Each student will turn in a five-page paper, prepare a slide show based on the paper, and present their work in class. Participating in a panel and preparing the required materials are required components of the course and must be completed to earn a passing grade.


There are fourteen student panels. Each panel is assigned a film and a theory.

Panels split the first 90 minutes of their assigned film (that's all that can be shown in class) into equal-length segments, with one segment for each panelist. For example, if there are three students on a panel, each can take 30 minutes of the film; if there are two students, each can take half. (For "Hood 2 Hood" each panelist takes a different city.)

Students go through their film segment and find scene(s) that illustrate or relate to an aspect of their panel's assigned theory (NOT the entire theory - just the relevant part.) Students then prepare a paper and deliver an oral presentation that connects their chosen film segment(s) with selected aspect(s) of the theory.

Students should collaborate to be sure that those who share the same theory address different scenes.

Films, theories and assigned panels

Films will be shown in class. DVD's will as necessary be loaned to panelists in advance. Known alternative sources are indicated in the weekly schedule.

"Deliver Us From Evil" – Panel 1: Biological; Panel 2: Psychological

"Stevie" – Panel 3: Biological; Panel 4: Psychological

"I Am a Promise" – Panel 5: Strain; Panel 6: Neighborhoods & crime; Panel 7: Control

"Hood 2 Hood: The Blockumentary" (Disc 2, Brooklyn, Los Angeles and Compton only) –

Panel 8: Strain; Panel 9: Neighborhoods & crime; Panel 10: Control

"Latin Kings: A Street Gang Story" – Panel 11: Labeling & conflict crim.; Panel 12: Learning

"The Weather Underground" – Panel 13: Labeling & conflict crim.; Panel 14: Learning

Paper (20 points)

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Students prepare a formal, five-page typewritten paper that ties in one or two scenes of their film segment with aspect(s) of their panel's assigned criminological theory, as discussed in the text. Strive to cover a limited area in depth. Papers should follow conventional academic format and be structured as follows:

Technical specs

One-inch margins all around, double-spaced, 12 point type. No fancy type, no graphics.

Cover sheet

Student name, panel number, assigned film, assigned theory

Page 1 - Summary of applicable parts of theory & description of chosen film scene(s)

A. Identify the main criminological theory (e.g., biological) and in two or three succinct, well-written paragraphs describe the aspect(s) of the theory that you will use for analysis. Summarize using your own words and thoughts. Do NOT quote or paraphrase from the text. Do not try to mimic what the text says by substituting different words. Use endnotes to reference applicable page(s) in the text. (Endnotes go on page 5 - see below.) Don't analyze yet!

B. In one or two succinct, well-written paragraphs summarize the film scene(s) you are using. Use your own words. Do NOT quote from the film. Use endnotes to reference scene locations in the film (see page 5.) Save your analysis for later.

Pages 2-4 - Connecting the theory to the film scene(s)

Now analyze. How do the film scenes serve as an example of the theory as discussed in the text? Discuss, in detail, how the chosen aspects of the theory relate to the chosen scenes. What is/are the connections?

Structure your answer carefully. Write clearly and succinctly, using paragraphs to separate your thoughts. Don't ramble. Avoid jargon. Use your own words. Do NOT quote or paraphrase from the text or any other sources, written or Internet. Do not mimic what others have written by substituting different words.

Use endnotes to reference page numbers in the text. Spelling, grammar and good composition are crucial.

SPECIAL NOTE: This is not an exercise in applying "common sense" or material to which you may have been exposed to in other classes. It's an exercise in using criminological concepts discussed in our text to explain or comment on specific film scenes.

Page 5 - endnotes

List references, giving page numbers from the text and minutes from the film scenes (e.g., 32-34 mis., 56-62 mis.)

PowerPoint slides (5 points)

Reduce your presentation to three PowerPoint slides. For example:

Sample slide show


Presentation (5 points)

Use these slides as a basis for presenting the key aspects of their paper. Of course, you will go into more detail. But keep presentations to no longer than five minutes.

Follow the same sequence as the paper:

1. Briefly describe the aspect(s) of the theory you are using (don't analyze yet.)

2. Describe the scenes you are using in some detail. Your goal is to refresh students' memory about these scenes (don't analyze yet.)

3. Now analyze. Discuss how your chosen aspect(s) of the theory relate to the film scenes.

Please rehearse! Papers may be used for reference but please DON'T read from papers or notes. This is excruciatingly boring and will cause you to lose points!


Each student is graded separately based on their unique contribution.

Papers and presentations are graded on clarity, coverage, conciseness, accuracy, quality of thought, execution and following instructions.

Everything must be a student's own original work. Students may NOT use any paper from another current or prior course.