You have the option of writing one of the following: (1) five short papers OR (2) three short papers plus one review essay OR (3) one long research paper.
Short papers should be 1,000-1,500 words and should address some of the required readings from the week in a coherent way. They should not be composites of separate critiques of the readings. Rather, they should use the course readings to develop a broader argument about a particular topic from that week - e.g., dependency theory, state formation, democratization in the southern cone, new social movements, etc.
Review essays should be 2,500-3,000 words and should cover the relevant required and recommended readings for that week, as well as any other materials you deem appropriate. They should summarize the main arguments from the materials you address in a way that culls from them a series of testable hypotheses--along with the evidence for each. Keep in mind that these review essays are not "book reviews," and they do not need to address each article or book individually. Rather, they should be abridged versions of the sort of literature review you would do for a dissertation.
Both short papers and review essays are due by 4 p.m. the day before class. I'd like to practice blind grading, so please don't include a title page or put your name in the footer. Also, at the risk of stifling self-expression and generally sounding like a pain, I ask that all essays and short papers be double-spaced and submitted in Times font. (Otherwise I learn people's fonts after the first paper, which defeats the purpose of blind grading.)
Research papers should be approximately 6,000 words. They may be either: (1) a much more extensive version of a review essay or (2) a presentation of original research related to the course themes. If you choose to write a research paper, you must meet with me to discuss your topic as soon as possible. You must then submit a one paragraph abstract within ten days of the first class, a reading list by the third class, a draft paper at least three weeks before grades are due, and the completed paper at least one week before grades are due. I strongly encourage those of you who wish to write a research paper to choose a topic related to your dissertation or some other larger project. Just make sure, though, that anything you submit for this class is substantially different from work you have turned in or will turn in for other courses.