Instructions for final essay:
This is an open-ended essay. There are no right or wrong answers. However, you must include course materials to support your perspectives and arguments. Please be sure to proofread your essay carefully. We are not requiring you to follow strict guidelines otherwise. You are not required to use formal citations. However, we are looking for thoughtful ideas, clear arguments, use of course materials, and proofreading (meaning there should not be many typos, if at all).
– Please write a short essay in the range of 5-7 pages, double spaced.
– Citations and References: You don’t have to worry about citation format, but please mention the titles of the readings and names of authors you are referring to in your essay. For example, you can say, “In the book Are Prisons Obsolete, Angela Davis argues…” Also, if it’s helpful for you, you can cite my lectures by indicating the Week the lecture was given. However, you are not required to use formal citations (i.e. APA, MLA, ASA, etc), and you do not need a References page. You also do not need a title page. I’m choosing to skip these formalities because I would rather you focus on writing a thoughtful essay.
– Otherwise, my last piece of advice is to choose a topic that you are genuinely interested in from this course. A topic that you care about is always easier to write than one to which you have no connection.
Here is the essay prompt:
Can law be used to challenge deep-seated social problems and achieve meaningful social change?
First, using course materials, choose one social problem that you would like to focus on (some examples might be: mass incarceration, policing, slavery law, inequality in law, racial segregation & Brown v. Board of Education, psychological violence, anything from the film, Black Power Mixtape, or anything else that came up for you in this class).
Next, tell us about this topic, and why you see it as a problem.
Next, using course materials, please explain how you would define â€œmeaningful social change.â€ This can take up reform and/or abolitionist frameworks.
And finally, using course materials, explain why or why not you believe that law can be used successfully toward attaining your vision of social change.