(4-5 pages long, double-spaced, 12-font) on topics of your choice out of a list of prompts, which will be provided in Week 2, corresponding to each major thematic section of our textbook. These prompts will relate to current events and controversies in international politics, such as the denuclearization of North Korea, the civil conflict in Syria, or our withdrawal from Afghanistan. In your essays you are to research and discuss these issues in addition to expressing your informed opinions. In researching your topics, you are expected to rely both on the assigned readings and on appropriate outside sources (e.g. media, newspaper articles). A great short essay is clear and succinct, demonstrating extensive knowledge on the selected issue and relaying a concise and consistent opinion (think of your essays as news articles in a major newspaper). The purpose of this exercise is to familiarize you with important contemporary topics in international politics and to enhance your analytical skills.