The following presentationis intended to help studentscomplete the Supreme Courtcase essay assignment forCivics.
I. Choose a Supreme Court casethat interests you. You may chooseany case heard by the SupremeCourt of the United States(SCOTUS) to research and write anessay about it.
II. Research the details about the case(answer the 5 research questions: Who,What, When, Where and Why).Take notes about what you discover.Note the sources of your information.You must list your sources at the endof the essay, and properly cite thesources of each piece of information inthe essay itself.
III. After researching a case,organize the information you havecollected by making an outline. Abasic structure for organizing yourinformation might be as follows.
A. Introduction• 1. Identify the name of the case and when it was heard before SCOTUS.• 2. Identify the parties involved in the case.• 3. Briefly describe the focus of the case.
B. Describe the case itself: What was the controversy in the case?
C. How did the case move through the courts before reaching SCOTUS?• 1. What court had original jurisdiction in the case?• 2. How had previous courts ruled in the case?
D. What did the SCOTUS rule in the case?• 1. What was the argument of the majority opinion?• 2. What was the argument of the minority opinion?
E. Conclusion: How does the court’s ruling in the case affect Americans today?• 1. Has the court’s ruling in the case affected other rulings in following cases?• 2. Has the court’s ruling affected the interpretation and enforcement of any particular laws, and how those laws are enforced?• 3. If applicable: Has the court’s ruling in this case affected you, or someone you know, personally?
IV. Write your essay. If you organized yourinformation based on the suggested outline, then all you have to do is write down what you havelearned from your research, and put it into a five paragraph essay. Your first paragraph is the introduction (the information under letter A of your outline). The second paragraph is the information under letter B, and so on, until you reach your fifth paragraph, which is the conclusion of your essay, writing about the information under letter E of your outline.
V. Sources: Be sure to cite your sources. Thatmeans any information you learned from another source, such as a website, a magazine article, a videotaped interview etc., must be properly noted in your essay. Also, you must list thesources you used for your research on a separate page attached after the main body of the essay. Title the page either, “REFERENCES”, or “WORKS CITED”. Then list your sourcesalphabetically. The following websites may help students properly cite sources of information in academic writing.
Useful websites to help studentsproperly cite sources, and create aReferences page. http://www.ocean.edu/library/the_source/how_to_cite_sources.htm This website explains how to properly cite sources of information students have used to research and report on any given topic of study. http://correctclick.com/biblio/ Simply add the information in each of the text boxes and click on the “Generate” button, and your source will be properly formatted to be included on your References page. Simply copy and paste the properly formatted source to your References page. Then alphabetize your sources.