Essay 3: Research on Serial
In the last unit, we listened to the Serial podcast and wrote an essay arguing who
killed Hae Min Lee. In this paper, you will be conducting further research on this
case and be making a completely different kind of argument. In this essay, we will
examine this case from a different vantage point, not to assert a particular
murderer, but in order to demonstrate you have thought carefully and critically
about the issues involved in this case
In a well-developed essay, will make a NEW argument about the Hae Min Lee case.
You may, for instance:
• Examine the investigators involved in the case
• Examine the type of witnesses interviewed or not interviewed
• Examine the way witnesses were interviewed
• Research the mistrial process
• Research the retrial process
• Examine the reasons for ineffective counsel and legal disbarment
• Examine the prosecution’s involvement
• Develop your own approach (only with the approval of the instructor)
You cannot and should not address all of these. Pick one (or two, if related) and
develop a focused argument. You may pick your own approach if you receive
approval ahead of time.
In order to make a persuasive argument, you need to present credible evidence.
Your evidence must not only come from the Serial podcast, but from at least 3 other
credible sources. Present your evidence thoughtfully in an organized manner with
sufficient analysis and explanation. All sources must be cited in MLA format and you
must use a Works Cited page.
• The essay must demonstrate that you have carefully thought about
the materials related to the Lee/Syed case.
• The thesis must be clear, specific, and debatable; this thesis will serve as the
anchor for the essay. It must be a completely different position from Essay 2.
• The essay must incorporate outside research, especially since this is the
focus of this unit.
• The evidence used must be specific, credible, and meaningful to your overall
argument and use a mixture of quotation and paraphrase.
• The essay should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of audience and a
consideration of multiple points of view. The essay should also demonstrate
careful revision through drafts.
Like all formal essays, this essay must use MLA format for your heading, title, and
page layout. See your handout on MLA reference. You will include the word count on
the last line of your essay. The Works Cited will be a separate last page of your essay
and include at least 4 sources (one of which is Serial). The essay length is between 4-
6 pages (1,250-2,000 words). Your Peer Workshop draft must be at least 1,000
words to earn credit.
A successful essay will have the following features:
1. Demonstrate clear and critical thought
2. Read and critically evaluate college-level material from a variety of sources
3. Evaluate the validity and soundness of arguments
4. Demonstrate strong purpose
5. Clearly addresses expectations of assignment
6. Shows a strong awareness and sensitivity towards audience
7. Use effective organization with purposefully transitions
8. Use MLA conventions to summarize, paragraph and directly quote sources.
9. Demonstrates control over language, specifically in regards to sentence
structure, sentence variety, and grammatical errors.
This assignment is worth 20% (or 200 points) of your final grade.
In this paper, you will be conducting further research on this case and be making a completely different kind of argument.
Essay 3: Research on Serial
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