In this assignment you are required to:

1.     Choose a news story reporting on crime in society. This can be one news article, or a series of news articles covering the same event (including different news sources are fine, i.e. one from CBC, one from CTV, one from global news). Avoid ‘opinion’ pieces (op-eds) since they will already be analyzing an issue – although you could look at some to get ideas for various analyses.  

2.     In the introduction, briefly summarize the article, the two theoretical perspectives you are using, and what this paper will argue (the ‘position’ you will take).  

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3.     Use two criminal justice theories covered during this course to make sense of your news story (don’t use spiritualism, naturalism, or the classical school—those are technically criminological theories, but you could reference, if applicable, how rational/legalism related to those theories of crime). You will need to give an overview of that perspective, and then apply it to the news article. How would someone from each perspective understand or make sense of the issue being written about? How would they understand the crime that was committed, given their definition of criminality? Would they agree with the approach taken? Would they suggest a certain course of action should be taken in response to this crime? You can use supplementary readings, but you are also welcome to rely on the textbook readings for your analysis. 

4.     After discussing the article from two perspectives, you are required to take a position on which theory you think better explains the topic. That is, you will explain the perceived benefits of the theory you choose, as you explain the perceived deficits in the other theory. Why does one theory make more sense than the other, in your opinion?  

5.     End with a brief conclusion summarizing the work of your paper (what you covered, what you argued) and ideally something about the larger implications of your study: why is your position important?


Your paper should be 4-6 pages, or approximately 1250 words, typed, double-spaced, size 12 font, plus a title page and a bibliography on additional, separate pages. Your bibliography may only have two titles—the textbook and the news article—but please include it all the same.

Please use APA style for your in-text referencing and bibliography. 

Class textbook:

Kraska, Peter B. and John J. Brent. (2011). Theorizing Criminal Justice: Eight Essential Orientations, 2nd Edition. Waveland Press: Long Grove, IL.

News Article
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