Final Paper Preparation Outline

Final Paper Preparation Outline

Prior to beginning work on this assignment, read Chapters 3 and 4 of your textbook.

To prepare for your Final Paper (due in Week 5), you will develop an outline, using the sample below, that includes an abstract, problem statement, and annotated bibliography. Use the Ashford Writing Center’s Writing an Abstract (Links to an external site.) resource for additional guidance.

Problem Statement: Evaluate a social problem and how it impacts the criminal justice system in the United States. You will recall that in the Post Your Introduction activity in Week 1 you identified a social problem. You may use that problem for your Final Paper or choose a different social and criminal justice problem.

Outline: Using the sample below as a guide, provide an outline for your Final Paper. Remember that papers are expected to define a significant problem faced by the justice system, describe the scope and consequences of the problem, and discuss society’s responses to the problem (including public policies and other less formal responses). Your paper should also present a clearly reasoned alternative, supported by scholarly research.

Annotated Bibliography: The purpose of creating a list of sources is to assist you in organizing and evaluating your research.


In your paper,

  • Identify the problem. Be sure to narrow your problem enough to allow a focused examination.
  • Describe the individual, social, and criminal justice system implications of this problem. Discussion of implications should be supported by accurate research data.
  • Summarize what experts say about the problem.
  • Explain what we, as a society, have done to remedy this problem. Consider public policies and other, less formal responses.
  • Analyze to what extent public policies and other, less formal responses are effective in addressing this problem.
  • Propose an alternative solution to the problem.
  • Analyze 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.
  • Create an annotated bibliography (Links to an external site.). In the bibliography, include the following:
    • Name of the source, including the complete bibliographic reference in proper APA format, as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center’s Annotated Bibliography (Links to an external site.)
    • Summary of the source (at least one paragraph) including how this source will contribute to your paper.

In short, define a problem, discuss the response, and provide alternative responses to the problem. For example, your problem could be drug use and 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 can be an adjustment of current policy or a new direction. For example, you may propose longer prison sentences, or legalization of all drugs. Be creative, although suggestions must be supported by scholarly research.


The Final Paper Preparation outline

Carefully review the Grading Rubric (Links to an external site.) for the criteria that will be used to evaluate your assignment.