Research Paper Questions

TO:  All Students

Following are three alternate Research Paper questions.  You may write your paper on any one of the three.

0. Should “water boarding” be used as an interrogation technique? – The concern is effectiveness, limits, morality, etc.  Do not discuss current law on legality. 

1. Should the U.S. military be used for border security to help prevent illegal immigration?

2. Should martial law be declared in border towns (e.g., Laredo, Texas) where Mexican drug cartels pose a danger to U.S. citizens?

3. Did the DOJ and FBI abuse the FISA warrant process in the 2016 election cycle?

As applicable, your paper should include a review of state and federal law, the U.N. Charter and pronouncements, relevant Geneva Conventions, and other related international law and treaties.  You may use any other relevant sources, so long as the sources are academic in nature.  Wikipedia is not a valid primary academic source.  News media should be used sparingly.  Do not forget the ultimate question for this course, is what you propose legal?

Take a position, set it forth in your thesis, and support it with the sources you have found in your research.  Note that it matters not whether the Instructor may or may not agree with your position – do not presume what you think the instructor’s position might be – what matters is whether you have adequately supported it in a logical, rational manner with adequate research.  In other words, convince your Instructor that your position is correct.

If you would like to write a paper on a different topic, you most submit a written request to the Instructor.  If the Instructor preapproves your topic, you may submit a paper on that topic.  Requests must be submitted on the “Messages” link.   Such request should be submitted in the first week of this course.

A few additional issues to remember:

· First, do not appeal to emotion.  This is not a sociology, philosophy, or religion course.  This is a law course.

· Second, follow the instructions provided on how to prepare and submit your paper.

· Third, while the primary concern is the subject matter addressed in your paper, be aware that spelling, punctuation, grammar, etc. are considered in grading.

Once more, review the instructions on the Research Paper which were previously provided.

If you are having any problems, please contact me.

Pete Kleff

Pierre A. Kleff, Jr., JD, MA

· Research Paper Instructions

TO:  All Students

It is important that you think of the Research Paper as an example of your ability to research a subject and not a test of how much you know about a subject.  In every case, a paper that ignores the wider narrative in favor of an in-depth study of an issue within the wider narrative is preferred.

To this end, you should include primary source material in your paper.  There is a significant amount of primary source material available to you through the Central Texas College library site.  The Internet provides a plethora of research material.

Your Research Paper should be not less than five (5) pages in length, spacing 1.5, and use Arial font 11.   Insert page numbers and center at bottom.   It is preferable to use footnotes, as opposed to endnotes.   It is not necessary to include a bibliography.   Sources referenced should be included in either the body or footnotes. Note: Wikipedia is not a valid primary or end source.

A sample research paper is attached.   See site menu at the left of your screen.   It is an example for you to emulate or follow.   Do not fret, it is a graduate level course paper.   Note: the Instructor will provide you the question. The thesis and content are your responsibility.  Follow the format in the sample paper.

There is no preference as to the writing style you use. Here are the three major academic writing styles:

· American Psychological Association (APA) Style: It is quite difficult to meet all the requirements.  Most Instructors do not particularly care for APA.  If you use it, however, be sure to follow the instructions above regarding footnotes, which is contrary to APA.

· Modern Language Association (MLA) Style: This style is not so strict comparing to APA or other styles. MLA is the most used style for academic writing.  It has its own citation and reference rules but in general you have a wide discretion.  Here you are to pay attention to spacing and formatting requirements.  In-text citations of this style are simple.  If you use this style, again follow the instructions above for footnotes.

· The Chicago Style: Another format style used mostly for topics on humanitarian sciences.  Here, unlike APA style, you use footnotes at the bottom of appropriate page.  In this course, no bibliographical page is required. Chicago style is preferred.

With regard to proper citations, here are some examples:

Miscamble, Wilson D., From Roosevelt to Truman: Potsdam, Hiroshima, and the Cold War (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 51.

Churchill, Winston, “The Sinews of Peace”, Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches 1897-1963 Volume VII: 1943-1949, ed. Rhodes James (New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1974), 7285-7293.

Quoted by Kreinin, Mordechai E., “The ‘Outer-Seven’ and European Integration,” American Economic Review 50 (June 1960), 371.

Kreinin, op. cit., 370.

Citations for court cases are critical and must be correct. Here are some examples from your course:

Berlin Democratic Club v. Rumsfeld, 410 F.Supp.144 (1976)

Zweibon v. Mitchell, 720 F.2d 162 (1983)

Brown v. United States, 484 F.2d 418 (1973), cert. den. 415 U.S. 960 (1974)

Butenko v. United States, 392 U.S. 923 (1968)

As an aside, using the Instructor as a source, reference, or authority, while perhaps flattering to the Instructor, is discouraged.

If you are having any problems, please contact me.

Pete Kleff

Pierre A. Kleff, Jr., JD, MA