Savannah state university

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College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

Department of Political Science and Public Affairs

TTH: 10:00 AM – 11:15 AM
FALL 2010

Instructor: Dr. Benn L. Bongang Office Hours:

MW: 11:00 AM- 12:00 AM

TR: 03:00 PM-04:00 PM

F : 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM


By Appointment

Social Sciences Building RM 225

Tel.: (912) 358-3210


This course provides an overview of some of global issues, potential problems that may occur in one location but whose impact reaches people everywhere in the world. Global warming, terrorism, poverty, among other global problems, require that governments and global organizations cooperate to seek viable solutions. These are issues that no single government can effectively address without the collaboration of other members of the global community. This course introduces students to the controversies that characterize the politics of such issues, and provides them with the research skills to seek sources of authoritative information for studying and understanding global issues and problems. The course develops critical thinking and writing skills by teaching students to access varied and competing sources of information. The overall objective of the course is to prepare global citizens armed with information literacy skills.


  1. Students will understand the origins of the modern state system and

discuss various aspects of the interdependent global community.

  1. They will EXPLAIN the concept of globalization, forms of globalization, and discuss their negative and positive aspects.

  1. Students will DISCUSS the impact of such global issues as the energy crisis,

Global warming, ethnicity and cultural diversity, poverty, health, peace and war, terrorism, human rights, migration, etc.

  1. Students will ANALYZE the interdisciplinary and holistic nature of global

issues – that every academic discipline can contribute to the understanding of

global phenomena.

  1. Students will EVALUATE various perspectives of global issues as presented by

national and foreign media outlets.

To achieve the student learning outcomes outlined above, this course adopts an approach which focuses on teaching students library research skills, or how to access information from various authoritative sources as the basis for their analysis. As such, “this course incorporates information literacy, in which students will be required to access, evaluate, and use information effectively, ethically and legally, and to complete an assessment of information literacy skills exam.”

  • Students will be able to identify a variety of authoritative sources of information.

  • Students will be able to find and to retrieve information from diverse sources.

  • Students will be able to critically evaluate the information retrieved and its sources before using it.

  • Students will be introduced to a variety of information sources including data banks, academic journals and monographs, magazines and other sources relevant to their research.

  • Students will be familiar with various research tools and search engines as well as with strategies that facilitate access and retrieval of authoritative information.

You will practice to research, think, and write clearly in this class
Required Text:
Richard J. Payne. 2010. Global Issues: Politics, Economics, and Culture. Longman, Pearson.

  • In addition to your library research, we will also watch videos of documentaries relevant to our course.

  • I will also provide additional readings during the semester.

A series of library assignments will constitute the major component of the course. The objective of these assignments is to provide students with the opportunity to complete the various processes in academic writing. To complete the assignments, students will find information, retrieve and evaluate it before using it as evidence and/or support for the arguments in their writing. The annotated bibliography and term papers are part of these series of assignments.
Oral presentations will also be required in this course.
We will communicate primarily by SSU Email in this course and online through the university ELearning portal. Therefore, each student MUST check his/her Email and ELearning every day (including Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays). Each time I send a message, I will assume that it was delivered. If you do not read your mail that will not be any excuse for failing to meet the requirements stated in the Emails.
I expect you to attend all classes on time. Everybody must be ready to participate by asking questions and commenting on the topic of the day. It is therefore imperative that you come to class prepared. Each absence costs 10 points which are deducted from the class participation totals.
I reserve the right to expel from class anyone who disturbs either by late-coming, noise making, telephones, and any other disrespectful actions.
I will call the roll at the beginning of class. I expect you to be seated when I begin. If your name is called when you have not arrived, you will be considered absent in my grade book and lose 10 points. After three absences you will drop by a letter in your final grade for this course.
I will not receive late assignments. A late assignment will be any assignment not submitted by 5.00 PM on the date specified.
GRADING SCALE: A = 900-1000; B=800-899; C=700-799; D=600-699; F=599 and below.

  1. Class Participation 100 points

  2. 4 Examinations 400 points

  3. 3 Research assignments 400 points

  4. 2 Oral Presentations 100 points


  • I reserve the right to modify this syllabus at any time during the semester.

Students who require academic adjustments in the classroom due to a disability must first register with the Savannah State University Disability Services. Following registration and within the first two weeks of class, please, contact the course instructor to discuss appropriate academic accommodations. Appropriate arrangements can be made to ensure equal access to this course.


  1. Introduction to Global Issues: Challenges of Globalization

  2. The Struggle for Primacy in a Global Society

  3. Human Rights

  4. Promoting Democracy

  5. Global Terrorism

  6. Weapons Proliferation

  7. Global Trade

  8. Global Inequality

  9. Environmental Issues

  10. Population and Migration

  11. Global Crime

  12. The Globalization of Disease

  13. Cultural Clashes and Conflict Resolution

N. B. Details of Readings to be provided to students later


Tuesday, August 24, 2010: Last day to select a topic for research paper

Library Instruction
Thursday, August 31: Library Instruction (Louise E. Wyche)
Thursday, Sept. 2: Library Instruction (Louise E. Wyche)
Thursday, September 9: 1st Exam
Thursday, September 16: 1st Paper Due
Thursday, October 12: 2nd Exam
Tuesday, October 19: 2nd Paper (Annotated Bibliography Due)
Thursday, October 21: SAILS TEST
Thursday, October 28: 3rd Exam
Thursday, November 11: 4th Exam
Thursday, November 18: Term Paper Due
November 18 – 30: Oral Presentations

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------SAMPLE OUTLINE FOR WRITING ASSIGNMENTS

  1. The Introduction: Introduces the Subject and clearly state the main point (thesis statement) the essay will make.

  1. The Body is a logical argument of the main point made in the introduction.

  1. The Body is supported by a logical application of facts, data, statistics, credible evidence…

  1. There is a Synthesis, Analysis, and/or Evaluation of the all arguments presented.

  1. There is a Conclusion. This final statement restates and summarizes the main argument of the paper.

1st Research Assignment

Due September 16th

Conduct research of authoritative sources on the subject and write a paper of about 1000 – 1500 words (excluding references) on one of the topics listed below.

Your paper should demonstrate an understanding of the competing perspectives on the issue. It should, therefore summarize and evaluate the arguments presented by authors who hold different views on the subject. The paper should examine the background of authors, the relevance of their sources, and the strengths of their arguments.

You should conclude the paper by taking a position on the subject. Provide arguments that support your conclusion. This should be drawn on reasons, support, evidence, and data from your research.

Your citations and reference should be in the APA format. In addition to submitting a hard copy of your paper, you are expected to present your work orally in class.

  1. Are processes of globalization positive for the world?

  2. Can the global community agree on what constitutes Human Rights?

  3. Can global terrorism be defeated?

  4. Why is poverty a problem for both developed and developing countries?

  5. Should the global community attempt to reduce population growth in developing countries?

  6. Is the threat to global warming real?

  7. Can the world stop the spread of nuclear weapons?

  8. Is immigration an economic benefit to host countries?

  9. Can global trade disputes be resolved?

  10. Is global warming a real problem?

  11. Is homosexual conduct protected by the Constitution?

  12. Should the United States continue to exercise world leadership?

  13. Should rich countries forgive all the debt owed by the poor countries?

  14. Is the use of torture against terrorist suspects justified?

  15. Should the world continue to rely on oil as the major source of energy?

  16. Is the death penalty a deterrent to crime?

Grading Criteria for 1st Research Assignment (100 points)

Organization of the Paper: All key elements of the assignment are covered in a substantive way.

10 points

The content is comprehensive, accurate, and/or persuasive

10 points

Major points are stated clearly and are supported by specific details, examples and analysis

20 points

The paper evaluates author’s arguments

20 points

Good use of varied and authoritative sources of information.

20 points

The conclusion is logical, flows from the body of the paper, and reviews major points

10 points

Writing competence (grammar, spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, etc)

10 points

Grading Criteria of Oral Presentation (50 points)

Clarity in communication and organization

10 points

Discussion of research method

10 points

Presenter’s style: Audible, eye contact, demeanor, confidence, etc

10 points

Evaluation of sources used in research

10 points

Question and Answer discussion

10 points

2nd Research Assignment (Annotated Bibliography): 100 points

Due October 19th

Develop an annotated bibliography on the topic you have selected for your term paper. The annotated bibliography should have at least 20 different sources that include articles from magazines and newspapers, scholarly journals, books, and data banks.

For each source, write a brief paragraph that describes your evaluation of the information provided by the source. Explain how the source contributes to your understanding of the subject. The annotated bibliography must be in the APA style (see handout).

Grading Criteria of the annotated bibliography: 100 points


10 points

Variety and quality of sources

30 points

Description and evaluation of sources used

30 points

Proper use of APA style

20 points

Writing (grammar, spelling, punctuation, sentence structure and variety, etc)

10 points

3rd Research Assignment (Term Paper): 200 points

Due November 18.

Write a paper of between 1,400 – 2000 words (excluding cover page and references) based on the sources you submitted in your annotated bibliography and any additional sources. Your paper should demonstrate your ability to write clearly and to analyze in – depth your subject.

You must compare information from various sources, evaluate the quality of the information, the arguments of the authors, and explain with reasons, your position and conclusions.

Divide your paper in sections based on the outline you developed for the paper including:

-- a discussion of the origin or background of the issue;

-- a discussion of the impact of the issues;

-- a discussion and assessment of how the international community has addressed the problem;

-- a discussion of the current state of the problem;

-- and your recommendation of how the problem should be addressed based on your understanding of the various arguments (see outline of writing assignment).

The overall quality of your paper will be judged by the quality of your analysis and your ability to critically evaluate information sources.

Grading Rubric for the term paper: 200 points

Organization (cover page, Outline, References)

20 points

Writing Style (grammar, spelling, punctuation, sentence variety and structure)

20 points

Variety and quality of information sources (demonstrate skills in retrieving relevant information from academic sources)

40 points

Analysis of information, ability to compare and contrast arguments and to evaluate points of view of authors used.

40 points

Careful application of the APA style.

20 points

Clarity of Information

20 points

References (complete and organized; at least 15 varied sources used in the paper)

20 points

Overall quality of work

20 points

Grading Rubric for oral presentation: 50 points

Clear organization and presentation

10 points

Presenter: Eye contact; confident and articulate delivery.

10 points

Quality of Information used

10 points

Use of visuals

10 points

Questions and Answers with audience

10 points

Suggested topics for term papers.

  1. Global Terrorism

  2. Global Warming

  3. Rights of Gays and Lesbians

  4. Child Soldiers

  5. Global Inequality

  6. Child Labor

  7. Homelessness in rich countries

  8. Honor Killings

  9. Illegal immigration

  10. Drug Trafficking

  11. Political refugees

  12. Genocide

  13. Women’s Rights

  14. Female Genital Mutilation/Female Circumcision

  15. Racial discrimination

  16. Ethnic conflict

  17. HIV/AIDS

  18. Assistance to developing countries

  19. Debt Crisis

  20. World Bank and developing countries

  21. United Nations Reform

N.B. You may wish to study a different subject. Clear that with me early in the semester.

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