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Courtroom 302

The paper that you create is to be 5 pages in length, typed, double-spaced, one-inch margins, in 10 or 12 point font.  No outside research will be required because the paper will be based on the book, Courtroom 302: A Year Behind the Scenes in an American Criminal Courthouse by Steve Bogira.  After reading the book, your task for this assignment is to answer one of the following questions:

(1)  During the authors’ yearlong visit to court, do you believe that he ever really found justice?

(2)  When you look at the people who land in our court system, you often find that they’ve been in and out of the system for years.  Discuss, in your opinion, how this cycle might be broken.

(3)  The book shows the inner workings of the system through the eyes of the men and women who experience it, not only in the courtroom, but in the lockup, the jury room, the judge’s chambers, and the spectator’s gallery.  Based on evidence provided within the book, discuss whether you believe that our current system is “effective” in how it functions.

As you are answering the question you selected you should provide at least three examples from the book to support your response.  Also, be sure to include an introduction and conclusion in your paper.

When discussing each of the three examples please do not try to include everything from the book in your paper.  When outlining your paper, think about including the most important information from the book and how it supports your opinion.  The best decision is to act as though the reader (a.k.a. Dr. Fort) has never read the book, however, keep in mind that you cannot inform them about every little detail. 

In addition to the instructions above, please keep the following guidelines in mind when preparing to write your paper.

Grammar/Spelling: The way in which you will be graded on grammar/spelling is as follows: you will be allotted ten (10) grammatical/spelling errors.  Every additional error exceeding the ten that have been allotted to you will result in the loss of one point.  For example, if you have eleven errors you will receive nine points for grammar/spelling.  If you have 20 or more errors you will not receive any points for grammar/spelling.  Please note that if you make the same mistake multiple times, I will only count the original error and not every subsequent error that was made. 

Citations/Sources:  Citing information that is not your own is very important within your college career.  Simply put, citations are a requirement for this assignment.  APA citation format must be utilized as you are writing this assignment.  If you are not sure of what APA consists of, feel free to contact me for an APA style manual or information on websites that you may visit to assist you in citing information. 

The way in which you will be graded on citations is, as follows: you must provide at least ten (10) citations within your paper.  The ten citations that you will provide can include paraphrased information or direct quotations from a source.  When using a direct quotation from a source make sure to include the author’s name and the page number that the quotation originated from.  An example of this would be, “this is my favorite class” (Bogira, 37).  Simply put, if you do not provide ten citations within your paper it will result in the loss of points.  For example, if you provide three citations you will only receive three points, due to the fact that you failed to meet the citation requirement. 

Due Date: This assignment is due by midnight on 5/6/19 with the rest of Module #4’s assignments.  Again, late assignments will be accepted, but it is highly discouraged that you submit your work late.  There will be a 25% point deduction for each day an assignment is late.  Meaning: 1 day late=25% deduction, 2 days late=50% deduction, 3 days late=75% deduction, and 4 days late=not accepted.

Extra Help: If you need any help, feel free to call, stop by my office during my office hours, or make an appointment to see me.  If for some reason you feel uncomfortable coming to me to ask questions about your paper you may also contact the Writing Center on campus for extra help.  The Writing Center is available for in-person consultation sessions (SH309), and they are also available for assistance online.  Their website is:

Point value distribution for each paper assignment:

Introduction (10 points)

            Give a brief overview of what you are going to tell the reader

Detailed response to question (30 points total)

Detailed discussion of three examples from the book (30 points total)

Conclusion (10 points)

Give a brief summary of what you told the reader in the body of your paper

Spelling/grammar (10 points)

Citations (10 points)

Total point value= 100 points

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