Focus of the Final Paper
Select and then define a significant issue faced by the justice system, describe the scope and consequences of the issue, and discuss society’s responses to the issue (including public policies and other less formal responses). Papers should also present a clearly reasoned alternative, supported by scholarly research.
While the following example can be modified to suit your needs, this outline is likely to result in a high-quality Final Paper:
- What is the problem? Be sure to narrow your problem enough to allow a focused examination.
- What are the individual and social implications of this problem? Discussion of implications should be supported by accurate research data.
- What do the experts say about the problem?
- What have we, as a society, done about this problem? Consider public policies and other, less formal responses.
- How are public policies and other, less formal responses working?
- Describe an alternative solution to the problem.
- Discuss why the alternative is, or can be, an effective response to the problem. Remember to consider negative consequences of the alternative response.
- Conclude with your thoughts about your chosen social problem. This is a good place to include personal opinions, assuming you wish to share them in a research paper.
In short, define a problem, discuss the response, and provide alternative responses to the problem. For example, your problem could be drug use/abuse, with a focus on prescription drug abuse among teenagers. Your description of the problems should be fact based, relying on expert opinion. Your alternative response can be an adjustment of current policy or a new direction. For example, your may propose longer prison sentences, or legalization of all drugs. Be creative, although suggestions must be supported by scholarly research.