MLAW 305 Semester Long Project Assignments

Report 1

The report has to include: 

a)  A description of three actors involved in the problem that you have identified for your project. At least, one of these actors has to be a federal agency. Use your agency assignment as a model to present them [a reminder: Leadership; Under which President was the leader appointed?; How powerful is the leader/organization?; Parent agency or related agency; Budget; Procedures for rulemaking & adjudication (formal or informal); Identify a current issue/rule that impacts or could impact everyday life]. The characteristics of the two other actors that you decide to share with us will remain at your discretion. But, for example, if you pick a NGO, it would be great to know its leadership, budget, or a brief history. 

b) An overview of the interactions between these three actors, emphasizing race-related conflicts. We strongly recommend looking for a representative case developed during the last year.  You can check databases such as Jstor or Nexus Uni to start your research. 

Report 2

Now that you have identified a topic, several actors, and some political and social interactions between them, your mission will be to find an example of a clash between institutions and the public within the topic that you are researching. Professor White and I want your projects to address these conflicts at a more local level by individualizing someone whose life experiences have been challenged by the rule of law as it has been understood by the actors involved. Considering all of this, your report and class presentation has to include:

2.1 A case that serves as an introductory example of the clash that you will address in your research. It can be from any time. Please use the cases that appear in the textbook as an example of your selection.  That portion of your research should start here: (Links to an external site.)

2.2 One piece of public opinion that draws your attention because it adds something relevant to your perspective on the topic. It can be an editorial, an interview, a podcast, some audiovisual resources, etc. You will be in charge of presenting arguments, counter arguments, and the information we need to understand the context of the piece.

Report 3

Your third semester long project report should include:

  1. One piece of opinion that adds to your topic a different perspective than the piece of opinion that you selected for this week. The only condition is that you can not repeat the same source. 
  2. The story of someone affected by systemic racism. Having an empathetic eye is crucial to challenge injustice. In this regard, we ask you to put names and real stories in your research. Who has been recently affected by the problem you are focusing on? It can be an individual, a family, a neighborhood, a school, a movement. The idea is that during class we will ask you to explain what is the potential injustice or conflict that you are seeing and make a case in defense of the affected person or community. Your reports should answer these questions: who is the individual affected by systemic racism? What is the shape taken by this racial injustice? How can those injustices be compensated or solved? We would like very much this instance to be a learning experience in which you use your persuasive skills. So, if time allows it, everyone will have the chance to be an advocate of their cases and a jury in someone else’s to decide if the case is convincing and solid and the suggested compensation is fair or not, if the suggested solution is viable/reasonable or not.  

Report 4

Your fourth semester long project report has to include:

a) A discussion of two academic articles related to your research topic.

b) Three questions that you would like to examine in your final project.

Report 5

Your fifth report has to include: 

  1. A tentative title.
  2. A paragraph abstract no longer than 500 words.
  3. A bibliography.

Report 6 (I think we will remove this assignment)

In this report, you have to answer in the format of a short essay the questions: what is the relation between your research topic and democracy? How has what you have researched so far affected your own understanding of democracy?

This report will be linked to the second portion of the week’s assignment, which is to read chapter one “Is it really about race?”, from the book written by Ijeoma Oluo, So you want to talk about race (New York: Seal Press, 2018), pages 8-22, and be prepared to be an active part of an incisive conversation about the main topic of our Thursday’s class: Does Democracy Matter? On Tuesday, some questions will be posed in the discussion section of ELMS.

Report 7 (I think this assignment will be a discussion instead of a report. We can assign it in a few weeks.)

Read the following article: (Links to an external site.) 

I have also attached the document here in case you cannot access the article from the link. 

After reading the article, identify a format you believe the author followed to complete this article. (for example: Personal story, historical context, relevant court opinions, connection to personal story)

How can the identified format help you create a format for your final project? 

Explain how you believe this article resonates with the goals of this semester long project. 

 Report 8 (We will eliminate this assignment as well since this report focused on the election or we could reformulate the question to make it relevant for this semester.)

In this report, you have to answer the question: what did policy makers and candidates do regarding your research topic during the last couple of months? How did they discuss systemic racism in your city and within the scope of your topic? What promises did they vow? What plans did they offer to voters? To do so, you can focus on a senate race, a house race, in the presidential race or in a more local race pertaining to your city/state. You can use a comparative perspective or outline those programmatic ideas that you want to approach critically.

Final Paper (rubric)

MLAW 305 Fall 2020 Final Project Rubric

As you will see below, the final papers must reflect APA style. We recommend using this link as a guide if help is needed: (Links to an external site.)

Format:     /10

            APA format: cover page; page numbers; abstract; grammar

References:     /15

            APA format; in-text citations; reference page at the end of the document

Introduction:     /15

            Inclusion of all components in description

Explain the purpose of the project. Outline your thesis in an interesting manner and demonstrate an intriguing thought pattern.

Also include information from the following reports:

Report 1: Description of actors (federal/state/local agency, local organization, NGO) and the interaction of the actors emphasizing race-related conflicts.

Report 2: Description of the identified clash: include the public opinion research conducted.

Discoveries:     /25

            Inclusion of all components in description

Outline and discuss the research you compiled about the topic. Include various examples from multiple sources and provide sufficient evidence to support your assertions about the presence of systemic racism.

Also include what you learned from the following reports:

Report 3: Individual account about someone affected by systemic racism.

Report 4: Academic articles , and additional research(historic Court decisions)

Report 6: Racism and Democracy

Lessons:   /25

            Inclusion of all components in description

This is the section where you evaluate and analyze what your research revealed. Describe how what you learned about systemic racism related to your topic and city exposes the existence of racial disparities and racial injustice in the context of your topic. Include various examples and provide sufficient evidence to support your assertions.

Also include your research from the following reports:

Report 7: Tie together what you learned with what you thought you would learn.

Report 8: Current state of how law-makers and other institutions address racial injustice in the context of your chosen topic.

Conclusion:   /10

            Inclusion of all components in description

This is the section where you include your individual assessment and final thoughts about the existence of and impact of racial injustice in the United States regarding the chosen topic and chosen city.

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