Formatting: Your paper should be submitted in Microsoft Word, and include a title page, be double spaced in Times New Roman with a 12-point font and 1″ margins on each side, and contain a reference page with a minimum of 10 scholarly sources. It should be approximately 10 pages in length, not including reference lists, graphics or non-substantive material. Your paper should be formatted according to APA 6th Edition guidelines.
Academic Sources: You should conduct research and use academic sources to support your statements. Research should come from academic sources such as case law, statutes and law review articles in Nexis Uni, articles in the APUS Library (Summon), newspaper articles, federal/state government websites, court websites, and academic studies containing statistics. You may also do research at your local library, museums or conduct interviews. Non-academic websites, such as Wikipedia or advertising blogs, such as Findlaw, may not be used.
Introduction: Your introduction should not be longer than two pages.
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Thesis Statement: Immediately after your introduction, you must present a clear thesis statement. In simplistic terms, a thesis statement is the main point of your paper that tells the reader what you intend to argue later in your paper. Word your thesis statement, as follows: “My thesis statement is . . . .” The thesis statement should not be longer than two sentences, and normally one is sufficient.
Road Map: Immediately after your thesis statement, you must provide a clear road map to let the reader know where you are going with your paper. Word your road map, as follows: “My paper will first briefly explore . . . , followed by . . . . Finally I will defend my thesis by . . . .” Your road map should be only a few sentences, but it must be clear.
Background: Next, provide a brief but clear background of your topic. This may only be one page or less.
Defense of Thesis: Now you are at the meat of the paper, defending your thesis statement. This must be at least five to ten full pages, and you must use your research to defend your thesis. This is the hardest part of your paper, and this is where you need to focus your time and energy. Why? You must present clear arguments, supported by your research, to defend your thesis. Three major issues in this area — (1) Conclusory statements must be supported with your research; (2) Do not use provoking language which amounts to merely an opinion; and (3) You need to fill in glaring gaps.
Conclusion: Conclude your paper in one page or less.