. Proposition: The main purpose of a prison sentence should be reforming the offender.
Regardless of the topic you choose, start your research with your texts. Review all the material relevant to your selected topic in your main text, Sociology: the Basics, and your reader, Seeing Ourselves.
Next, expand your view of the issue by tracking down sources beyond the text, using the following resources:
Topic 2: Deviance
. Begin by reviewing Chapter 7, “Deviance
,” beginning on page 170. Here, your focus might center on “The U.S. Criminal Justice System” (page 192). You may also find it useful to backtrack to Chapter 3 to think anew about the topic
of resocialization. In Seeing Ourselves, read “On Being Sane in Insane Places,” beginning on page 144, and “The Code of the Streets,” starting on page 157.
To reach beyond these sources to gather information on actual conditions within the U.S. prison system, you can start with the following resources:
n Read “The Effects of Postsecondary Correctional Education: Final Report” by entering this link into your Web browser: (Hint: The term recidivism refers to the rate at which incarcerated persons are returned to prison after being released.)
n An opinion piece on Forbes’ Web site will give you a slant on the dysfunctions of the U.S. prison system. Access “Jailhouse Blues” at the following site:
The components of your research paper must include n A cover sheet
n The body of your paper (your five paragraphs) n An endnotes page that cites the works and sources
you’ve used to write your paper
Developing the Body of Your Paper
Use this pattern to develop a first draft of your research/ opinion paper:
1. State your claim.
2. Present your evidence for that claim.
3. Consider objections to your claim and refute those objections.
4. Conclude your paper.
Now that you have a topic and have a strategy in mind, organize your thoughts in an outline similar to this one:
A. Topic and opinion
B. Reason why you chose this topic (Note: Your reason must be different from your opinion.)
II. FIRST CLAIM RELATED TO YOUR MAIN THESIS A. Statement
B. Researched support for the statement
C. Objections and refutations based on your research III. SECOND CLAIM RELATED TO YOUR MAIN THESIS
A. Statement B. Researched support for the statement C. Objections and refutations based on your research
IV. THIRD CLAIM RELATED TO YOUR MAIN THESIS A. Statement
B. Researched support for the statement
C. Objections and refutations based on your research V. CONCLUSION
A. Restatement of the topic B. Restatement of the main ideas
Citing Your Sources
Because you’re writing a term paper, you may include your own ideas and experience. However, because you must refute the objections to claims you make in your paper, you must also use at least two citations from either your text, Sociology: the Basics, or your supplemental reader, Seeing Ourselves. You should also use two or more Internet or print sources.
Keep in mind that your Internet sources must be both appro- priate and credible. Make sure your sources actually speak to your paper’s premise. Always establish a Web site’s academic credibility based on the author(s) and the stated provenance (Web site publisher), such as a recognized academic or research institution.
To avoid plagiarism, use sources properly by summarizing, paraphrasing, and using direct quotes for the material you use in your paper.
n To summarize material, rewrite it in your own words without looking at the original quote. Assuming you’re familiar with the material, simply rely on your memory of what you’ve read.
n To paraphrase, write the original in such a way that it uses some words from the source, carefully reorganized to retain the spirit of the quote. You must refer to the original source when paraphrasing.
n For direct quotes, use the author’s words exactly, enclos- ing them in quotation marks.
Remember: You must give credit to the original source.
Format your paper using a standard font, such as Times New Roman, 12 point. Set the margins at the standard 1 inch on all sides. The standard style format for research papers in sociology is the American Psychological Association (APA) Manual of Style. A quick introduction to the APA style is at http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01. However, please note that you won’t be expected to prepare an APA-style cover sheet, Abstract, or Key Words. Instead,
you’ll simply follow the formatting instructions for creating the school’s required cover sheet and page header. However, within the body of your paper, you should use APA-style centered headings for the three main parts of your paper, which are the
n Introduction n Research paper title (for example, “Restoring the
American Dream” or “Families Can’t Do It Alone”) n Conclusion
Here’s an example of the APA norm for citing sources within the body of your paper: “According to Durkheim (1897), anomie is the most common source of suicidal acts by adults.”
On your Works Cited page, you’ll list your sources in alphabet- ical order according to the lead author of a source, indenting the supplemental information.
For more information on APA formatting, visit the following Web sites:
n Overview and workshop: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/664/01
n APA formatting and style guide: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01
n Documenting electronic sources: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/10
n Examples of in-text citations and reference pages: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/03
Each page of your paper must include a header. Your word processing software will help you figure out how to do that. Here’s what should be included in your header:
n Name, flush left n Page number, centered n Project number (05011700), flush right
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