Course Project Overview
Each student will write a nine-to-ten-page, typed, double-spaced paper, with one-inch margins, on a particular criminal justice issue. Once the issue has been selected, students will write a description of the issue, discussing both sides of it, and close by stating their reasoned position on it. The paper must include a bibliography of at least five scholarly (i.e., peer-reviewed*) sources and must be in APA style. Students will submit various sections of the paper, including the final draft, as the course progresses.
Once the issue has been selected, each student will write a description of the issue, discussing both sides of it, and close by stating his or her reasoned opinion on the issue. The paper must include at least five scholarly sources (Wikipedia is not considered a scholarly source) and must be in APA style. Students will submit various sections of the paper, as the course progresses; see “Deliverables,” below.
Format: students need to provide the following:
- Introduction of topic; overview of what the paper is about (one page)
- Pros and cons on the topic (five to six pages)
- Explanation of personal view (one to two pages)
- Conclusion (one page)
- Bibliography (one to two pages)
* A peer-reviewed source is one that has been checked for its accuracy, by editors who are knowledgeable on the subject. Often, but not necessarily always, such sources have “Journal” in their titles.
Topic Selection: By the end of Week 1, students need to select a topic from one of those listed below, or to generate a topic involving difference and the criminal justice process; this is the Writing Assignment for Week 1. For this one-page assignment, a student also has to explain what she or he expects to find after having done research and written the paper.
- Should the law provide the sole means of creating and maintaining difference, when it comes to criminal justice?
- Why should a “dominant” population have the privilege to “construct crime” for those populations that are not “dominant?”
- Why should communication play so critical a role in talking through difference in the criminal justice process?
Categories of Difference
- Why should immigration status play so dominant a role in shaping categories of difference in the criminal justice process?
- Should age play as significant a role as it does regarding difference in the criminal justice process?
- Should gender play so significant a role in accounting for differential treatment through the criminal justice process?
How Does Difference Matter?
- Should wrongful and unlawful convictions continue to disproportionately affect some populations?
- Can the criminal justice process continue to use difference to account for the unfair treatment of some populations?
- Why should difference in terms of the consequences of the criminal justice process fall more heavily on so-called “undocumented” immigrants?
- Will education succeed in minimizing the impact of difference in the criminal justice process?
- Can differences in the relationship between a crime victim and a justice worker be adjusted to benefit both types of participants?
Next, by the end of Week 2, students will have to submit an introduction, conclusion, and list of references; this serves as the Week 2 Assignment.
For the Week 3 writing assignment, students will need to submit arguments “for” and “against” the topic at the end of Week 3.
By the end of Week 4, students will need to submit their views on the topic, basing those views on the research that the student engaged in during prior weeks.
The Week 5 writing assignment involves submitting a rough draft, which involves compiling all prior writing assignment work into a coherent whole.
In Week 6, students need to submit the final version of the course project, which incorporates all prior writing assignment work. To increase the chances of earning all the points designated for this activity, the final version has to meet all of the assignment’s requirements, including but not limited to providing a 10-page document, exclusive of title page and bibliography.
See the Syllabus section “Due Dates for Assignments & Exams” for due date information.
Submit your assignment to the Dropbox located on the silver tab at the top of this page. For instructions on how to use the Dropbox, read these step-by-step instructions or watch this Tutorial Dropbox Tutorial.
Course Project Grading Rubric
|Course Project Rubric|
Content – 70%
A quality project will have significant scope and depth of research to support any statements. Relevant illustration or examples are encouraged. A quality project will employ sound use of reasoning and logic to present the issues as well as the student’s own position.
Depth and scope of research
Introduction and presentation of both sides of the issue
Illustrations or examples
Use of logic, including a well reasoned position on the issue
Editing – 10%
A quality project will be free of any spelling, punctuation, or grammatical errors. Sentences and paragraphs will be clear, concise, and factually correct.
Sentence meaning unclear
Misstatement of fact
Total (not to exceed)
Organization – 10%
A quality project will include an introduction based upon a well-formed issue statement, a descriptive discussion that presents both sides of the issue, and a well-reasoned defense of the student’s position.
Introduction; statement of the issue and overview of what the paper is about
Body text contains both sides of the issue and the student’s argued position
Content sub-headings used
A summary conclusion
Total (not to exceed)
|Documentation – 10%|
Incorrectly cited or missing
A quality project will include a title page, an abstract, proper citations, and a bibliography.
References in text
Total (not to exceed)
A quality project will meet or exceed all of the above requirements.
Organization and cohesiveness
Documentation and formatting