Blogging about a world politics event for extra credit

Some world politics courses offer extra credit for attending an event in DC and writing a blog post about it. Getting engaged in events in the area is, in any case, a great way to learn some really interesting things and to get to know more about the various institutes and agencies in DC. To complete the extra credit assignment, follow these steps:

  1. Choose an event to attend. At the bottom of this page is a list of organizations in Washington DC that run public events. Typically these events feature one or more speakers discussing the background of some sort of current events issue. Go to the organization's web page (which I have linked below) and look through the calendars to find an event on a topic that interests you and that you can attend. Note that most of these organizations do not plan much more than a month or so in advance, so you may want to check back more than once during the semester to see what events have been added. Anything run by any of the organizations I have listed below will count. If you find a different event that interests you from an organization I do not have listed, email me in advance to get approval for it.
  2. Make a reservation and then show up on time. Note that most events are free and open to the public, but require an advance reservation. When attending an event, please be considerate of other attendees and dress and act appropriately. Please consider dressing up a little bit - business casual is usually appropriate. All of the organizations I have listed are metro-accessible.
  3. Discreetly take a picture of yourself there (or your group if you are going with others). I may ask you for this, depending on the course requirements.
  4. Write a one-paragraph summary of the event and email it to me. Include a description of the speaker and what he or she said, as well as anything you learned that you found interesting. Examples from other students are here.

If you attend an event that seems particularly interesting, I may ask you to share it with the Marymount community by posting it on the World Politics blog. Doing that is always totally optional and will not affect your grade in any way. In order to post your paragraph and picture:

  • Log in to the world politics blog (if you can't get access to the World Politics site at this point, it is because you haven't been added to the system - email me). Update your profile with your first and last name. Select "add new" and then "post" from the menu at the top.
  • Save your post when you are done writing it. Your post won't be published on the site unless I approve it, and even then it won't be made publicly visible unless you want it to.

Here are some organizations that run regular events, with links to their event listings. These are very roughly in order of my totally subjective feelings about which ones are best, with the better ones near the top.

The first six here are totally non-partisan, and are premier organizations for thoughtful discussions of international affairs.

These are honest, centrist organizations that do real research but are sometimes (wrongly) perceived as having a left-wing bias

Here is an honest organization that does real research but is sometimes (wrongly) perceived as having a right-wing bias

Beyond those, here are some groups that are mostly honest but have more overt partisan orientations