42 USC § 1983

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This article identifies three problems and limitations with 42 USC § 1983 claims.


In a minimum 5 pageresearch paper, explain briefly what 42 USC § 1983 is, and how it relates to constitutional violations.  Then, spend the bulk of your paper identifying and explaining at least one shortcoming with 42 USC § 1983 claims that prevents them from being an effective tool to remedy constitutional violations.  Three such shortcomings are identified in the article but if you identify different shortcomings, feel free to use those instead or in addition.  Finally, identify some way these particular problems can be remedied.


Each part of you paper should rely on authoritative sources to back up your points.  This is not an opinion paper.


You should roughly divide the paper into 1/5 background on section 1983, 3/5 explaining the shortcoming(s), and 1/5 identifying possible solutions.  YOU SHOULD NOT USE SEPARATE SUBHEADINGS, however.  They are not necessary or warranted on a paper of this length.



You should cite to at least five authoritativesecondary  sources in your paper.Authoritative sources mean scholars, politicians, think tanks, law review articles, and well-known thinkers.   Usually these will come from well-known magazines, newspapers, or scholarly sources.  Content aggregators like Wikipedia are not scholarly sources. Cites like this one: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/42/1983 are not authoritative secondary sources; this is just a link to the statute.   The article I gave you does not count as a source.




Five pages means times new Roman, 12 point font, double spacing (not double-double spacing), one inch margins.   As mentioned, you should not need any subheadings for this paper.   You can use a title page if you want, but on a separate sheet that does not count for your five pages.   Five pages means that the writing starts at the top of the margin, and ends at the bottom, and the last page is at least 3/4 completed.   You should include page numbers.



Your paper must be well-organized, coherent, and proof-read.   All work must be your own.   When you cite to a source, you must attribute a direct quotation by marking it with quotation marks and immediately using a citation; or attribute a paraphrase by immediately using a citation after the paraphrased material.  I do not care about the citation method, but merely putting a works cited list at the end without any end notes/foot notes/parenthetical citations in the body of the paper is not just unacceptable, it is plagiarism.  You may receive a 0 or other sanctions if you plagiarize.


When you quote, you should not use block quotes unless absolutely necessary.   You should try to limit the quotations to the shortest amount of material possible while still providing context.   It is always better to integrate a quotation into a sentence that is partially your own thought, and partially quoted material.


Finally, do not simply put in a quote and expect me to understand why it is there.  That is not good writing.  Your paper must provide enough context  for me to understand why you chose to quote someone else’s words.


Papers must be turned in on time using turn it in.  No late papers will be accepted absent extenuating circumstances.


You have two months to complete this assignment.  Please do not put it off until the last minute.  I will be happy to discuss drafts, or even review drafts, until November 11.



Five quality sources, used appropriately: 35 points

Writing quality, organization, proof reading: 20 points

Fulfilling the stated research aims of the assignment: 35 points

Formatting, length: 10 points

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