The last month has seen civil rights protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The national discussion over civil rights has been wide ranging and one aspect of that discussion involves the way in which police shootings are investigated/prosecuted. Some argue that the close relationship between local police and district attorneys makes a proper investigation of police conduct difficult. There have been calls for a police shootings to be handled through an independent prosecutor that does not normally work with local police. In what came as a surprise to some, Texas’ Attorney General Ken Paxton proposed that his office, the State Attorney General’s Office, investigate police shootings in Texas instead of local district attorneys.
Perform further research and arrive at a position. Should investigations of police be handled by an independent prosecutor or should they continue to be handled by local district attorneys?
Students will write a 400, not to exceed 450, word position paper over the work assigned
by the instructor. The bibliography and heading do not count towards the required word
count. The paper must be written in MLA
format, double spaced, and include a bibliography if
outside sources are used. Students are expected to utilize proper grammar and syntax. The
After performing thorough research establish a position on the topic in question. There
may be multiple topics in a single assigned reading that could be chosen to form your
thesis. Focus on
of those topics.
Do not summarize the piece you are writing about
. A few lines of general
summary are sufficient, but the bulk of the paper needs to focus on your reaction.
Students are expected to make use outside sources when researching and
writing their reaction papers. Students must document these sources in a
bibliography and via parenthetical citations. Failure to do this is plagiarism. Avoid using
You are entitled to your opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts. Personal
opinion cannot be “wrong”, but you can demonstrate poor logic or utilize inaccurate or
distorted information. Engage in due diligence when referencing fact
s and conclusions and think critically about your own reasoning. Points will be deducted for issues in this.
Anecdotal evidence (I knew someone who…) is rarely sufficient support
of an argument.
Likewise, differing points of view should be given a fair hearing and shouldn’t be
altered to align with your criticism. Do not construct “strawman” arguments to pick
apart and do not engage in ad hominem or unsupported personal attacks.
At all times students should demonstrate logical critical thinking skills,
illustrate clarity of though when expressing personal opinion, and should
support claims and arguments with credible evidence/supporting opinions.
Dig deeper when writing these papers. Avoid cliché theses like “People should be
better educated” or “Politicians should work together more”. The instructor is looking
for a clash of ideas, solutions to problems, and a consideration of potential counter
arguments to student’s ideas. Students should demonstrate they can express an
opinion without blindly rejecting arguments against it. Students should strive to follow
the truth wherever it leads
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