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SOC 261 Crime and Punishment: Home

(Prof Johnson)

Writing A Position Paper

Below you will fink links to handouts that  will provide you with techniques and strategies for writing position papers, as well as their elements.


Students are required to complete three directed, analytic essays.  Detailed instructions for each essay will be distributed in class.  The first essay (2-3 pages) will be a position paper, (See the box to the left for more information on how to write a position paper)

Paper 2  (5-8 pages), Paper 3 (6-10 pages) -students must construct research-based arguments and counter-arguments on one of the following issues: (These two papers require you to conduct library research and locate valid statistical data to support your position

  • torture as an effective punishment and deterrence
  • capital punishment as deterrence to violent crime
  • alternatives to imprisonment for non-violent crime
  • children tried as adults as effective punishment and deterrence strategy
  • "Stand Your Ground Laws" as effective deterrence strategies.

e-Reference Sources

Use the sources below to get some background information on your topic.  These sources contain overviews and information on the issues. Information is presented from the perpective of different social science disciplines and subject areas. They are a good starting place 

Coordinator of Instructional Services/Reference Librarian

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