collect relevant empirical studies L a w
Overview: Each student will select a topic of interest related to punishment, mass incarceration,
or alternatives to incarceration. For the final podcast later in the semester, students will research
a topic independently, determine what people unfamiliar with this issue should know and
synthesize relevant information, identify at least one (specific) related problem or challenge,
identify at least two policy strategies that you would recommend, and clearly communicate this
information to a general audience
Podcast Rubric: Initial Idea (50 points)
For the first assignment, please submit 2-3 paragraphs describing the topic for your podcast and
why it is important to examine. In addition, you will need to submit a preliminary bibliography
listing at least six sources for your topic.
Clearly explain your topic and the scope of the issue. This should include what it is and
how it works in the U.S., who/how many people it impacts, a brief overview of the
historical context and how this issue has evolved over time, and the current status of this
issue (e.g., is this widespread across the country or narrowly focused). (15 points)
Identify at least one (specific) problem or challenge related to your topic. In other words,
which issue within your broader topic will you focus on for this podcast assignment?
Why is this issue important (e.g., what are the implications for people, families,
communities, public safety, etc.) (10 points)
For the initial idea summary, use in-text citations whenever you introduce an idea that is
not your original idea or general knowledge. (5 points)
o As an example, referencing that the U.S. is a world leader in terms of
incarceration rates could be considered general knowledge. A sentence describing
that over two million people are incarcerated is more specific, and requires a
citation so interested readers can flip to that source to read more about it.
Include at least six sources in a bibliography, including at least four scholarly sources.
o Note: You may not need to use all of the sources in the in-text citations for this
initial assignment (although keep in mind the in-text citation advice above), but
you still need to collect relevant empirical studies for the next component and
include at least six in the bibliography. We want to make sure at this stage that
you will be able to pursue your identified specific issue — that there is enough
evidence to incorporate later).
o Must be 4 scholarly sources and the rest can be media outlets, advocacy or think tank reports, or
theses/dissertations. They cannot be blogs, Wikipedia pages, or other unverifiable
Sources need to be formatted in APA style. See guidance/examples below. (5 points)