What theory best explains U.S. foreign policy?

I am arguing that Ideology is the best theory. I am doing the counter part. Which I am arguing that ideology is better than partisanship, individuals, and interest groups. The provided reading is should be done to build a better arguments.


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U.S. Foreign Policy Debate Project Instructions
Professor Richard W. Maass
September 7, 2017
This course is structured around four grand debates, focusing on the following four questions:
1) What is the greatest challenge of US foreign policy today?
2) What is the most useful tool for US foreign policy today?
3) What historical period had the most enduring impact on US foreign policy?
4) What theory best explains US foreign policy?
Each debate will take place among five opposing sides, corresponding to the five subjects covered in the
section of the course leading up to that debate. Students will be randomly divided into pairs, with the
remaining students forming a panel of judges. Your answer to the question is given to you, but the logic and
evidence you use in supporting that answer is up to you.
Writing Assignment:
Both students in each pair will submit their shared 8-page paper answering the question via Turn-it-in
Assignment on Blackboard by the beginning of class on debate day. This paper should be doublespaced, in 12-point Times New Roman font, with 1” margins, and with page numbers.
In this paper, you and your partner should coherently argue why your subject is the best answer to the
question – in other words, why it is more significant than the other subjects covered in that section of the
course. To this end, the paper should convincingly demonstrate (1) why your subject is extremely
significant, and (2) why the other subjects are less significant (though perhaps not completely insignificant).
The structure of the paper should be as follows:
[Part 1] 1st half of page 1:
2nd half of page 1 – page 3:
Introduction clearly stating the central thesis of the paper and briefly
foreshadowing the major arguments to come.
Analysis of your subject showing why it is especially significant
Page 4:
Analysis of other subject (1) showing why it is not as significant as your
[Part 2] Page 5:
Analysis of other subject (2) showing why it is not as significant as your
Page 6:
Analysis of other subject (3) showing why it is not as significant as your
Page 7:
Analysis of other subject (4) showing why it is not as significant as your
Page 8:
Conclusion summarizing the central thesis and major arguments
Each student in the pair should be responsible for writing half of the paper indicated above, and which
student wrote which half should be clearly indicated on the paper.
U.S. Foreign Policy Debate Project Instructions
Professor Richard W. Maass
September 7, 2017
Writing Guidelines:
In your half of the paper, you should include at least four citations to course readings. These may
reference quotations, statistics, paraphrased cases, profound arguments, or any other element from course
readings you find useful in supporting your arguments.
Four pages is very little space, so you will have to make every word count. Make sure that every
sentence is contributing something important to your overall argument, and plan on revising your part of the
paper several times after your first draft in order to polish out any wasted words. Focus your writing on a set
of compelling arguments directly focused at answering the central question, and delete anything that does
not contribute to making those arguments persuasive.
Throughout your paper, you should be sensitive to counterarguments. These may be reasons why other
people may disagree with your central thesis (in which case you should describe why those people are
wrong… why the counterarguments fail to convince you that your thesis is flawed) or qualifiers to your
central thesis (describing a situation in which you think your thesis does not apply and why). Offering
counterarguments and persuasively rebutting them will make your papers that much stronger.
Analytical writing is one of the most important skills a person can develop, and is useful in any profession. If
any of you are thinking of taking the GRE or other graduate exams that involve writing sections, the skills
you will practice in these assignments are exactly the same skills you will need to succeed on that exam.
Your grade on the writing assignment will be on a scale from 0 to 100, reflecting the strength of your part of
the paper and its contribution to the paper as a whole, and will account for 10% of the overall course grade.
You are free to use all of your course readings and notes as you think about and write your portion of the
paper, and to consult with your partner regarding your shared approach the paper as a whole, but within
your part of the paper all writing must be your own.
Citing Sources:
You are encouraged to cite sources where appropriate using footnotes. External research using sources
not covered in class is not required to achieve full credit.
The Chicago Manual of Style has an excellent Citation Guide online that you can use as a guide in
formatting your footnotes: http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html
If you directly copy a phrase, sentence, statistic that is not commonly known, map, figure, etc. from another
author’s work without citing your source for that information, you have committed plagiarism. If you do so
because you have a very busy life and forgot to click the “insert footnote” button, then you have committed
plagiarism by accident through laziness, which does not reflect well on you. If you do so because you want
to seem smart by passing off someone else’s ideas as your own, then you have committed plagiarism
intentionally through academic dishonesty, which reflects far worse on both your intelligence (as noted
above, citing others is one way of indicating you are smart) and on people’s ability to trust anything you say
or write. Plagiarism is not an easy way to seem smart (intelligently citing sources is); it is an easy way to
get kicked out of school, lose your job, and ruin your life. Please don’t do it.
U.S. Foreign Policy Debate Project Instructions
Professor Richard W. Maass
September 7, 2017
In-class Debate:
On Debate Day, each pair will be given 8 minutes to present arguments supporting its subject over the
others. Each student will be expected to speak during this 8 minutes, roughly 4 minutes per student. The
pair’s presentation should mirror its paper, presenting arguments in favor of its own subject and critiquing
the significance of the other subjects. We will then take a short recess to consider the arguments and
evidence presented, followed by a rebuttal round in which each pair will have 2 minutes to address
major counterarguments against their subject made by the other pairs. Each student’s personal
performance during the debate will be graded on a scale of 0 to 100 and will count for 5% of the overall
course grade.
During the two rounds of debate, the panel of judges will take detailed notes on the arguments and
evidence presented by the pairs. After the two rounds of debate have completed, the judges will present
their opinions on the debate, including specific praise or constructive criticism for the particular
groups, and declare a winning team (determined by a majority vote of all the judges). These judgments
are expected to be sophisticated, incorporating the judge’s own knowledge of the subject matter and
constructive reflections on how the presentation might be improved rather than simply commenting on
presentation styles. Each judge’s presentation during this time and its role in contributing to the overall
panel’s opinions will be graded on a scale of 0 to 100 and will count for 5% of that judge’s overall course
Following the debate, each judge will write a 4-page paper based on their notes from the debate,
summarizing and critiquing the major arguments offered by the pairs and supporting their overall verdict
declaring a winning group (this verdict is the thesis of the judge’s paper). This paper should include
reflections on how each group went about arguing its case, which arguments the judge found
compelling/not and why, and (based on the judge’s own knowledge of the subject material) how each group
might have improved its performance. This paper will be due by the beginning of class on the Monday
following Debate Day, will be graded on a scale of 0 to 100, and will count for 10% of the overall course
Have fun with this. Know that in writing this paper and debating this question in class, you are practicing
critical skills that will help you in your future as a student and, after graduation, as a professional.
As Mahatma Gandhi said, “An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.”
And as Yogi Berra said, “In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.”

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