How can I write a research paper on the death penalty?  I need to write about fifteen pagesHow can I write a research paper on the death penalty?  I need to write about fifteen pages

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Fifteen pages sounds like a lot, but it's not too bad if you have research. Since the Death Penalty is a controversial topic, one idea would be to research the positives and the negatives of the death penalty. Then you can choose a side. You'll end up with basically 3 5 page papers, which will seem less scary and more manageable.
pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

There are so many aspects to the death penalty that you could write about.  To get to 15 pages, you should pick a few of these aspects and start researching them.  The link below has a large number of essays on various aspects of capital punishment.

Some issues you might address:

  • Is the death penalty administered fairly?  (Or can it be administered fairly?)  There are real issues about racial bias in the death penalty and about the possibility that people who cannot afford good lawyers are more likely to get the death penalty than those who can.
  • What sorts of justifications are there for the death penalty?
  • Which of these justifications can be supported with evidence?  A major example here would be the issue of whether the death penalty actually deters crime -- does it reduce the rate of homicide, for example.

I believe that you could get more than 15 pages out of these three questions.

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