Step 1. Choose a crime or case to solve. Anything goes* – you can pick a famous trial, a pending case, a cold case, a perfect crime, something mysterious, murderous, or mundane. Conspiracy theories will also do. The crime/case must be questionable (i.e. it must be proven whodunit, that a crime has indeed occurred, or that a party is innocent or guilty) and real (no fictional true crime, please). Most importantly, you must be able to get your hands on the clues and evidence you will need to solve it (think: primary sources). *Except those on the Topic Blacklist: NO ONE can write about the following cases/scenarios: Lizzie Borden, OJ Simpson, the Black Dahlia, Amanda Knox, Casey Anthony, Jon Benet Ramsey, or any/all violent crimes against children.
Step 2. Analyze the primary source evidence. The case must contain at minimum five pieces of evidence from which you will develop a theory to crack it. Step 3. Solve the case with logic. Create a syllogism that works through the evidence as individual premises and leads to a decisive conclusion.
Step 4. Compose your findings as an argument of fact. Your thesis will be a claim of fact that states your syllogism’s conclusion. The body paragraphs themselves may then be devoted your reasoned induction of each clue. Remember to avoid fallacies!
Additionally, examine any and all counterclaims or alternative theories, and disprove them via your keen analysis of the evidence. You may incorporate other detective’s analysis to support your argument or represent the counterargument, but it is not required. The emphasis of this assignment is how well you infer a theory using logic.
Step 4. Write for a formal, academic rhetorical situation. Eliminate all Sudden Death Style Errors: personal pronouns (I/you/our/us/we), contractions (can’t/don’t/shouldn’t), conversational speech/slang, etc.
Step 5. Format your essay and bibliography using APA Style and Citation. Your essay must include parenthetical citations, follow the APA style conventions listed below, and include a References page. Consult the Purdue Online Writing Lab APA Formatting and Style Guide for review.
1200 words minimum – The word count only includes the text of the essay, not the title, header, or page number. Essays that are even one word below receive no more than a C-.
Times New Roman 12 pt font, double-spaced, 1 inch margins
Header in upper right hand corner with page number on every page
Your essay will conclude with an APA formatted References page. I included the paper proposal submitted before hand which is something to base it off.