Heading for extra credit essay...help?

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jbarl1
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Heading for extra credit essay...help?

Postby jbarl1 » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:37 am

My criminal law professor has decided to throw a wrench into everyone's plans and offer an extra credit essay. The essay can be on any topic within the scope of criminal law but he said it should be something we can passionately write about. We haven't covered much in the class so far (my professor, sweet and nice as he is, likes to tell a lot of stories) so I don't really know what I would want to write about. The essay will be graded on a 0-7 scale and the number of points awarded will be added to the students raw point total final grade for the class (the class is 85% exam, 15% class participation). As all of you know, this has the potential to have a big effect on the curve and on my grade. I feel like not writing the essay is not an option. So, does anyone have any topic ideas or advice on how to approach this? All my professor has said beyond what I have already told you all is that the essay should probably be similar in format to a law review article and can be no more than 10 pages. Advice please?!
Last edited by jbarl1 on Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous Loser
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Re: Criminal Law Extra Credit Essay

Postby Anonymous Loser » Fri Oct 08, 2010 8:50 am

There's no shortage of legal blogs out there discussing cutting-edge criminal law issues: check these out for ideas. Google the following: Confrontation Blog, Crime & Consequences, CrimProf Blog, Sentencing Law & Policy.

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jbarl1
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Re: Criminal Law Extra Credit Essay

Postby jbarl1 » Fri Oct 08, 2010 4:57 pm

Thanks for those...anyone else have any advice?

LoriBelle
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Re: Criminal Law Extra Credit Essay

Postby LoriBelle » Sat Oct 09, 2010 12:49 pm

You could write about mistake of age as a defense to production (or distribution? can't remember which one SCOTUS has already decided) of explicit images of minors. That's a hot circuit split right now. There are law review articles about it too.

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king3780
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Re: Criminal Law Extra Credit Essay

Postby king3780 » Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:59 pm

I don't have much in the way of advice, but I'm amazed that a professor would ask for a "law review style" essay from a bunch of first semester 1Ls. Have you even written a memo yet? You're four or five steps from being ready to write the kind of essay the prof is asking for. Then again, I guess your classmates are similarly situated, so you have that going for you. It does appear your stuck writing something to keep up with the Jones's though.

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jbarl1
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Re: Criminal Law Extra Credit Essay

Postby jbarl1 » Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:32 pm

king3780 wrote:I don't have much in the way of advice, but I'm amazed that a professor would ask for a "law review style" essay from a bunch of first semester 1Ls. Have you even written a memo yet? You're four or five steps from being ready to write the kind of essay the prof is asking for. Then again, I guess your classmates are similarly situated, so you have that going for you. It does appear your stuck writing something to keep up with the Jones's though.


I'm about to hand in my first memo this coming Friday. After that, we have a week before we start our second memo, which is worth a huge part of our legal writing grade. I was hoping I could use the week in between to knock out this essay.

I only know of a few of my classmates who are planning on writing the essay (maybe about 5 or 6 people), but those are the same people who I think I will be competing against for top marks. After looking at a few things I was thinking of writing about either "Katies Law" in Colorado (a law which will make it mandatory for felons to submit a DNA sample to a state database) or something about felon voting. I don't mean to sound like a moron 1L (which I essentially am at this point), but how are law review articles written? Would I be arguing an opinion about the issue? Some advice on how to attack whatever issue I choose would be great!

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nealric
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Re: Criminal Law Extra Credit Essay

Postby nealric » Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:42 pm

I only know of a few of my classmates who are planning on writing the essay (maybe about 5 or 6 people)


Weird. I think every single person in my 1L class would have done this had it been offered.

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king3780
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Re: Criminal Law Extra Credit Essay

Postby king3780 » Sat Oct 09, 2010 8:00 pm

nealric wrote:
I only know of a few of my classmates who are planning on writing the essay (maybe about 5 or 6 people)


Weird. I think every single person in my 1L class would have done this had it been offered.


Probably a lot of sandbaggers in his class... tell people you aren't going to write the essay so they won't feel compelled, decrease the competition.

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jbarl1
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Re: Criminal Law Extra Credit Essay

Postby jbarl1 » Sat Oct 09, 2010 8:02 pm

king3780 wrote:
nealric wrote:
I only know of a few of my classmates who are planning on writing the essay (maybe about 5 or 6 people)


Weird. I think every single person in my 1L class would have done this had it been offered.


Probably a lot of sandbaggers in his class... tell people you aren't going to write the essay so they won't feel compelled, decrease the competition.


At the beginning I thought for sure everyone would write the essay. But now it seems like a lot of people are starting to feel weighed down by the course load. This doesn't seem like a priority to a lot of people because it isn't required. Like I said, to me it is not optional at all, but to others it seems like it just doesn't matter.

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jbarl1
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Heading for extra credit essay...help?

Postby jbarl1 » Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:33 am

So I wrote my extra credit essay (thank you to everyone who helped me find a topic) but I don't know what type of heading to use. Should I center a title with my name under it? Should I include the professor's name and the class somewhere? I was thinking of doing an MLA style heading but I didn't know if there was a particular bluebook heading that I should be using. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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Paichka
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Re: Heading for extra credit essay...help?

Postby Paichka » Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:46 am

Here's a decent format (how my LR Note is organized):

I. Introduction

Here is where you lay out the problem (Katie's Law, or whatever), your thesis, and the roadmap for your paper.

II. Legal and Factual Background

Discuss the facts of whatever case led to Katie's Law, and what the legal landscape looks like now. In that jurisdiction, what does the law require, and what would happen to someone who failed to comply with the law?

III. Analysis

Your argument for why the law is problematic, or awesome. "The law is awesome because it serves a great public policy objective and is not unconstitutional" vs. "This law, while well-intentioned, is ridiculously unconstitutional because of X, Y, and Z."

IV. Counterarguments

Any holes in your analysis, and your responses to those holes. "Some might argue that the law is actually constitutional under a state's power to make laws affecting welfare of its people, blah blah blah, but that argument ignores X, Y and Z."

V. Conclusion

Restate thesis, summarize analysis, done.

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jbarl1
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Re: Heading for extra credit essay...help?

Postby jbarl1 » Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:00 am

Paichka wrote:Here's a decent format (how my LR Note is organized):

I. Introduction

Here is where you lay out the problem (Katie's Law, or whatever), your thesis, and the roadmap for your paper.

II. Legal and Factual Background

Discuss the facts of whatever case led to Katie's Law, and what the legal landscape looks like now. In that jurisdiction, what does the law require, and what would happen to someone who failed to comply with the law?

III. Analysis

Your argument for why the law is problematic, or awesome. "The law is awesome because it serves a great public policy objective and is not unconstitutional" vs. "This law, while well-intentioned, is ridiculously unconstitutional because of X, Y, and Z."

IV. Counterarguments

Any holes in your analysis, and your responses to those holes. "Some might argue that the law is actually constitutional under a state's power to make laws affecting welfare of its people, blah blah blah, but that argument ignores X, Y and Z."

V. Conclusion

Restate thesis, summarize analysis, done.


Thanks for this, but I have already written the essay (in a very similar format, so it is good to know that it is acceptable) but I just need to know how to format the heading on the paper. Like how to put the title and my name and all that. Thanks!

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Paichka
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Re: Heading for extra credit essay...help?

Postby Paichka » Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:17 am

Oh, I see.

Okay, well then, just a standard heading should be sufficient.

"Admin information" (Left Justified)
Name
Professor
Date

"Title of Article" (centered)

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jbarl1
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Re: Heading for extra credit essay...help?

Postby jbarl1 » Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:31 am

Paichka wrote:Oh, I see.

Okay, well then, just a standard heading should be sufficient.

"Admin information" (Left Justified)
Name
Professor
Date

"Title of Article" (centered)


Thank you!

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wiseowl
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Re: Heading for extra credit essay...help?

Postby wiseowl » Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:45 am

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