At my institution we teach an introductory course that draws from the fields of Comparative Politics and International Relations. This course serves as a foundational course for majors and a course selected by students from across the university to fill two general education requirements. This document describes a scaffolded set of activities, culminating in a formal writing project, designed to improve students' information literacy, reinforce their writing skills, and practice critical thinking. Six in-class activities help students develop the skills to make-sense of news articles, evaluate coverage of current international events, and contextualize these events with background information. Writing-to-learn assignments at the beginning and end of each of these six class sessions shape group conversations and reinforce the skills that are introduced during the class meeting. A culminating essay at the end of the semester provides an opportunity for students to refine and showcase the skills from the semester.