Introduction: orient your reader with general and perhaps specific information about your topic (context).In the
first paragraph, provide general information and lead up to your thesis. In the next couple or few paragraphs, add a
little more contextual information to set the stage for what will come next.

Background: This section is a literature review, or a review of what other people have written about your topic. Who
else has written about this topic? What types of texts have been published? What are the current debates taking place
in scholarly literature, popular media, governmental reports, policy papers, etc.?

Discussion: Even though you are not the first person to write about this topic, you still have something important to
say! This is the section in which you get to analyze scholarship, apply another scholar’s theory, and/or make an
argument. This section includes analysis, application, and argumentation.
You will draw conclusions and think about what the literature you just reviewed means in a broader context or a more
specific context.

Conclusion: This is where you wrap things up. This section can include recommendations, reflections, or both.

what do you recommend going forward?
who would be able to implement these recs?

what did you learn from this experience?
if you had more time or more space, what would you have done differently? think about methodology and your general
approach to research and writing.

General tips: At least 7 sources must be peer-reviewed. Must include the basic sections of Intro, Dicussion,
Background, and Conclusion, but they will be different for everyone.

Michelle Alexander’s book, “The New Jim Crow,” must be one of your sources.


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