For the research paper topic assignment due this week, answer the following questions:
1. What is your topic? Plea Bargaining
2. What is your draft thesis statement? The Controversy of Plea Bargaining “Is This a Fair Deal”.
3. Why did you choose this topic? I had chosen this topic because I am a police officer. I have been to court several times, but to hear of a plea bargain and watch a case goes to probation, I feel for the victims. But, at the same token, I also think that individuals who took a plea bargain only accepted it because they didn’t have a choice. They may have been innocent, but because of the evidence, if they didn’t take the plea bargain, the consequences would have been worse if taken to trial. I do believe in the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution to a fair trial. But is it fair when more than half of the cases just never makes it to the judge or jury? So, it has its advantages and disadvantages.
4. Must use the five references below and 10 more which you pick which must be scholarly references that will be footnoted, APA Style, 10 pages not to include title or reference page.
1. Your paper will be 10 full pages, including footnotes. 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. Introduction (10%): Your introduction will not be longer than two pages.
3. Thesis Statement: (10%): Immediately after your introduction, you must present a clear thesis statement. In simplistic terms, a thesis statement is the main point of your paper that tells the reader what you intend to argue later in your paper. You must word your thesis statement, as follows: “My thesis statement is . . . .” The thesis statement should not be longer than two sentences, and normally one is sufficient.
4. Road Map (5%): 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. Background (10%): Next, provide a brief but clear background of your topic. This may only be one page or less.
6. Argument/Defending Your Thesis (50%): Now we are at the meat of the paper, defending your 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 you need to focus your time and energy. Why? This is where students fail in their Capstone theses (I don’t mean literally fail, but they lose a lot of points). Students either present poor arguments or they present no arguments at all. 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 your research; (2) Do not use provoking language which amounts to merely an opinion, such as: “Those who support capital punishment are idiots.” (This actually came from a student); and (3) You need to fill in glaring gaps. For example, one student’s entire thesis argued that the separation of church and state clause in the Constitution was misinterpreted by the Supreme Court and that religion should be in schools, government, etc. The glaring gap was, given the student’s arguments, what did the separation clause mean? This was not addressed.
7. Conclusion (5%): Conclude your paper in one page or less.
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