Dowling v. United States, 473 US 207 – Supreme Court 1985

Dowling v. United States, 473 US 207 – Supreme Court 1985

Business Law I Paper Requirements

Research and choose a US Supreme Court decision that interests you from the list provided—you need to contact me to make sure that no one else has chosen the case you are interested in.  Choose a topic that you feel that you can actually form an opinion about.

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You need to get your topic approved by the instructor before you begin your paper—please send me an e-mail with your topic and I will respond to let you know if you can use the case you chose.  Your paper needs to be at least 10 pages and no more than 12 pages.  It should be typed with 1” margins all around, typed using a 12 pt Times New Roman font and use APA citations—the cover page and works cited page do not count toward the number of pages needed.  If you plagiarize on this assignment, you will fail the course for the semester.  Be sure to cite your work carefully.  If you have a question about your citations, the content of your paper or the mechanic of writing, please make an appointment at the Writing Center for help.


Your paper must use supporting material from four other sources and you have to take a position that agrees or disagrees with the decision and discuss why.  You can use Internet sources but you need to vet them before you include them in your paper.  Don’t use sources from personal pages, social networking pages or unsubstantiated sources (Wikipedia).


Your paper should have a cover page (not included in the page count), page numbering in the top right corner (use a header) and is due in class on December 8th, 2014.  Please staple your paper together; there is no need for a plastic cover.


No late papers will be accepted.  I will review your paper and provide you with feedback and suggestions.  The last day to ask me to preview your work is November 21st —the Friday before Thanksgiving Break.  You can either hand me a typed copy or e-mail me a copy of your preview that day.  I will return your work after break.


Example Outline—you do not have to use this outline.


  • History of the case
    1. the defendant’s side
    2. the plaintiff’s side
  • Journey to the US Supreme Court—the appeals process
    1. original jurisdiction court and its outcome
    2. appeals court and its outcome
  • The issue that brought the case to the US Supreme Court
    1. civil or criminal
    2. constitutional issue
  • The resulting decision
    1. How would our society/culture/government be different if the case was decided differently?
    2. What impact does the decision have on your life or future?
  • Your opinion of the decision—substantiate it

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