Research Essay

Research Essay
Topics and Instructions
This assignment requires you to write an essay that examines how a literary source (which you will choose from a list) can help us understand issues about law and/or justice. To complete this assignment successfully, you will need to

(1) read a primary source Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace
(2) decide which of the questions about law/justice (see list below) you will answer, based on the primary source you choose
(3) conduct additional research, using secondary sources, to help you understand the primary source and to help you understand the law/justice issues you are planning to discuss and
(4) write a formal essay based on this research. This assignment requires significant time and effort, so you should plan accordingly.
You must use the following as your primary source. Your essay must make detailed and explicit reference to this source. That is, you must answer your chosen question (see list below) based on this source. Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace

The Complaints List of Questions Using your chosen source as the basis of your answer, write an essay that addresses the following questions. 1. What does the source tell us about the role/purpose of law?

You must use at least six scholarly secondary sources by different authors (articles in academic journals and academic books; electronic versions of these are fine, but other internet-based research is not allowed for this assignment), in addition to the primary source you have chosen from the list above, in the preparation of your essay. Things that are assigned readings for this course do not count towards this minimum number of sources. These can be sources that specifically discuss the primary source you have chosen, things that discuss legal issues in your primary source (e.g. if there is a murder in the novel you have chosen, you might find it helpful to read things about the law of homicide, or about how murder trials are conducted, or about how evidence is collected at crime scenes, and so on), The purpose of this requirement is for you to have enough information to work with, so you can write a strong essay. There is a lot of flexibility about what sources you choose here, but your sources must be relevant to your essay; learning how to identify what information you need to find out in order to understand a chosen topic, and learning how to find that information, are essential academic skills. You must acknowledge all uses of all your sources, even when you do not quote directly from them. You must provide an appropriate reference every time you refer to a fact, idea, argument, etc. that you have taken from any source. This includes providing a reference when you mention things that happen in the primary source you have chosen. This must include the specific page or range of pages (or chapter number, if you are using an e-book that does not have page numbers) where the information you are using can be found within the source; identifying the entire book or article is not acceptable.
All references must be provided in either footnotes or endnotes (you may choose which of these you prefer, but you must choose one of these and use it consistently – you should not have both footnotes and endnotes in your paper). The use of imbedded or parenthetical references is not allowed for this assignment. All references must be formatted in Chicago Style Your essay must be structured as a formal academic essay, with an introduction, body, and conclusion. You might be familiar with the ‘five paragraph’ essay structure from your high school classes; in university, you are allowed to have more than three paragraphs in the body of your essay and you are expected to have paragraph breaks wherever they are appropriate for the overall structure of your argument. Each paragraph should deal with only one main point, which should be identified in the topic (first) sentence of the paragraph. Your essay must make a real argument that is expressed in a clear thesis statement contained in your introduction. The argument must be supported by relevant evidence drawn from scholarly sources.

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