Conflict between the US and China

Conflict between the US and China

The purpose of an essay plan is to help in writing the essay itself. Would a builder start without a plan? Would a traveller set out on a journey without knowing how to reach the destination? Time spent planning an essay will mean time saved in writing it – and will result in a higher grade. So you need to draw up an essay plan if you want to earn a good grade. The plan will also offer an opportunity for the person marking the essay to provide feedback designed to improve it.

You are asked to submit an essay of around 3,000 words (+/- 10%) in answer to one of two questions. I set the question about conflict between the US and China and I’ll be marking the essays on this subject. I cover the topic directly in the last of my three lectures. The lecture on geopolitics explains different sources of power and political changes during the last few decades. The lecture on globalisation focuses on economic changes.

An essay on this second question should be organised as follows

• begin with a single paragraph (the introduction) explaining the structure and argument of the essay (no more than 250 words)
• describe the way geography and history have shaped the US and China as they are today – and their relations with neighbouring powers and the rest of the world (no more than 600 words)
• discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the US and China using Michael Mann’s four sources of social power – economic, military, political and ideological, in that order – just as I do in my lecture (about 1,500 words)
• consider the extent to which Joe Biden might alter the policy towards China followed by Donald Trump since 2017 (no more than 500 words)
• conclude your essay by summarizing the main points, adding no new ones, in a single final paragraph (no more than 250 words).

Note that the word numbers don’t add up to 3,000 – the figures are purely indicative.

Your plan should consist of no less than 12 and no more than 20 bullet points in the form of a single short sentence (not just a word or two) describing what you plan to say, in a way that will allow me to take in at a glance the scope, structure and argument of your essay.

You must include at the end of the plan a short bibliography (using the full Harvard referencing system) including at least one book and four articles.

I will aim to provide written comments within 24 hours. I will return unread plans that contain less than 12 bullet points, or which contain a bibliography without a book and/or fewer than four articles. I will return draft essays without comment.

Serious students who want to succeed in this module will follow this guidance exactly. You will run the risk of failing if you don’t.


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