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CIA Group Project Overview

Posted in AmGov Projects

CIA Group Project Overview:


The majority of this course is dedicated to studying American Government, but the purpose of this project is twofold. First, to familiarize students with other forms of government in nations around the world.  Second, to assess how our United States Government has, does, and can interact with other governments in its foreign policy.  

Step 1 - Choosing Your Intelligence Team:

This part is easy.  You can choose a team of one to six people.  It is recommended that you choose five other people (for a total of six) in order to make the workload lighter, but you may do the project by yourself, or with a partner, or with a few friends.  It's entirely up to you.  The grade your project receives will be the grade your entire group receives.  Effort and hard-work can be rewarded, however, which takes us to ...

Step 2 - Assigning Roles Within the Intelligence Team:

Once you have your team assembled, you need to list the names (first and last) of all your team members on a sheet of lines paper, skipping lines.  If there is only one of you doing the project, then you simply put your name on the paper.  In the lists below, there are two sets of roles.  The first set are group roles.  The second set are project roles.  Your group will then assign the following roles to the members of your team.  There are often more roles than members, so you may have to double-up or split up the roles.  For this project there are six individual group roles and six project roles.  Once you have chosen a role from the first set, you will chose a role from the second set.  Try to pick roles which compliment your personality and abilities.  Click here to see a description of the responsibilities.


Leader - a good people person, someone able to motivate the team

Editor - a good details person, good at checking the team's work

Art Director - a creative person with a good eye for what looks good

Archivist - an organized person who can keep track of materials needed

Researcher - a thinking person who is able to find the info you need

Evaluator - a fair person who can assess how hard people are working

The second set of roles are roles which play into the six sections of the project.  You will want to read up on the parts of the project (step 3) before you assign these roles, but it is important to realize that the Project Roles DO NOT DETERMINE what you necessarily work on for the project. 

Project Roles:

Statistician - someone good at finding and interpreting statistical data

Cartographer - someone with a sense for what makes maps both attractive and readable

Historian - someone able to interpret cause and effect in history; generally the historian should be a good reader

SPEC Analyst - someone able to distinguish between what is purported and what is actual; this is an investigative journalist role - someone who can understand the current state of affairs in your country in terms of Society, Politics, Economy, and the Constitution

Foreign Policy Advisor - someone good at thinking critically and creatively, able to problem solve realistically; they will need to be able to synthesize ALL the information gathered by the other members

Bibliographer - someone good at working with details and formatting

Once these roles have been assigned, have each member of the team explain their role to the rest of the team mates.  Once this is done, the archivist will take the sheet (this is called the groupwork sheet) to the teacher who will sign it and place a number of points in the upper left-hand corner.  The sheet is then given to the group Evaluator.

Step 3 - Assigning Work on the Project:

Once every member of the team understands their role on the team, the leader should be able to explain the eight basic parts of the CIA Project.  It is up to the group to decide how the work will be done, large groups may want to give different members of the team different portions of the project.  Smaller groups may wish to share, or vice versa.  The following eight sections of the project are labelled A - H.  Each of these has an extensive description.  To read the requirements, click here.

A. Binding, Cover Page, Table of Contents, and Evaluation Sheet

B. History

C. SPEC Analysis (Society, Politics, Economics, Constitution)

D. Foreign Policy Recommendation

E. Maps

F. Statistical Comparison Chart

G. Notes and Appendices

H. Bibliography

Once the group has determined how to do their work, the next thing is...

Step 4 - Gather Information:

This is not the sole job of the Researcher, rather the Researcher's job is to help others find their background information, not to get it for them, necessarily.  All members of the group should begin to familiarize themselves with their chosen nation of study.  Begin simply by reading a few Encyclopedia Articles.  Explore Web Resources at the School.  Explore on your own.  Stay attuned to news events and discussion of your nation.

Step 5 - Prepare Rough Drafts:

Once you have gathered sufficient information, it will be time to draft maps, outline essays, and sketch comparisons.  In all of this, keep track of your research materials (as the Bibliography - marked and highlighted).  

The teacher will collect rough drafts in two phases. The first set of rough drafts to be collected will be the History, Maps, and Statistical Charts.   These sections need to be prepared first in order to help the Political Analyst and Foreign Policy Advisor prepare their reports.  The second phase of collecting rough drafts will be only the Political Analysis and the Bibliography.  No rough draft of the Foreign Policy Recommendation will be collected.

Step 6 - Prepare the Final Drafts:

Complete the sections.  Check them.  Assemble them. 

Step 7 - Complete the Evaluation and Submit the Project:

The Evaluator will write a brief assessment of each person and how they did on the project.  The Evaluator will then distribute the points the teacher placed in the upper left-hand corner of the groupsheet.  Negative points may be given to those who did little or no work, but not exceeding the total amount of points given by the teacher.  Those points may then be distributed to other students (see Step 9 below).  All of the re-distributed points are noted on the groupsheet, with explanations of why the points have been distributed.  All group members need to sign the sheet, then the sheet is placed at the front of the project and the whole project is turned in.

Step 8 - A Timeline of the Project

Week 1 - organize groups, establish roles, learn project requirements, divide up tasks, find resources.  Begin gathering Bibliographic references.

Week 2 - Generate rough drafts of the history, maps and statistical chart.  These will be checked by the teacher to see progress and give recommendations for future improvement.

Week 3 - Generate final drafts of history, maps, and statistical chart.  Submit rough draft of SPEC Analysis and show Bibliographic collection to the teacher for recommendations.

Week 4 - Finish final draft of SPEC Analysis; begin synthesis of all materials for the Foreign Policy recommendation; collect and organize materials for the Bibliography and prepare the formal Bibliography.

Week 5 - Finish Foreign Policy Analysis, organize and bind the project.  Turn it in.  Pray for mercy, or bask in the radiant glow of a job well-done.

Step 9 - How the Project is Graded:

I will grade the rough drafts you present, simply to see how your team is coming along, on a 20 - 30 point basis.  These grades will be given separately from the overall grade on the project.  I will then determine if the final project will be a 200 point total or a 320 point total based on the overall number of points already given in the semester.

In addition to the project grade itself, teams generally receive 10 group points per person on the Evaluation sheet.  Thus a 5-member group will receive 50 points to distribute as they wish.  If everyone works equally, fulfilling their group roles, everyone receives 10 points.  If some worked harder than others, however, it is reasonable for the Evaluator to give "slacker" members (negative) - 10 points (or more, with a maximum negative equal to the maximum positive possible) and add those extra points to the hard-working members' grade.  Thus, a five member team with a slacker could penalize the slacker with up to negative fifty (-50) points and reward the actual working individual as much as 100 (50 for the group plus the 50 taken from the slacker).  Remember, however, allmembers of the group must sign off on the Evaluator's written assessment of the team.  These points are simply added onto the total grade at the conclusion of the project.  The project itself is graded as follows:

 Cover/Title Page  10
 Table of Contents  10
 History  30 or 50
 SPEC Analysis  30 or 50
 Policy Recommendation  30 or 50
 Maps  30 or 50
 Statistical Comparison Chart  30 or 50
 Bibliography  30 or 50
 TOTAL  200 points or 320