Term Paper on the Benefits of Capital Punishment

So your teacher has assigned a paper on capital punishment and you’re give the choice of a side to take in the debate…or the teacher probably just gave you a side to take that you don’t support. Regardless of your stance on capital punishment, you will have to tackle the essay and making a convincing argument.
In this case you will be arguing in favor for capital punishment and stating the benefits of it. There are a few questions you should entertain before diving right in. The answers to these questions can serve as your thesis statement, but also the questions themselves could serve as talking points for the course of the essay.

  • Are there innocent people being executed? If so is it a significant number to warrant throwing out capital punishment?
  • Is being humane to murderers more important than making sure a family gets justice or the will of the public is carried out?
  • What is the public’s stance on capital punishment and women? What is their stance on capital punishment and the mentally ill?
  • What have been some of the reasons that capital punishment has been abolished?
  • Should execution dates run quicker than linger for decades? Is this justice denied or postponed for families affected by the condemned? Is it humane to leave the condemned to wait on death row knowing their execution nearing or might come quicker than they think? Should there be a degree of uncertainty for the condemned?
  • What are the costs for housing death row inmates and would these be cut if executions were made quicker.

After those important questions have been addressed, do research to find information that supports the conclusions you’ve reached. Due to the controversial nature of capital punishment, you will want hard facts to support your points.

This is where drafting is important. While you might want to take on one area of capital punishment and focus solely on that, you might find that some of the other questions and topics presented could be addressed as well as they are related. Ask yourself the following when establishing the direction of your paper:

  • Are any of these topics related or strongly linked to the other?
  • Is it possible that I can focus only on one topic without addressing the others?
  • Am I able to address all topics put on the table?

Whether you decide to take on all, one, or a couple topics remember these tips when structuring your essay during drafts.

  • Flow is important. If you have several vaguely related topics of a greater subject, you want them to transition smoothly into the next. Suddenly shifting gears where there are a variety of topics could be jarring to the read if there is plenty of stats and data to process.
  • Don’t bog down your essay with a ton of facts. You want your paper to read like it wasn’t an ordeal to sit through. Not so slow that it might as well have been a textbook and not so fast that it was probably an obituary clipping or the wanted ads.
  • To add to the above, use an even hand when presenting information. If you feel there is a lot to present, do so in a way that doesn’t seem like a brick of facts. Too much info will make it read like a textbook or fact sheet.
  • Always be sure to make your points. If you establish a flow for each topic, you will close each topic with your point and eventually close the entire paper with a reiteration of those points.