does the article support or refute Kupchan’s prediction? Why? How is the article’s argument constructed and what academic discipline is represented? Are the other author’s argument and conclusions the same as or different from Kupchan’s? How?
For this year’s version of the course, I changed the directions as follows:
You are employed in the market research division of Quandia, a U.S. company that sells digital routing systems for telephone and internet networks. Quandia’s management has decided to try to expand its business into an overseas market—either China, the Arab Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Russia, or Turkey. The management wants to identify which location presents the best opportunity for Quandia, but it is concerned about whether it can operate effectively in any of them.
• Charles A. Kupchan, “Chapter 5: Alternatives to the Western Way,” No One’s World.
- Choose one of the geographic locations below and read the associated articles:
· Chris Buckley, “China Takes Aim at Western Ideas,” New York Times.
· Howard W. Frenchot, “China’s Dangerous Game,” The Atlantic.
· Charles A. Kupchan, “Democracy in Egypt Can Wait,” New York Times.
· Elizabeth Dickenson, “What Happened to Arab Liberalism?” Politico.
· Strobe Talbot, “The Making of Vladimir Putin,” Politico.
· Alec Luhn, “Scenes from Putin’s Economic Meltdown,” Politico.
· Osman Rifat Ibrahim, “AKP and the Great Neo-Ottoman Travesty,” Al Jazeera.
· Steven A. Cook, “The President Who Ate Turkey,” Politico.
- Write a three page, double-spaced report in 11 or 12 point font that:
- Identifies which of the “multiple modernities” discussed in No One’s World is most relevant to Quandia’s potential market, and explain why.
- Incorporates information from the articles about the potential market you selected.
- Recommends whether Quandia should enter this potential market and explains why.
I strongly suspect that the quality of students’ work on this assignment this year will be better than it was last year.