BACKGROUND: Reasoned argument is the cornerstone of academic discourse. People identify issues, take sides and then, with support in the form of facts, examples, anecdotes and personal observations, proceed to try to influence the opposition to change sides or at least prove themselves to be thorough academic researches and strong writers. Most college papers employ reasoned argument: the professor presents an issue, the student takes a position and then tries to convince the professor in a well-written paper.
TASK: For this assignment, you will choose a position on juvenile crime and punishment, and present your views in a well-written, thoroughly edited paper that uses all the writing skills and rhetorical modes we have studied this semester. This paper must be a minimum of two-and-a-half full pages, but not more than 4 full pages. Papers beyond 4 pages will be marked down, not up for the extra effort!! You must, therefore, be focused, precise, direct and well organized.
CONTEXT AND DETAILS: In light of several tragedies that have made youthful crime a high profile issue, it is clear that these youthful offenders must be dealt with through the court system. How the courts choose to adjudicate (look it up) these youthful crimes is the topic of frequent discussions by psychologists, law enforcement representatives, educators, and lawmakers. This problem of trying to figure out how to punish young offenders is causing many of our prisons to become seriously overcrowded with young offenders who are mostly boys, though girls are catching up, mostly minorities and mostly undereducated, many of whom have committed horrific crimes. Still, the debate rages on; should these young people be tried and punished as adults are tried and punished for the same crimes, or should they be treated as children, found delinquent, and punished less harshly, perhaps getting more help and support than they might receive in an adult facility?
QUESTION YOU MUST ANSWER: Do you think young people should be punished as adults for the crimes they commit? This could be the basis of your thesis statement and the focus of your answer.
You may not equivocate (look it up) on this issue. You must choose only one side and stick with that position. Remember, you do not have to truly believe what you say; you just have to write a strong paper and prove the point with examples and support from the texts and, perhaps, your own observations or experiences.
NOTES: If reading on Blackboard is too difficult for you, please print out the articles and annotate them as needed. It is up to you to decide what reading style works best for you.
You MUST take into consideration or include all of the information in the bulleted items below.
You must read all the articles on Blackboard, decide on your position, and then use three of the articles for your paper.
You may not use any other articles.
You must use at least three direct quotes from the articles I gave you. These quotes must be properly formatted and cited according to MLA specifications.
Your paper must be typed, double-spaced, 12-point font.
Your name must be on each page and pages must be numbered.
Your paper must have a title that clearly identifies your position. Look at the titles of the articles on Blackboard and see how those titles let you know what is in the paper.
You must use proper MLA in-text citation. Review the OWL exercise if you need to.
You must include a correctly formatted Works Cited Page.
INFORMATIONAL NOTE: This is your last graded paper, so pull out all the stops and show me what you have learned. Remember you must FIRST state the issue and THEN state your position on the issue.
*****You must submit your introductory funnel paragraph and thesis statement to Blackboard by 9 pm, November 20th.
I will read this part of your paper, make general comments on them and send them back to you. I will NOT edit this for grammatical, syntactical (look it up) or punctuation errors. I will only tell you whether you have a clear, focused, viable thesis statement and if your intro is on the right track. You may get as little as “Fine” in response. This is not a graded part of the paper, but failure to submit it on time will result in a lowered grade on the final product.
GET STARTED IMMEDIATELY! Plan your time wisely, annotate the articles, choose your position, and start writing.
I will be there to collect your papers at a time determined to be the best for all of us. I will send an email to determine when that time will be.
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANT POINTS:
Read all five article posted on Blackboard.
Decide on your position.
Print and annotate any (or all) of the articles as necessary for your success with this assignment.
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