Ideal Structure for Midterm Questions
1. Clear, precise definition.
a. It is an added bonus if you are able to reference the reading
b. It is an added bonus if you link it to other readings
E.g. the paradox of power is defined in Sproule-Jones’ reading and relates to Madison’s Federalist papers.
Specifically, it is the idea that an authority strong enough to constrain itself is also strong enough to
break those constraints when it’s convenient.
2. Relate it back to the reading through the use of an empirical example
E.g. Sproule-Jones uses this paradox of power to illuminate the way that pirate democracy ship’s
institutional structure mitigated a potential abuse of power. This was reflected in the division of power,
between the captain and quartermaster, and through the unrestricted right of the pirates to depose any
captain for any reason. This differed from the merchant ships where the captain was autocratic.
3. Relate it back to the overarching course through a concrete and relevant significance
E.g. the paradox of power is important for comparative politics because all societies seek to mitigate the
paradox of power. De