International Studies


When trying to write a new genre, students need opportunities to read and analyze examples of that genre.

Overview of Advanced Writing Best Practices

In the Department of Global and Intercultural Studies, the Advanced Writing requirement for International Studies (ITS) majors is fulfilled through ITS 202: Writing Policy Analysis. In this course, students analyze and write a unique interdisciplinary genre—the policy analysis—and also gain experience writing for the public. The practice of international policy analysis is also the basis for ITS 402: Senior Capstone in International Studies, which challenges student groups to study a specific global problem in its local context and to propose a practicable solution.

This course meets the three major components of an Advanced Writing course and features excellent assignment scaffolding for student learning:

  • Students write frequently in multiple genres. Student complete over 7500 words of writing, including informal writing, brief written reflection papers, two policy memos, a white paper, and a persuasive public essay.
  • In order to understand the nature of target texts, students analyze existing examples of writing before drafting their own major writing assignments. This includes collecting, analyzing, and critiquing published persuasive public writing from newspapers and other professional sources. Additionally, students analyze and critique written policy specimens from professional policy analysts (e.g., World Bank) and from former students (i.e., past capstone projects).
  • Students engage in consistent revision across the semester at different stages of their white paper drafting. This semester-long sequential writing assignment is developed in three stages. During each stage, students receive instructor feedback and revise. In total, students develop over 5000 words for this paper.