CRM 344 – Scientific Report Writing & Courtroom Testimony

Written Research Assignment – Position Paper


Each student will be required to submit a position paper as to his/her opinion reference an assigned courtroom case which dealt with forensic science evidence admissibility. Regardless of the position you take, the paper must include your reasoning for choosing that position. In essence, you will “pick a side” and argue for that side. You are responsible for “convincing” the instructor as to why your position is correct and fair. Specifically, you will review ALL the facts of the case and, based on your research, you will argue FOR or AGAINST the admissibility of the forensic science evidence and/or technique used to describe/analyze the evidence. Students will utilize at least three (3) scholarly references to support the student’s position and will properly cite the source. The paper must be prepared in a manner acceptable for university level work. The paper should be between seven (7) to ten (10) pages, excluding the references page and cover page and will be completed in proper APA format. The completed position paper will:

Use 12-point font, double-spaced format, and one-inch margins throughout the paper.

Include a header (i.e., the shortened title of paper and page number).

Follow APA regulations (refer to your APA manual) which require a reference page, including all references ascribed to in paper; properly cite the sources both in the body of the paper and on the “References” page.

Include three (3) scholarly references (i.e., peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles or law citations) AS WELL AS one (1) textbook, of which the course text is allowed. If you are uncertain as to what a “scholarly journal source” represents, please make certain to contact the Library so they may assist you.

Additionally, the University Core Values, as appropriate, should be designed into and discussed as they relate to the topic of the paper. No more than 25% of the written assignment in this course may be attributed to referenced sources Please choose one (1) case from the following three forensic evidence admissibility cases below: Case Law ~ Forensic Evidence Admissibility

State v. O’Key ~ 321 Or. 285, 899 P.2d 663

Bloodsworth v. State ~ 76 Md.App. 23, 543 A.2d 382

Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ~ 509 U.S. 579, 113 S.Ct. 2786

This written assignment – Position Paper will represent 30% of the final course grade The paper will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

Exceptional corresponds to an A (95-100%). Performance is outstanding; significantly above the usual expectations.

Proficient corresponds to a grade of B to A- (83-94%). Skills and standards are at the level of expectation.

Basic corresponds to a C to B- (75-82%). Skills and standards are acceptable but improvements are needed to meet expectations well.

Novice corresponds to an F (< 74%). Performance is weak; the skills or standards are not sufficiently demonstrated at this time.

0 This criterion is missing or not in evidence. CASE NAME & CITATION: _________________________________________________



0 Novice Basic Proficient Exceptional

Thoroughness: (12) 0 1 2 2.5 3

The paper clearly develops the issue

Show depth and understanding of the subject, with appropriate analysis

Clearly identifies focus and logically analyzes and discusses the topic

Student’s position is clear and reasonable

Scholarly quality: (15) 0 1 2 2.5 3

Meets acceptable college level standards with respect to form and substance, following 6th Edition APA rules

Abstract is a good summarization of what is to follow

Ideas presented in a clear, concise manner

Typed in double-spaced format with correct citations and references

Void of numerous typographical, spelling, or grammatical errors?

University Core Values: (3) 0 .25 .50 .75 1

Core values are incorporated into the focus, content, and/or opinion of the paper

They are used appropriately

Core values are defined correctly and accurately


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