AU Social Science Karla Homolka Essay

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Assignment Overview

In this writing assignments students will be selecting a notable critical case that has likely received media attention. This assignment will help students think critically about motivation for the crime, its outcome and effects on others, as well as issues of media coverage. Students will include theoretical application to describe the criminal case and resulting victimization. This gives students an opportunity to demonstrate knowledge of the combination of crime, victimization and media coverage as issues we face in society. 

Formatting and Submission Guidelines 

Please note the following formatting standards, minimum requirements and resources:

I expect high quality, formal writing that reflects a thoughtful synthesis of the many principles we have covered, and that exhibits a high level of professionalism. You need to address all question prompts, have clear organization, lucid points, a formal tone, conventional use of language, and formatting in the APA style.

10-13 pages (partial pages, cover page, and reference page do not count toward the minimum page requirement)

Double-spaced, 10-12 point font, standard 1 inch margins

APA format APA formatting guide

Use a minimum of 4 outside sources.

Lectures and class resources, such as PowerPoint slides provided by the instructor, are NOT allowable as sources for this assignment. 

  • Wiki sources are not acceptable. 
  • Required/allowed file types: pdf, doc, docx
  • Submit by uploading your document in Canvas.


  • Prepare

Choose a notable criminal case (e.g., Karla Homolka, Susan Smith, Mary Winkler, OJ Simpson, etc.) whose case would likely have received media attention. If you cannot find articles regarding the case you have selected, you will need to select a different one.

  • Write

Write a paper that addresses the following:

Briefly describe what the offender did and information about the victim(s). This section should cover no more than 2/3 of the paper content.

Apply at least 2 criminological theories or points of view that would describe the criminal case and victimization. These need to be from academic sources or scholarly articles. This section should cover no more than 1/3 of the paper content. Include any incidents of victim blaming in the media.

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