The purpose of this paper is to compel you to think about your topic, question, and argument (also called thesis) and begin narrowing and focusing. Why is this important? Paper topic proposal and positionality papers help students by encouraging you to r

research topic: “How does legalizing marijuana in New York affect society”

The purpose of this paper is to compel you to think about your topic, question, and argument (also called thesis) and begin narrowing and focusing. Why is this important? Paper topic proposal and positionality papers help students by encouraging you to reflect and possible redirect you away from a potentially unworkable topic. Better to work through some growing pains now and avoid finding out too late that your topic/question isnt going to work!

Description/Justification of your topic: A topic is what your research paper (to be completed in your capstone, not in this class) will be about and gives you clear focus. (A major/broad topic like policing, or even race and policing can be broken down into much more manageable and realistic pieces for your research such as diversity recruitment in the NYPD and its potential impacts on crime. It is crucial you pick something focused and specific rather than too broad. Always try to zoom in!

A: Identify your topic. Why did you choose this topic? Explain how you see yourself as a researcher in your chosen field (tell me about your layered identities or your positionality in relationship to your research topic). What is your area of interest and how did this interest arise? How might your identity/position or your location (literal and figurative) affect your research? How do you see yourself in the insider/outsider debate and what are the advantages and disadvantages of this?

B: Explain: how is your topic related to this course? That is, what Law & Society-related themes/issues/ concepts will be central to your research question?

Research Question: A good research question is a clear, focused, concise, complex and arguable question that you are in the position to answer (and you will ultimately come to answer in your final research paper after conducting primary research in your capstone). The question must be socio-legal (drawing on Law and Society themes and issues). A question is not a statement or a description; it poses a question with a question mark. A good question cant be answered with a yes or no. How, To what extent, or why questions tend to work better.

        C: So, Tell me, what is your (Law and Society) research question?

This is not solely an academic exercise, it is personal as well. While I do need to see evidence of course readings, I must also hear about your position and/or your politics in relation to your research topic for this course.

2 page maximum, not including a bibliography/work cited page, Times New Roman and 12 pt. font, 1-inch margins. Pages should be double-spaced and numbered, as always. This is a (short) exploratory/descriptive essay (this is not an argumentative essay where you need to prove your thesis or convince me of your hypothesis). No outside research is to be done! This is a formal essay so spelling, grammar, and sentence structure all count. You must have accuracy and consistency in the citation method used in text and on bibliography.

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