Top Tips for Studying Global Politics

Develop Passive Sources of Glo Po Income!

Although this sounds like a Youtube advertisement for attaining financial FREEDOM by developing these TOP 10 passive income streams, I promise this is not a pyramid scheme but an excellent way to prepare for Glo Po on your way to school! 

You can think of your Glo Po journey in terms of two complementary paths to victory – responsibly reading your textbook(s) or related academic articles and listening to free podcasts. To be clear, it is crucial to do your readings and explore Glo Po through fascinating first-hand texts, but the readings are often long and the language complicated.

Fortunately, the podcasts listed below offer succinct summaries of current affairs and periodically conduct interviews with leading political scientists (e.g. the Economist Podcasts interviewed Henry Kissinger about the dynamics of our changing world order). The podcasts are approachable (the Economist Podcasts have some great dad jokes), short (15 – 20 minutes), and give excellent analysis of current affairs that you can use in your papers! 

To borrow the language of Youtube’s passive income gurus, knowledge compounds. The podcast episodes often build on each other and develop the listener’s holistic overview of global affairs, which not only expand your example arsenal but clarify your assigned readings. 

Mathematically, if you listen to a 20 minute podcast every day for 30 days, you will have spent 600 minutes listening to great (and approachable!) Glo Po content. This is 10 hours of passive knowledge intake that you would have spent in the car/bus not studying. You have also only spent 1.4% of your monthly time budget for a higher Glo Po grade – this is time that would’ve been killed in the car/bus/metro anyway. Plus, the jokes the hosts make are atrociously divine. 

Podcasts: The Economist Podcasts (my favorite!), NYT Daily (mostly American content), Economics Explained (for those more economically-minded), Talks from the Hoover Institution (longer podcasts on IR), and FT News Briefing (this one is a bit more technical and is recommended for people that want to study Economics or Finance).

The Example Matrix 

Now that you’ve got killer examples from the podcasts, it’s important you process them well. I recommend placing the examples you find useful into an example matrix. I use four columns for each example:

  1. Label, Unit, Key Concepts. Include an actor, context, a year(s), and key concepts. 
  2. Description. Two-three sentences – outline the causes, the key actors, the time-frame, and the impacts. Aim for a big-picture summary. 
  3. Stakeholder Analysis. Impact of the situation on a stakeholder, aim for 3 stakeholders. 
  4. Theory. Give two contrasting theoretical perspectives on the situation. Which is stronger and why? 

If you add one example per week from the podcasts, you will have 10 – 15 examples per semester! The example matrix is designed to hit the most important criteria in the rubric, so you also can easily integrate them into your arguments.

Not only will you be miles ahead in your Glo Po revision but you will also be armed for the ferocious gladiator arena of dinner table politics. 

You are an architect, an architect of essays – keep the design clean and clear. 

It can be frustrating to be lost in a new city or a large building, it makes you feel disoriented and confused. You can often blame this on the architect, urban planner or interior designer responsible. Similarly, it can be frustrating for an examiner to get lost in your essay, although you might have some great examples from your example matrix. You are the architect or the urban planner of your arguments, therefore the examiner will certainly blame you and decrease your grade.

As such, even if you have strong content, you have to be able to present it clearly. I recommend testing out various formats your teachers have taught you because they often do the job and the examiners are likely also teaching similar formats to their own students. 

However, practice makes perfect. This is where our tutors come in! We can help you practice the essays, find an architectural style that fits you best, and maximise your grade! Check out our online private tuition here

Written by James Alexandr Carr

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