Common Core State Standards: Reading: Informational Text(s)

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The English Junior Research Paper

2014-2015: Contemporary Landmark Cases in United States History

Common Core State Standards:

Reading: Informational Text(s)

  • RI.11-12.1: Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.

  • RI.11-12.2: ...provide a complex analysis, provide an objective summary of the text.

  • RI.11-12.3: Analyze a complex set of ideas or sequence of events and explain how specific individuals, ideas, or events interact and develop over the course of the text.

  • RI.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.

  • RI.11-12.8: Delineate and evaluate the reasoning in seminal U.S. texts, including the application of constitutional principles and use of legal reasoning (e.g. in U.S. Supreme Court majority opinions and dissents) and the premises, purposes, and arguments in works of public advocacy.


  • W.11-12.8: Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess strength and limitations of each source in terms of task, purpose, and audience; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and overreliance on any one source and following a standard format for citation.

  • W.11-12.10: Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks and purposes.

2014-2015 Assignment

This year’s EJRP is a Common Core aligned research-driven exploration into the rationale behind a Supreme Court decision and its impact on the 21st century. The assignment requires the reading, synthesizing, and evaluating of a variety of materials to answer a specific prompt as outlined below.

Prompt: To what extent was the outcome of this case valid, and what have been the lasting implications from this ruling?
Your tasks: To inform the reader regarding the facts of this case as it applies to the prompt.

To evaluate the court’s verdict as evidenced by your reading and analysis.

To analyze the lasting positive or negative ramifications of this decision in US society today.
The requirements: 6-8 page paper, double-spaced Times 10-12 font. Completed in three drafts.

MLA documentation and Works Cited page

Sources must include: The Supreme Court Majority and Minority Report on the Case

The FindLaw page case summary

At least one print source & video pertaining to issue behind


Five website sources that are .edu or .gov

Timeline: Select individual case by December 8, 2014 (List with descriptions are provided here)

Complete basic inquiry by Fall Final (Prepsheet will be provided in class)

Complete research by January 23, 2015 (source evaluation taught in class)

Complete outline by February 2, 2015 (Outline templates will be provided)

Complete first draft by February 27, 2015 (teacher feedback given)

Complete second draft by March 20, 2015 (peer and self-edit)

Complete final draft by March 27, 2015.


  1. Roe vs. Wade (1973) The court found that the right to personal privacy includes abortion.

  1. Miranda vs. Arizona (1973) The court found that law enforcement must inform an individual of his rights before he is arrested.

  1. Loving vs. Virginia (1967) The court found that any antimiscegenation law banning interracial marriages was unconstitutional.

  1. Frontiero vs. Richardson (1973) The court found that the benefits given to military families cannot be given out differently because of gender.

  1. Regents of the University of California vs. Bakke (1978) The court found that affirmative action is in violation of the Equal Protection Law, making it unconstitutional

  1. Boy Scouts of America vs. Dale (2000) The court found that private organization can deny admission to anyone they want, and including based on sexual preference.

  1. Washington vs. Glucksberg (1997) The court found that physician-assisted suicide is not protected by the Due Process Clause, allowing states to prohibit it.

  1. Hazelwood School District vs. Kuhlmeier (1988) The court found that censorship of a public-school student newspaper does not violate the First Amendment.

  1. Hamdi vs. Rumsfeld (2004) The court found that detainment of enemy combatants including US citizens who have been given Due Process is constitutional.

  1. Atkins vs Virginia (2002) The court found that execution of mentally retarded persons violates the Eighth Amendment.

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