Students will be divided into groups to create and facilitate an original debate, simulation or extended presentation on topics in international relations.  Groups will meet with me at the beginning of the term to decide on topics that will complement the study cycles in the course.  Group members should meet in advance to make sure that each group member presents a distinct insight about the reading without excessive repetition from the group as a whole. Engage your audience and, if you elect to employ a visual aid such as power point, use it to enhance the message you deliver rather than be the central focus of your presentation. In the past, students have run simulations of United Nations meetings and interactive learning games.


  • Each group has 30 minutes for the presentation, unless otherwise specified by the professor.
  • No reading summaries
  • It is highly recommended that you plan an activity that requires the participation of your classmates
  • Remember to meet with me (the professor) ahead of time
  • Individually, you must turn in a 1 -paragraph (minimum) reaction to the presentation that does the following:
    • assess own contribution
    • assess the contributions of other group members
    • cites sources consulted in creating the presentation
    • due one week after the presentation

Individual Roles

I suggest you each adopt specific roles in your groups, such as the following:


  • Responsible for organizing group meetings outside of class
  • Responsible for taking notes whenever the group meets and distributing those notes to others in the group.
  • Acts as spokesperson for the group: should be able to summarize the group’s progress and findings to the instructor and others


  • Responsible for editing the content
  • Makes certain the project meets the course standards plus any extras stipulated by the group, including punctuality and completeness

Presentation Leader

  • Act as timekeeper during the presentation


  • Leads group in identifying any relevant theoretical frameworks
  • Leads group in identifying and clarifying argument
  • Ensures that the entire project employs the theoretical framework and argument


  • Leads group in identifying appropriate cases for research and the logic of their selection
  • Plays lead role in identifying data useful for the project
  • Double-checks data, bibliographic sources, and graphics for accuracy and neatness


Ideas for class presentations/activities are on the linked handout.

Grading rubric

  • 7.5 out of 15 points for your personal role
  • 7.5 out of 15 points for the overall assessment of the group presentation
  • A sample grading sheet for the study cycle presentations can be found here. I have changed the format slightly but the content of my evaluation is essentially the same. I am looking for high quality presenting skills as well as clear mastery of the subject.

Group Topics

  • Ethics and IR: Humanitarian Intervention
  • Security
  • Global Governance
  • The Global Economy
  • Poverty and Development
  • The Environment
  • Human Rights