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CRJU 417 California State University Eric Harris the Mass Murderer Case Study

CRJU 417 California State University Eric Harris the Mass Murderer Case Study

Question Description


You are an investigator with the Department of Homeland Security. The Department seeks to review notorious mass murders over the last 30 years. You are assigned to write a profile of Eric Harris, one of the Columbine Shooters. This exam is that profile. The DHS asks you to answer a single question: Was Eric Harris a typical mass murderer?


To determine whether Harris is a typical mass murderer, you need to write the profile report as follows:

    1. Introduction paragraph: Introduce your work by stating the problem or question that you seek to address and directly answer that question. This is your thesis statement or your point of view (POV) statement. So, is he or is he not a typical mass murderer? The rest of the paper will be where you present your arguments as to why you are making that claim.
      1. When you begin writing, you may not know how to answer that question. That’s okay. Write the introduction paragraph last—that’s what I would do!
    2. Data paragraph: According to the data we have about mass murderers, is he a typical mass murderer? How so or how not?
    3. History paragraph: Is he similar to or different from historical mass murderers? How so?
    4. General profile paragraph: What is the general profile of a mass murderer? What are their characteristics and use of language?
    5. Specific comparison paragraph(s):
      1. Compare Harris to your profile of a typical mass murderer given in the data, history and general profile paragraph. Use Harris’ journal to learn about his life from his perspective. Feel free to look at sources outside of class materials for basic demographics about him if you need (like age, race, etc.—these needn’t be cited.)
      2. What type of mass murderer is Harris according to a typology chosen by you? Defend your claim.
    6. Summary: No summary paragraph needed. Stop writing at #5b.

So the paper will be short–at minimum of 5 paragraphs. Your tone on this paper is to persuasive. Every sentence should add important point and then move on to the next point in the next sentence. Good papers will convince me of your point of view through clever evidentiary support so pack in course information that defends you central POV. Remember, the organization of a paragraph matters. Your topic sentence starts the paragraph. So, when you write, figure out your topic sentence and then use the rest of the sentences in that paragraph to provide evidentiary support for that topic sentence. If you don’t know the topic sentence, figure out the evidentiary stuff and create a topic sentence from it (so you write the topic sentence last). Channel the late, great RBG! (1) Get to the point (2) Keep it short and (3) Say it in plain English ( (Links to an external site.)). A good lesson for us all.


You may only use course information and Harris’ journal on this exam If you have trouble accessing the journal via this link, grab it from this website: (Links to an external site.).


All written work on exams requires citations. Continue to cite as we have throughout this course but feel free to keep them in the text or cite via endnotes or footnotes if you choose. The citation format for the sources of course information is shown below. Please don’t plagiarize. If you have any questions as to what plagiarism is, see me before you turn in your exam. A Works Cited page is not necessary on this exam because you will only be citing known course materials or Harris’ journal. Quotes are forbidden on this paper. Yup, totally forbidden. I want to read your analysis, not source materials.

Endnote and footnote “in-text” citations must be done as follows:

    • For the textbook: Textbook (or write out the author’s names), 2016, p. ___
    • For lecture notes: Lecture 5.1 Language, 2020, slide ____
    • For Harris’ journal: Harris, 1998

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