CULT3024 Crime, Media and Culture

CULT3024 Crime, Media and Culture

Assignment 3: Essay

Team/Individual task: Individual
Word/time limit: 2000 words (+/- 10%) 
Weighting: 45% 
Due date: 5pm AEST Monday 31 July 2023 (Week 11)

Assignment overview

This assignment is a mandatory submission, which means that in order to pass this subject of study, you must submit this assignment. 

This assignment requires you to produce an essay based on independent research that critically analyses contemporary examples of links between culture and crime. You will produce an academic essay that provides a robust argument that would be convincing to a cultural criminologist. You will need to respond to one of three supplied questions.

Assignment details

Read through the following information and steps to understand and meet the requirements of this assignment:

Step 1: Choose an essay topic

Choose one of the following essay topics to respond to:

Topic 1

Critically assess the relationship between how people consume cultural text/s about crime on the one hand and criminal justice policy on the other.

Consume—means people reading and engaging with texts. What type of relationship could be described?

Cultural text/s about crime—means news media, fictional depictions of crime, social media content and so on, as discussed in this subject.

Criminal justice policy—means how society/governments respond to crime problems.

Topic 2

Evaluate the usefulness of understanding lived experience when researching and/or investigating criminal justice issues/problems. In what ways can it be useful?

Topic 3

Critically assess how representations of crime and the lived experience/s of crime co-constitute one another. In what ways can they both support and contradict each other?

Co-constitute—means how different entities help to shape and influence each other.

For the topic that you choose, use contemporary example/s of a criminal justice issue that has been in the news for the last approximately 5–10 years in Australia to support your argument.

Step 2: Research

This essay requires you to read, synthesise and analyse research in the field. You should begin your research with the essential readings and reference list from your learning materials.

Beyond the basic material provided within the subject, you should also:

  • conduct searches using relevant key terms on academic databases such as Google Scholar and Scopus
  • search the WSU library
  • stay tuned to news and current affairs about crime and crime-related issues for key examples.

As this is a third-year subject, you are expected to produce a high standard of critical analysis of the research you have conducted. This means you are not simply describing concepts and relating them to the question—your task is to use theory and empirical data to explain a criminal justice event or issue. You need to be creative with the material that is available in the literature by producing your own argument, rather than simply repeating the argument of others. You should also support viewpoints with reasoned arguments, substantiated by relevant theoretical material and research evidence. This means citing peer-reviewed and scholarly sources.

There is no fixed number of references for this essay. At this stage of your studies, it should not be necessary to be prescriptive with a minimum and a maximum number of references. It is important that you do not focus on reaching a number of references—it is more about the references you include and how you use them. Gauging how many references are required to make a case is a skill you are now being assessed on.

Use in-text citations and references conventions adhering to the Harvard UWS Referencing Style. A reference list should be provided on a separate page at the end of your essay.

Top marks will be awarded if all references are cited correctly (as per the Harvard UWS Referencing Style) in-text and in the reference list.

Step 3: Prepare your essay

This is an academic essay that requires you to provide a robust argument that would be convincing to cultural criminologists. You should include an introduction, body paragraphs and a conclusion.

In order to write specifically to a cultural chronological audience, your essay should also include the following components:

  • Theoretical sophistication
  • Textual or ethnographic evidence to back key claims
  • Relevant contemporary examples.

Your essay:

  • should be word-processed, use 12 point font and be double spaced. You are free to choose your font style, but make sure it is legible
  • should adopt a fluent and scholarly writing style
  • may use headings to signal the direction of your analysis and discussion
  • will support viewpoints with reasoned argument, substantiated by relevant theoretical material and research evidence
  • will use in-text citations Harvard style.

Note: The reference list is not included in the word count.

Assignment criteria

  1. Relevance: How well the submission responds to the question.
  2. Conceptual: How well the submission uses key concepts/ideas from the subject to answer the question.
  3. Presentation: How well the submission is organised and referenced, as well as the quality of its written expression.
  4. Academic literacy: How well the presentation adheres to the expectations and conventions of referencing.
  5. Implications: How well the submission presents a critical consideration of how to apply knowledge in the field.
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