Fall 2022 - IS 350W D100

Seminar on Global Problems in Interdisciplinary Perspective (4)

Class Number: 5132

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    HCC 2540, Vancouver

  • Prerequisites:

    60 units. International Studies major or honours students.



An in-depth examination of select global problems. Focuses on developing policy-related writing skills valuable for careers in government and in intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations. Assignments may include: briefing papers, policy papers, grant writing, and op-ed essays. Students with credit for IS 450W may not take this course for further credit. Writing.


This course is designed to focus on the skills and applications of research and writing that are relevant beyond academia, and which IS students will likely encounter across governmental, nongovernmental, and private sectors. Much of this work involves researching, over a relatively short period of time, what has been written about a specific topic or problem and organizing key arguments about it, often going so far as to think through and develop arguments in favour of a particular course of action. This kind of work requires clarity of purpose, the capacity to identify and synthesize key ideas, and economical and authoritative writing. This course takes up multiple international problems from different disciplinary perspectives.

This course will be comprised of a mix of lectures, class discussion, and simulations. These instructional methods will address problem topics as well as guidance on the different research and writing tasks.


  • Literature Review (between 3,500 and 4000 words) 25%
  • Briefing Paper (approximately 1500 words) 25%
  • Op-ed essay suitable for publication in a major newspaper (maximum 1000 words) 25%
  • Policy Paper (maximum 2000 words) 25%


Referencing Style:
Students are advised to use the Harvard system of referencing in which you supply the author’s name and the date of publication of the document referred to within the text.

For specific guidelines to the Harvard system, see the following document:

Submission of Assignments:
All four assignments must be submitted to pass this course. Failure to submit an assignment by the final deadline on turnitin.com will result in F and 0 points for that assignment and failure of the course.

The assignments should be submitted through the website www.turnitin.com. Instructions for doing so will be provided by email to all students following the first lecture.

Before submitting the essays, you are required to complete the plagiarism tutorial and read the plagiarism policies. Plagiarism will result in a failed grade.

Academic honesty/plagiarism policies: http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student.html
Library resources on what constitute plagiarism: http://www.lib.sfu.ca/help/writing/plagiarism

Students will be required to submit their written assignments to Turnitin.com in order to receive credit for the assignments and for the course.

The School for International Studies strictly enforces the University's policies regarding plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty. Information about these policies can be found at: http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/teaching.html.



Weekly readings will be posted to the Canvas site.

In addition, for each assignment students will be expected to identify relevant research sources, and to draw extensively on web-based materials, including ‘grey literature’ (e.g. the literature produced by international organizations, research institutions, policy think-tanks, etc.) and, when relevant, news media.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html