Memos (About 22%). At the beginning of each class session for which readings are assigned, you should
submit a typed, 1-2 page (about 500-600 words) essay summarizing the arguments made by the day’s
readings. By their nature, these memos shouldn’t require outside research, but if you do some research,
be sure to cite it properly using the APSA system (see Canvas for examples). If you only cite from the
assigned readings, you don’t need a works cited page (although you still need to use parenthetical
citations); otherwise, you do.
o The essay (aka memo) should contain, for each reading, a description of its author’s dependent
variable, independent variables, and type of evidence, as follows:
? Be sure that you understand each author’s dependent variable (e.g. policy, growth,
institutional change, social mobilization, violence, etc) – that is, what they are trying to
describe, predict, or evaluate. All of our authors – even the ones that merely review the
state of the field in some area — have arguments to make.
? Specify each author’s explanation(s) (independent variables) for changes in the values
assumed by his or her dependent variable(s).
? Specify the evidence/argument the author produces in favor of the explanation