Welcome to my Undergraduate Writing space. Here, I will take the time to showcase research assignments I have done relating to my academic and professional interests during my undergraduate career.
Note: If you encounter any trouble viewing these documents, click on “View this document on Scribd.”
Ending the Cuban Embargo
My first research paper was written during the fall semester of my Sophomore year (2009-10 academic year) for the class IST 445H, Globalization Trends and World Issues. The assignment was to create a policy brief addressing some aspect of American foreign policy. As you can see, the document is quite hefty at almost 40 pages and 10,000 words. That’s why the paper was a group paper–I completed the assignment with two of my classmates. Our topic was “Ending the Cuban Embargo.” My specific contributions were the “History of the Embargo”, “Social Issues”, Policy Options”, and “Conclusion” sections. It was the first high-quality extensive research paper that I did in college, and it taught me a lot about working in groups, pacing myself with work over a semester, and American foreign policy.
Another component of this assignment was a presentation of the policy in front of several members of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington, DC-based think tank. I have taken the liberty of attaching that presentation to showcase my visual presentation skills.
Regions of War and Peace
This next paper was written in the spring of 2010 of my Sophomore year for the class PL SC 418, International Relations Theory. For the assignment, I was tasked with reading a book by a prominent international relations scholar and analyzing and criticizing their argument. I chose the book Regions of War and Peace by Dr. Douglas Lemke. Through my analysis, I learned quite a bit about international relations theories. After finishing the paper, I was able to develop a topic for my senior thesis with none other than Dr. Lemke as my adviser. Talk about good timing!
The Evolution of British Eugenic Thought Through Novels and Literature
This essay was written when I was abroad in Brighton, UK during the spring of my Junior year (Spring 2011). It was written for a class entitled Race and Human Difference, and the paper was called “The Evolution of British Eugenic Thought Through Novels and Literature.” In writing this research paper, I learned about how writing a historical paper was vastly different than writing a more theoretical paper, such as the Regions of War and Peace assignment featured earlier on this page. More importantly, however, I learned how different cultures (in my case, English culture) view assignments and how to better write for a global audience.
My final undergraduate assignment was an independently-researched senior thesis. For my thesis, I examined the Warlord Era of China in the early twentieth century, and to what extent Power Transition Theory could explain the levels of content in this region. Although the results were not what I anticipated, it was still a valuable experience, as it was my first large-scale independent research project. Moreover, I improved my skills with statistical analysis tools like Stata, which was incredibly useful for my studies after graduating from Penn State.