Research Paper: The paper must be seven to eight (7 – 8) pages in length (to include the title page,

Research Paper:

The paper must be seven to eight (7 – 8) pages in length (to include the title page, the body of the paper, and the reference page). APA format is required. The paper should be double-spaced, in 12-point font, and with one inch (1”) margins all around, except for the title page. Do not add extra spaces between the paragraphs of your paper.

The student should select a topic for the paper that generally fits into the focus of this course. The paper should detail the selected topic so that a person reading the paper would gain a sound understanding of that topic.

NOTE: Paper will be submitted as a Word attachment to an email to the instructor’s Kent email address no later than the date specified in the Assignment Schedule. Late papers will not be accepted.

Describe the Selected Problem – Identify a social problem (a problem that affects many people) that has either affected you personally, someone close to you, or a community to which you belong, and which you feel needs to be addressed. Include some research on the problem—how many people are affected? What are some of the negative effects that stem from this problem? (For example, if you select campus shootings, you might research PTSD among shooting victims, the number of lives lost, etc. If you select a certain type of cancer, how widespread is it? How does it affect those who are diagnosed, and their loved ones?)

*To some extent, social problems are in the eye of the beholder. For example, some people will view abortion as a social problem, whereas others will view a lack of access to safe abortions as a social problem. You will not be graded on your specific perspective, so long as you adequately justify that your selected topic is a social problem through your description and research of the negative effects.

Research Existing Laws – Summarize what you learn through your research about state or federal laws and/or Supreme Court rulings pertaining to your issue. (With the campus shooting example, you might focus on laws surrounding gun ownership or regulation; with the cancer example, you might focus on laws surrounding the regulation of products that may increase that type of cancer, or laws regulating the standard of treatment/medical care for patients.)

Analyze the Effects of Existing Laws – Provide a consideration of the intended and unintended effects (both positive and negative) of the existing law(s). Do you think the legal system can effectively address your identified social problem? Why or why not? Are there any specific legal changes you would recommend? Explain your answer.

Utilize at least 5 different reliable resources within your paper. (Reliable resources include textbooks, .gov websites, .edu websites, books, or scholarly journal articles.) You should provide information about your sources in a reference list at the end of your paper in APA format.

Grading will follow the below guideline:

Significantly Lacking

Needs Improvement




Length (expected: 7 – 8 pages, standard formatting)* 1-3 pages long

(0-5 pts) 4 pages long

(6 pts) 5 pages long

(7 pts) Onto 7th page (but not a full 7 pages)

(8 pts) 6+ pages long

(10 pts)

Sources (expected: 5 reliable)* Paper shows no evidence of outside sources.

(0 pts) Paper contains substantial evidence of research, but cites two or fewer reliablesources.

(6 pts) Paper references three

(3) reliable sources.

(7 pts) Paper references four (4) reliable sources.

(8 pts) Paper references at least five (5) reliable sources.

(10 pts)

Writing Skill: No submission, or was significantly disorganized and difficult to follow or did not clearly identify or explore the assignment at hand.

(0 pts) Paper did not follow the correct style format and assigned guidelines, and writing and editing contained errors.

(12-13 pts) Paper somewhat followed the correct style format and assigned guidelines, but writing and editing contain errors.

(14-15 pts) Paper is in the correct style format and within the assigned guidelines, but writing and editing are less than excellent.

(16-19 pts) Paper used correct style format and followed all assigned guidelines with well-structured, polished writing and careful editing.

(20 pts)

Effective Use of Source Material: No submission, or no examples were provided in the paper of social problems or relevant laws.

(0 pts) Paper offers irrelevant or haphazardly chosen examples of social problems and relevant laws.

(30-41 pts) Paper offered some examples and/or source material regarding social problem and relevant laws, but lacked detail and depth.

(42-49 pts) Paper included detailed examples and quotes from sources, but in a way that is less than excellent.

(50-57 pts) Paper offers detailed examples and quotes from source materials in a manner that effectively illuminates the relevant social problem and related laws.

(58-60 pts)

Factual Accuracy/ Understanding of Relevant Laws No submission, or the paper did not discuss laws relevant to the identified social problem.

(0 pts) The paper was based on factual misrepresentations or misunderstandings.

(40-69 pts) The paper identified relevant laws, but included some factual misrepresentations and/or misunderstandings.

(70-84 pts) The paper provided a basic but not detailed assessment of relevant laws—it might have gone into greater depth.

(85-95 pts) The paper demonstrated a clear, detailed, and correct assessment of the applicable laws and facts and their implications.

(96-100 pts)

*While minimal points are specifically allocated to page length and number of integrated resources, failures in these areas are likely to impact the depth of your coverage of your research topic, which could be significantly detrimental to your project grade.

If sources are not properly cited within your paper, I reserve the right to assign a 0, in which case the above rubric would not apply. Proper citations include both in-text citations and a complete reference list.


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