PSCI 115F: a Film Portrayal of African Development

PSCI 115F: a Film Portrayal of African Development

PSCI 115F: A Film Portrayal of African Development

29 August 2013

Assignment 1: Draft of Part 1 of your final paper

DUE DATE: September 9 (posted on blog)

You have chosen a substantive topic represented by a film, which is set in a particular country. The purpose of this paper is to provide the reader with an understanding of this substantive topic in the setting of your country. This assignment purposefully grants the student much freedom in deciding their research focuses. Students also have diverse topics and may address these topics differently – please do not feel the need to copy your neighbor in how they construct their paper. However, here is a list of elements that must be covered by all.

  • Investigate different definitions of development, and settle on one for your paper. Define development in the paper.
  • Decide how you would measure development and provide statistics or other evidence of how development on its various dimensions has changed over time in your country since colonial times (as far back as you can go in time).
  • Define your substantive topic and give a brief history of this topic in your country.
  • Discuss how your substantive topic has affected development (as you have defined it) in at least three ways.
  • Discuss how the state of development (as you have defined it) has affected your substantive topic in at least three ways.
  • Discuss why your substantive topic is especially relevant to your country in particular.


  • 5 page maximum – if the paper spills over 5 pages, the spillover will not be evaluated.
  • Since this is being posted on the blog, there is no need to include a title page. Even though there is not a title page, you should still title your paper. The title should be relevant to the paper content, not simply “Assignment 1.”
  • Remember that, while this paper will eventually be a part of the final paper, it will be posted on the class blog by itself. As such, this should be a stand-alone paper, complete with introduction and conclusion.
  • The paper is about both your substantive topic and country. You should provide some basic background information about the country in your paper.
  • You must bring in evidence to support your arguments in the paper. Use the skills you learned about library research to find this supporting evidence. Wikipedia or unreliable websites (e.g., websites that are not put forth by reputable organizations, but rather by unknown individuals) are not eligible as resources to cite, although you may certainly read them as background.
  • Be sure to follow the Department of Political Science Style Guide when using citations and including a bibliography. If there is any type of citation not covered in this style guide, refer to the Chicago Manual of Style. Please remember to abide by the Vanderbilt Honor Code.