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Intro to Law & Politics Essay Paper

Intro to Law & Politics Essay Paper

Guidelines for Papers


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  1. Formulate a thesis that responds to the question(s) in the essay prompt. This thesis needs to state a non-trivial argument and must be supported by reasons and evidence, not simply assertions of belief. A thesis does not simply promise to explore or examine a topic, but states a clear position. A good test is whether your thesis includes the word “because” (or an equivalent) and gives reasons for the conclusion that you ultimately reach. The thesis should be included in either the first or second paragraph. An academic paper should not read like a mystery novel.
  1. Every paragraph in your paper should advance your thesis. Each paragraph should include a statement explaining how the idea explored in that paragraph supports the larger thesis, or at a minimum, describing the idea you are developing in that paragraph within the context established in your thesis. This need not be mechanical, but it does provide a useful test of whether the paragraph is advancing the thesis.
  1. Your introduction should contain your thesis and outline some of the ideas and evidence you will use to support your thesis. The middle of the paper should contain those ideas and evidence. Your conclusion should restate your thesis, review the reasons and evidence for your thesis, and explore any relevant implications of your larger argument. As many writing instructors have said before me, “Tell me what you’re going to tell me, tell me, and then tell me what you told me. Intro to Law & Politics Essay Paper”
  1. You must edit and proofread your work. Read through your paper carefully to discover and correct stray words, misspellings, confusing sentences, poor grammar, and faulty punctuation. The more work I have to do in correcting your work, the lower your grade. The purpose of requiring you to submit a hard copy version of an earlier draft is to help you develop the habit of editing and proofreading your work on hard copy, where you are far more likely to discover errors and omissions. This skill will serve you well in your other classes and in your professional life.


Papers must be typed, approximately five pages, double-spaced, with one inch margin all around. Do NOT exceed six pages. Use black ink and a twelve point (ten characters per inch) or larger font; Times New Roman or CG Times are preferred. Violators will be forced to purchase new reading glasses for the instructor. Do NOT use a cover page or submit your paper in a binder.

Proper Style

  1. Style is essential and your sentences should be written with an eye towards clarity. Simple writing is powerful writing. Avoid flowery prose and limit your use of adjectives. Thesaurus abusers and creative writers will be required to enter a twelve-step program. Use direct construction and avoid subjunctive clauses, which detract from readability and often result in sentence fragments. A big mistake is made by using passive voice. It is never important (or interesting) to begin a sentence by stating “It is important (or interesting) to note …” One useful tip for developing a better style is to get into the habit of reading your own work aloud so that you can listen for meaning and assess each sentence’s natural flow.
  1. Avoid long quotes. Choose only those portions of a passage that are most relevant to your point. A paper that is largely constituted of long quotations speaks to the student’s lack of own voice and perspective, as well as a degree of laziness.

Block quote any quotation longer than two full lines in a separate paragraph that is indented and single-spaced. Do not place quotation


marks at either end of a block quote, but do include citation in parentheses

at the end (Levin 2012).

  1. Use possessives and plurals properly. “It is” is properly abbreviated “it’s,” whereas “its” indicates the third person gender neutral possessive. Otherwise, an apostrophe indicates a possessive, not a plural.Use words properly. Avoid slang and contractions (e.g., don’t => do not). Use precise language whenever possible. “Since” does not mean “because.” “Impact” is not a verb unless describing a hammer striking. If something affects something else, it has an effect Intro to Law & Politics Essay Paper.
  1. Punctuation belonging to a quote belongs inside of the quotation marks (in the United States). You do not need a comma before all quotations, although it may be appropriate in particular instances (see a style manual). The use of ellipses (…) to begin or end a quote is discouraged. If you are using parenthetical citation, end the quote, insert the parenthetical citation, and finish with a period. If you are using footnotes, use the period, end quotations marks, then footnote. Punctuation inside quotes is a British, not American, practice; anyone placing punctuation outside of quotations marks must provide a passport from a British Commonwealth country.

Sources and Citation


  1. You are encouraged to use outside sources. However, you should only use proper academic sources. Internet only sources are prohibited. This includes not just Wikipedia, but any other internet only source. The University maintains several very expensive and quite useful subscriptions to large article databases (these include JSTOR and ESBSCO) which are reachable through the Marriott Library catalog. Use these resources. They are of much higher quality than what will appear on a Google search. Only sources with a print version will be accepted.
  1. You are responsible for providing proper attribution whenever you use the work or thoughts of others. There are two forms of attribution. When you paraphrase another person’s general position but do not use their language, you must cite the work you are drawing these ideas from, but you need not provide a page number, i.e. (Levin 2012). When you use another’s words, your citation must include a page number, i.e. (Levin

2012, 178). All quotes must include the source and page number Intro to Law & Politics Essay Paper.

  1. Learn proper citation form, it will serve you well in this and future courses. Most instructors prefer parenthetical citation, and thus I recommend APA citation (explained most fully in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association – a quick guide is found at For this class, you may use any of the other standard citation forms such as MLA (The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers), Chicago (The Chicago Manual of Style) or Turabian (Kate Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations).You can find short style guides online that will cover most common forms of material and the full versions in the Marriott Library’s Reference section, at the University bookstore, or at such online stores at Amazon. It is worth your while to purchase a style guide and use it consistently.



  1. When citing assigned readings from the text, you may simply cite the author of the reading (not the editor of the text) and, if quoting, the page number, i.e. (Hart, 118).

Choose one essay topic from the two below. Essays should be typed, approximately five pages long, double-spaced, with one inch margins all around, and use 12 pt font (Times New Roman preferred). Do NOT exceed five pages (although you may include references on a 6th page). Papers must be written in grammatical, standard English and all quotations must be indicated with quotation marks and some form of citation.


Select one essay question.

1. There are few issues that have been greater tests for Americans’ ideas about the family and civil rights than same sex marriage. While advocates of “marriage equality” argue that laws restricting marriage to heterosexuals discriminate without proper rationale, those opposed to same sex marriage argue that it would undo long-standing tradition and change the meaning of marriage in a detrimental fashion. Using our readings and cases treating a number of different concerns relating to family law, as well as any outside materials you may choose, make an argument for or against same sex marriage accounting for the positions held by the opposing side.


2. Equality may mean many different things to different people. Using as many of the readings and cases as possible, as well as appropriate outside sources, make an argument for, or against, affirmative action on the basis of race in the United States. Is equality desirable? If so, what kind of equality? How is equality different from fairness, and which is the more important principle? And finally, is affirmative action a proper response to the inequality in resources between whites, African-Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanics in the United States?

Text Book:-
David M. Adams,Philosophical Problems in the Law, 4th Ed. (Wadsworth, 2005), henceforth PPL.

I will upload the reading.
Please refer mostly to the book, readings and writer’s own words.
Please use simple vocabulary suitable for an ESL writer student.
Use clear and straightforward writing style Intro to Law & Politics Essay Paper.

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