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SOC Race and Crime in the United States- 288-005: Home

The Guide is designed to help students find academic resources relevant to the course such as historical and contemporary theoretical perspectives advanced by sociologist and criminologists.

required texts


Analytic Research Paper (20% of final grade)

Students are required to write a 5-8 PAGE critical research paper to discuss the social construction of race in a high-profile criminal case.  This assignment is designed to assess your knowledge and application of Learning Goals 1-5 for this course.  See Appendix for criteria used to assess analytic research papers.  What follows is the schedule for the analytic research paper:  


  • Students should use appropriate newspaper articles and at least TWO peer-reviewed research articles to track and document the language, images, and narratives about the case that REIFY race and criminology as intertwining concepts. Television shows are not appropriate research options.
  • Students are required to use one or more of the theories discussed in class.  Explain the relationship between race and crime, as illustrated by this case.
  • Students must analyze a particular aspect of the case, such as sentencing, policing, courts, victimization, and/or corrections, where race and crime are intertwined.
  • Students are required to fully integrate one or more of the concepts/ideas raised by Michelle Alexander in The New Jim Crow into their analysis/discussion of the case.  This must involve more than a superficial mentioning of the research in this monograph.
  • Students should take great care when offering individual-level explanations for criminal behavior unless they can document a pattern of behavior that illustrates that the criminal motive is race related—as is the case in some hate crimes.  
  • A separate reference page, in APA format, is required for this paper.
  • These papers must be submitted through “Turnitin.”  See details below.
  • The following cases MAY NOT be used by students as topics for their final paper:  Central Park Jogger; OJ Simpson; Michael Brown 



Good place to start: eBraryAn ebook collection of more than 70,000 covering all topics.


Coordinator of Instructional Services/Reference Librarian

Prof. Tatiana Bryant's picture
Prof. Tatiana Bryant
205 Swirbul Library
Garden City, NY 11530