1-Length :1-2 paragraphs (about half page )2-Contents:topic choice: option 1 or 2 (I chose 1) preliminary thesis statement 3-Research plan:what do you need to know and where do you guess you will find it ?
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Instructor: Aiden James Kosciesza
Final Paper Assignment Sheet
English 102 Final Research Paper:
Problem/Solution OR Representation/Reality
For your final research paper, you have a choice of two different assignments. Option 1 builds
off of the first two papers you have written in this course. Option 2 invites you to go in a
different direction and analyze a representation of prison in American media.
Option 1: Problem/Solution
Write a 10-15 page paper identifying a problem within the American prison system and
proposing a workable solution to that problem. Your solution should be detailed and wellresearched. You should consider any solutions to this problem that have already been proposed,
and either refute those proposals (explain why they wouldnt work or are not practical) or
incorporate them into your own solution. Remember, this is an argument: you are arguing (1)
that this problem exists, (2) that a solution to this problem is necessary, and (3) that your
proposal would be an effective solution to the problem.
You may use work from your previous two papers in this class as part of this final paper.
For example, your problem paper could become the first part of your problem/solution paper.
However, all previously written work MUST be thoroughly edited, revised, and integrated
into your final paper. You may NOT use any previous work from outside of this course.
Option 2: Representation/Reality
Write a 5-7 page paper examining a media representation of prison in America, such as a movie
or TV show, and analyzing its portrayal of prison realities. Is this a realistic or an unrealistic
representation of prison? Your thesis may be complex i.e. a TV show might be realistic in
some ways, but unrealistic in others but it must be precise and specific. Remember, this is an
argument: your paper is making a judgment call about the realism (or lack thereof) in a specific
media representation, and you are backing up your claim with specific evidence both from the
show or movie and from your research into prison realities. The best papers will also provide
some analysis of why you think the director/writers/producers made these representation choices.
You may NOT use any previous work as part of this final paper. If you select this option,
you are writing a completely new paper.
Research and Sources
Both of these paper topics require research, but the amount and type of research that is necessary
will depend on each individual topic. It is up to you to determine how much research is
appropriate for your final paper. Rather than trying to hit an arbitrary number of source
citations, you should do as much research as is necessary to thoroughly support your argument
with credible, relevant information. If youre having trouble determining whether youre using
enough research, come see me for help! Of course, all sources must be properly cited in MLA
format (in-text citations AND Works Cited page).
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