Week 2 – Assignment
Final Paper Preparation
To prepare for your Final Paper (due in Week Five), complete the following assignment and submit it to
your instructor for feedback. Your paper should include a problem statement, outline, and annotated
Problem Statement: Describe the social problem selected for your paper.
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.
• What is the problem? Be sure to narrow your problem enough to allow a focused examination.
• What are the individual and social implications of this problem? Discussion of implications
should be supported by accurate research data.
• What do the experts say about the problem?
• What have we, as a society, done about this problem? Consider public policies and other, less
• How are public policies and other, less formal responses working?
• Describe an alternative solution to the problem.
• Discuss 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.
In short, define a problem, discuss the response, and provide alternative responses to the problem. For
example, your problem could be drug use/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.