International Studies B – Steps to Complete a Commentary
STEPS TO COMPLETE A COMMENTARY
Step 1: Article Selection
Finding the news article for your commentary is the first most important step. Your analysis and evaluation are directly influenced by the article that you select. The article needs to discuss a key theme and concept/s that you will further explore in your commentary.
Once you have selected your article, identify the research question and the key theme and concept/s that you will focus on in your commentary. If you cannot make a relationship between the article and research question and key theme and concepts, choose another article. You may find that you will make minor edits to your research question once you have worked through the “How to write a commentary” and when you start doing your research. This is ok!
Guidelines for Articles:
The news article must be recent a recent publication (no older than 12 months) and be published by a mainstream publisher (eg The Sydney Morning Herald).
It cannot be a journal publication, research paper or a blog.
A different article will need to be selected for each commentary and will need to be included for each submission.
Try to use a different source for each article.
Articles should not be too short or too long. Between one full page and two full pages is a good length. If you use a long article, you must include the original article in its entirety, with the selected part(s) highlighted.
The article must be in written in English.
The Guardian Weekly (e-magazine)
The Sydney Morning Herald (online newspaper)
Australian Financial Review (online newspaper)
Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre (database)
LinksPlus (internet filtering service)
How to use google to search for an article:
1. Go to Google.com
2. Search for a keyword like “global supply chain disruption”
Keywords you might try googling:
Topic 1 – globalisation, economic integration, free trade agreements,
Topic 2 – economic development, foreign direct investment, corruption, inequality,
Topic 3 – mercantilism, comparative advantage, subsidies, dumping, protectionism,
3. Select NEWS as in the picture below
You will see a list of recently published articles in various websites with the keyword you have searched for.
4. Find the appropriate article.
And you are done! Good luck!
The information below will be recorded on your cover page.
Research Question: Do global supply chains need to become resilient?
Key theme and concepts: Global supply chains
Step 2: Introduction
In this section introduce your research question. Do not restate the question but try to set the scene of your commentary and hook the reader into reading on. (Your research question has already been included on your cover page).
Make sure that you use the key themes and concepts (focus on one or two important concepts only) that will form the focus of your commentary.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic impacts has revealed vulnerabilities in global supply chains. As a result, nations are rethinking their supply chains and developing strategies that address these failures and promote increased resilience through diversifying where inputs are sourced and where manufacturing takes place. This commentary will discuss some of the risks presented to global supply chain and why nations are seeking to ensure supply chains are more secure and resilient so to avoid disruptions that lead to periodic shortages of critical components needed for manufacturing.
Step 3 – Article Summary
In this section provide some reasoning/background as to why the article was written. Highlight some of the key points that are mentioned in the article showing clear links to your research question and key concepts that will be the focus of your commentary.
The coronavirus pandemic and the failure of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to progress the trade agenda as well as keep the multilateral system functioning as designed has called into question several assumptions which have underpinned global trade for decades.
In the post-Covid world, global supply chains and the world’s approach to trade could look quite different. The economic efficiencies generated by extreme specialisation of production and just-in-time inventories will now be weighed against the vulnerabilities they create across global supply chains if even just one link in the chain breaks down. This may accelerate the trend of increased protectionism and movement away from liberalism and towards managed trade and legislation from the most important trading nations attempt to domesticate production. Governments are reviewing policies to ensure more secure and resilient supply chains which are essential for national security, economic security, and technological leadership.
Step 4 – Analysis
Analyse – Break something into its component parts and show how they relate to one another.
Your analysis should be a deeper investigation and explanation of your research question and key concepts. Include: Definitions, Explanations, Examples and Research. You may use diagrams, infographics or charts that support your analysis. Remember to include in-text referencing and a reference list.
Your analysis will form the main body of your commentary. You will need to decide how to structure this in terms of what your subheadings to use and what you will include for each of your body paragraphs. (include approximately 3-4 paragraphs).
Note: a thorough analysis will prepare you well for your final evaluation, where you will form judgements and draw conclusions.
Global Supply Chains
This paragraph will define global supply chains and provide an example and diagram of a global supply chain. For example – Apple iPhone’s Supply Chain.
Covid-19 and Supply Chains
This paragraph will explain how Covid-19 has disrupted global supply chains. Such as production issues – forced lockdowns which caused delays in deliveries and difficulties sourcing products as factories overseas were either shut down or operating at significantly reduced capacity; transportation issues – particularly the availability of sea freight services.
Example: Sourcing sufficient products for personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical and hygiene products that were in high demand at the beginning of the pandemic were impeded by lockdowns and manufacturing plants that were not able to operate at full capacity.
Global Supply Chains Risks
This paragraph will explain some of the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of a global supply chains such as demand risks and operational risks which are either uncontrollable, influenceable or controllable.
If you include visual stimulus ensure it is relevant to what you are discussing and that you make reference to it.
Source: Supply Chain Risk – Bing images
Choose one or two examples and provide a more detailed explanation, such as what does political instability and/or economic instability mean and how does it disrupt supply chains. Include examples to show a deeper understanding.
Political Instability (explanation) – In Western Europe, Brexit has had an adverse effect on trade, creating volatility and weakening the British pound.
Economic instability (explanation) – The bankruptcy of South Korea’s 7th largest shipping company (Hanjin Shipping) led to a dramatic reduction in global supply chain shipping capacity. Capacity fell by 3%, and up to $14 billion in cargo was unable to dock.
Resilient Supply Chains
This paragraph will explain what a resilient supply chain looks like and why they are important.
A resilient supply chain is defined by its capacity for resistance and recovery. That means………. Resilient supply chains are important because of…..
Step 5: Evaluation
Evaluation involves critiquing and challenging the arguments (for and against) for a proposed solution to the problem. In your commentary you’re expected to evaluate ONE possible solution or possible effects of a particular policy decision.
If one is mentioned in the article, it must be that one that you evaluate. If a solution isn’t mentioned in the article, you can recommend an appropriate solution and evaluate that. Ensure that you make an evaluative link to your research question and key concept/s.
Evaluate – Make judgments based on evidence
This paragraph will evaluate ONE solution presented in the article and critique this.
In this case the evaluation is about nations having more secure and resilient supply chains. Solutions to achieve this could be about any one of the following (Note: these have been mentioned in the article).
Increased protectionism and movement away from liberalism and towards more managed trade.
Consolidation rather than expansion of trade agreements.
Diversifying supply chains away from China.
Governments seek to fracture global supply chains by encouraging domestic production and localisation of production facilities.
Refer to the article below about different ways of evaluating in economics
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International Studies B – Steps to Complete a Commentary