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Instructions for the Final Paper on “A Jury of Her Peers” You will write an 8-10

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Instructions for the Final Paper on “A Jury of Her Peers”
You will write an 8-10 page research paper that focuses on the short story “A Jury of Her Peers”.
Unlike other literary analyses, though, with this paper you will respond to a specific prompt.
PROMPT: Your assignment is to take the position of a lawyer and EITHER defend or prosecute
Minnie Wright. Thus, your thesis will be: Minnie Wright is guilty of murdering her husband OR
Minnie Wright is not guilty of murdering her husband.
I believe Minnie Wright is not guilty. AUDIENCE: Imagine speaking to a jury and arguing your position. For this assignment, then,
it’s okay to use the first person (“I”, “me”, etc.) and to use conversational language (because
you’re speaking to a group [imagined] people). AUDIENCE: Imagine speaking to a jury and arguing your position. For this assignment, then,
it’s okay to use the first person (“I”, “me”, etc.) and to use conversational language (because
you’re speaking to a group [imagined] people).
ORGANIZATION: Please see the “format the final paper” for guidelines. While you are
“speaking” to a group of people, the essay will still follow the pattern of an essay. It will have an
introduction and conclusion, a thesis statement (which should be the last sentence of the
introductory paragraph), and body paragraphs (with topic sentences). You will have activities to
work on this part.
RESEARCH: Unlike usual literary analyses where you find articles written about the piece of
fiction, you will find articles that support your argument. Think of your research as “expert
witnesses” that are often called to the stand. Depending on your argument, you may need to find
any of the following (you don’t need to research all of these areas nor are you limited to only
these): laws about domestic abuse (current and / or from early 20th century); statistics about
domestic abuse; statistics to support that Minnie couldn’t possibly physically choke her husband
OR statistics that show it would be possible for a small woman to kill her large, farmer husband; definitions about various mental disorders (sociopathy, psychopathy, battered-wife-syndrome,
etc.); other cases that are similar; crime scene procedure; cherries as poison, etc. Depending on
your position, you will search various sources. Avoid google or .coms. Focus on finding credible
sources with authors (imagine calling an expert witness without a name; that wouldn’t really
sway the jury). Format of “A Jury of Her Peers” Final Argumentative Essay
INTRODUCTION: The Introduction should be about ¾ of a page to a full page in length. As a
reminder, this paragraph will tell the jury the necessary details of the case. You will tell them
why they are there. The very last sentence of this paragraph will be your one-sentence thesis
statement.
TOPIC SENTENCE ONE: Immediately following the thesis, you will begin a new paragraph
that begins with your one-sentence, persuasive topic sentence. Because of the explanation you
are providing for specific examples within this paragraph, there will most likely be 2-3 (or
maybe more) paragraphs to support this ONE topic sentence.
TOPIC SENTENCE TWO: Immediately upon finishing your full explanations for topic
sentence 1, you will begin a new paragraph with a one-sentence, persuasive topic sentence. This
will begin another series focusing on a different topic. Again, because of the elaboration upon
explanation, it will take about 2-3 paragraphs to fully support this one topic.
TOPIC SENTENCE THREE: When you finish with topic sentence 2 completely, you will
begin another series of paragraphs beginning with a one-sentence, persuasive topic sentence.
This topic will be different from your first two topics. It will take several paragraphs to fully
support this one topic.
PLEASE NOTE: WHILE YOU HAVE 3 TOPIC SENTENCES, YOU WILL HAVE
MORE THAN 3 BODY PARAGRAPHS. EACH OF THE BODY PARAGRAPHS
SHOULD BE BROKEN UP INTO SEVERAL PARAGRAPHS USING TRANSITIONS
TO SHIFT TO THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPHS.
CONCLUSION: This paragraph will be about ¾ of a page in length and will summarize your
major points you argued. You will want to remind the jury why they should side with you. WORKS CITED: You will need to create a Works Cited page. This is the last page of the essay and should include all the sources
you used in the essay (included an entry for the short story). Please utilize some of the resources in the annotated bibliography.

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