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1. The following presentation is intended to help successfully complete the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) case essay assignment.
2. Choose a SCOTUS case that interests you. You may choose any case on a criminal justice process topic heard by the SCOTUS to research and write an essay about it. Current case.
Caveat – you may not write on a case you previously used.
3. Research the details about the case (answer the five research questions: Who, What, When, Where and Why). Take notes about what you discover. Note the sources of your information. You must list your sources at the end of the essay in APA format, and properly cite the sources of each piece of information in the essay itself.
4. After researching a case, organize the information you have collected by making an outline. A basic structure for organizing your information might be as follows.
A. Introduction:
1. Identify the name of the case and when it was heard before SCOTUS.
2. Identify the parties involved in the case.
3. Briefly describe the focus of the case.
B. Describe the case itself: What was the controversy in the case?
C. How did the case move through the courts before reaching SCOTUS?
1. What court had original jurisdiction in the case?
2. How had previous courts ruled in the case?
D. What did the SCOTUS rule in the case?
1. What was the argument of the majority opinion?
2. What was the argument of the minority opinion?
E. What was the reasoning used by the SCOTUS to reach its decision? How did it reach its decision?
E. Conclusion: How does the Court’s ruling in the case affect Americans today?
1. Has the Court’s ruling in the case affected other rulings in other cases?
2. Has the Court’s ruling affected the interpretation and enforcement of any particular laws, and how those laws are enforced?
3. If applicable: Has the Court’s ruling in this case affected you, or someone you know, personally?
My answer is NO.
5. Write your essay. If you organized your information based on the suggested outline, then all you have to do is write down what you have learned from your research and put it into a footnoted two to three pages essay. Your first paragraph is the introduction (the information under letter A of your outline). The second paragraph is the information under letter B, and so on.
6. Sources: Be sure to cite your sources, using sequentially numbered footnotes. That means any information you learned from another source, such as a website, a magazine article, a videotaped interview, etc., must be properly noted in your essay. Make sure you use footnotes in proper Blue Book citation style or APA. Footnotes appear at the bottom of each page, not at the end of the document (those are endnotes).
1. The paper will be 10 full pages, APA format, References separate pages, Not 9, not 11. Why 10 pages, you ask? It is actually harder to write a 10 pages paper than it is to write a 15 or 20 page, papers. You must be clear and avoid the filler that is often contained in longer papers. What is filler? Filler is extra “stuff” that just fills pages but adds little or no value to your paper.
2. The introduction will not be longer than two pages.
3. Immediately after your introduction, you must present a clear essay statement.” The thesis statement should not be longer than two sentences, and normally one is sufficient.
4. Immediately after your thesis statement, you must provide a clear road map to let the reader know where you are going with your paper. Word your road map, as follows: “My paper will first briefly explore . . . , followed by . . . . Finally I will defend my thesis by . . . .” Your road map should be only a few sentences, but it must be clear.
5. Next, provide a brief but clear background of your topic. This may only be one page or less.
6. Argument/Defending. Now we are at the meat of the paper, defendingthe thesis statement. This must be at least five full pages, and you must use your research to defend your thesis. This is the hardest part of your paper, and this is where it needs to focus on time and energy. You will present clear arguments, supported by your research, to defend your thesis. Last three points in this area — (1) Conclusory statements must be supported with the research; (2) Do not use provoking language (3) You need to fill in glaring gaps.
7. Conclude the paper in one page or less.
References/Proper Use of The APA double space paper and use a 12point font. You must use a minimum of 15 scholarly references. You may use a reference more than once, but it still only counts as 1 of the 15. Scholarly references are not Wikipedia, blogs, or questionable websites.


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