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CRIM6510—Book Review Format Instruction In this assignment, you will read Jill Leovy’s Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America, an easy but provoking read about race and the criminal justice system surrounding our collective or societal response to homicides in an urban setting.
Your review should address the following questions in a minimum of 10 pages (double spaced and one inch margins around with a 12-point font):
What is the central message the author tries to convey in this book?
What are the assumptions that underlie the author’s interpretation of what transpired in the
investigation and prosecution of a 2007 murder in South Los Angeles?
What kind of data and information, and methods of examination and assessment are
employed? What are the author’s perspectives and conceptualizations? How well does
the author use the material to argue and demonstrate the point(s) she is trying to make?
What are the main findings in the book?
What criticisms and praise do you have for the book? Does the work raise important
questions? Is it inspirational and of special importance, is it potentially heuristic?
What would you do differently in terms of material, analysis, and content arrangement if
you were to explain homicide in an American urban community?
For a “B” paper, grading takes into consideration the following three key components: (1) analytic reasoning; (2) writing effectiveness; and (3) writing mechanics. Briefly, the instructor will be grading on your ability to assemble the relevant information from the book and frame your argument. No external sources of information are required for achieving a “B” paper. A careful interpretation of and thoughtful reflection on the materials presented by the author will suffice. The key is to focus your analysis on the evidence and thesis provided by the author. Writing mechanics are important, e.g., structure, syntax, grammar, spelling, and transition between sections.
(1) For an “A” paper. Research on and inclusion of external materials will be required. The above book review will be condensed and presented as an example with which you set out to explain, based on a literature review, on the uneven distributions of homicide across geographical areas (e.g., urban vs. suburban communities) and racial categories (e.g., African Americans vs. Whites), and the challenges criminal justice agencies face in dealing with crime and social control problems in contemporary American.
The instructor will grade on your analytical reasoning and your ability to evaluate the evidence (or information or facts) you have gathered from your external literature research. You should pay special attention to how the information you identified is relevant to your theme of discussion and how it supports the position you are taking. It is important to cite evidence or provide examples to make your points. The instructor will look at how you organize the essay and how you construct a cohesive argument.