Each student shall identify a current criminal justice policy which is “broken or badly bent.”
Then, according to his/her respective interest and subject-matter expertise and research will
propose a new or significantly revised policy remedying the “old” policy’s deficiencies.
Death Penalty an Essential Element of Criminal Justice
The instructor must approve these projects. No exact duplicate policy proposals are allowed nor can
student policies exactly duplicate debate topics. Papers should have the following general
outline: (1) thoroughly describes the problem, (2) the history of the problem, other attempts to
solve the problem and (3) the student’s own policy proposal. The policy issue examined must
apply to the national or provincial levels of government—not at the local or agency-specific
level. Please note that you should clearly describe the theoretical framework in which you are
working and provide initial evidence for your theory. I cannot stress the importance of theory enough. A paper with no theory is like a house without a foundation. It might look good, but it falls apart at the first sign of a storm. Furthermore, the theory will help you determine and justify your initial assumptions.
Death Penalty an Essential Element of Criminal Justice Steps
So how should you write a good academic paper? It is as easy as following these steps:
Steps 1: Pick a topic
Step 2: Go to the library and read at least half a dozen relevant peer-reviewed papers on that
topic. You might have to read 20 different papers until you find a good selection of half a dozen
relevant papers. There is a mountain of information out there and although search engines help in
streamlining the information, at the end of the day, you have to go through lots of different
materials until you find a good selection that works for you. A good researcher is one who is
organized and smart.
After having gone through all these paper and now armed with a good set of notes, come up with
one good research question or an argument that you wish to make either in support or against a
particular policy. I suggest coming and seeing me when you reach this stage.
Now divide your research question into 3 sections:
1) Describe the problem
- What is the particular policy you are interested in?
- Why is this an important policy to discuss?
- Why is this a problem?
2) A historical and possibly multinational description of the problem
- How has Canada or other countries dealt with the issue before
- What are some of the social and political context that is inherent to the problem at
- What are the different solutions that were offered? Why have they failed?
3) The theoretical approach that you wish to take to solve this problem
- What is your theoretical approach to the problem?
- How can course readings help in this regard?
- Come and talk to me if you need more help with this
4) Policy implications and solutions to the problem
- What are the policy implication of your theoretical approach?
- Why is this better than what we have right now?
- What are some possible problems with this approach? How can we mitigate these problems?