Please share your project ideas here (click the EDIT tab in the upper right to add/contribute). Please be brief and include the CLA to which the project should be tied. Thanks! (NOTE: Your name should accompany any ideas listed)

Ann White
I have a more detailed two-week project that addresses CLAs 2, 3 and 4. The project involves the Lizzie Borden case and includes assigned teams, responsible for specific aspects of the case. Within the teams, there are specific roles and tasks for each student. This also involves the use of Delicious as a static, online database of web links. The writing portion of this project is a process paper.

I'll be happy to copy this if okayed by Noah. But it is not "short," so I'll simply offer a brief summary here in the interim.

Below is my second project idea.

CLA #1 Compose original materials in Standard American English
Project Description:
In your own words, compose a short essay about capital punishment. You are free to discuss any of your ideas about capital punishment. You will not be graded on your ideas and opinions.

Before describing your thoughts and feelings about the death sentence, you may want to consider the following questions:
  • Do you think capital punishment is an effective deterrent to crime?
  • Do you think anyone has been wrongly convicted and put to death?
  • Are some criminals so incorrigible that they should be terminally removed from society?
  • Is the death penalty “cruel and unusual” punishment?
  • What punishment would you substitute for capital punishment?

You may wish to look up your state at the U.S. Department of Justice and see if the death sentence is used as punishment. Here is the link:
Project Directions:
  • Write a 200-250 word essay on the topic above. [Word count could be 150-200 words]
  • The essay will be written from the first person point of view ( using the “I” pronoun)
  • The essay should be free of serious spelling and mechanical errors. Run your essay through the Spell and Grammar Check before submitting.
  • The essay should be composed in the MS Word application.
  • Submit your completed essay to the Unit 1 Dropbox.

Tina Miller:

Hi everyone,

The following is what I brainstormed prior to Monday's meeting:

Background: Students will choose one cold case from an assorted list. This will be the case that they will investigate throughout the course (CLA’s 1, 3, 4).
CLA #1 Compose Original Material in Standard American English
Option #1:
Write ½ page-1 page document pretending you are the main investigator in the case. Explain your thoughts. Who are your suspects? Why? What is your analysis of the crime?
Write ½ page-1 page document pretending you are the criminal in the case. Explain your thoughts. What is your agenda? What is provoking you to commit the crime(s)?
Option #2:
Write ½ page-1 page document pretending you are the defense in the courtroom. What is your main strength of defense? What is the weakness?
Write ½ page-1 page document pretending you are the prosecutor in the courtroom. What is the key piece of evidence? What can be determined to be the weakest area of the case?
CLA #2 Use appropriate documentation as required
Research (from a database of research material) current investigative strategies, techniques, tools, and theories. Write a 2 page research paper explaining three current investigative strategies for law enforcement today. From the reference page, pull out only those references which you used to create a reference page on your own.
CLA #3 Illustrate the steps in the writing process
In reference to aforementioned chosen cold case…
Option #1:
Create a Powerpoint that explains step-by-step the investigation of that crime in chronological order. Use pictures, charts, links, video, or any other enhancement to decorate and describe the investigation. Last slide: create a theory proposal in one sentence about why the case has not been solved (thesis).
Option #2:
Review the case and write an outline to summarize the case. Create a theory proposal in one sentence about why the case has not been solved (thesis).
CLA #4 Apply course knowledge of communication to a chosen profession
Combine perspectives, summary, research into a five-page paper that additionally explains how, in modern times, the case could be solved.
Investigative Strategies
Analysis of implementing strategies into case


I put these in the ideas but I will put them here.

This one relates to Outcomes 2 and 3

This one relates to Outcome 1, Outcome 2, Outcome 3, and outcome 4. It is more a cumulative project. My idea is to build each part throughout the term.

Here is an example that shows how we could do a portfolio. I also have the tutorials for each step

Tara Jill -

I really like Tina's idea about writing 1 page document pretending to be the main investigator or other person in the case. There is a neat website called Virtual Museum that includes a flash based "game" with instructions that could be linked to a project like Tina's.

You are about to investigate a murder.

Your goal is to investigate all 3 areas of the crime scene:

  • The place of entry

  • The place of struggle

  • The crime scene

I am still thinking of Project ideas, but the information I posted on this Wiki in "Readings" and "Discussions" are connected to Projects.

~Tara Jill

These are my project ideas--Hilda (I posted them in the wrong place :-( )Hilda
We need to define the types of writing students will actually use in their careers: CJ, fire science and emergency management. This is a writing course, so we should focus on developing real life skills that will help these people be more successful as police officers, fire fighters and emergency management coordinators. Not all students are beginners. We have quite a few that are working on a degree to improve their chances for advancement in their field.
It’s a given that their writing needs to be clear, concise, correct and complete.
They will write reports, narratives about investigations, budget justifications( for such things as cardiac care response vehicles, integrated communication system that will improve response during catastrophes such as wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes, terrorist attacks, purchasing SUV’s for canine patrol officers, starting a Police Athletic League or Explorer program, improving Hispanic or Asian or minority outreach, a horse patrol, a bike patrol, a gang unit, a crime prevention program for local daycares, fire prevention programs for schools, needs for new city ordinances such as bans on open burning), speeches for community groups, powerpoints for presentation within their departments, training classes, etc.
Can we incorporate some of these types of writing into the projects?

Ann White

I realized that I had not posted the project I'd mentioned earlier. My concept probably would work best as the Final Project. It involves students working in teams, and they will not have that sense of camraderie until the latter part of the session. This is a two-week project.

CM103 Re-Visioning PROJECT #2 – The Infamous Case of Lizzie Borden

CLA #2 Use appropriate documentation as required
CLA #3 Illustrate the steps in the writing process
CLA #4 Apply course knowledge of communication to a chosen profession

Lizzie Borden took an axe,
And gave her mother forty whacks,
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one.

Project Description:
In this project you will work as a member of a team to investigate the case of Lizzie Borden, charged with brutally killing her father and stepmother with an axe in 1892.
You will be assigned to one of the following teams by your professor and have an assigned role within your team:
  1. Crime Scene Team
  2. Characters Team
  3. Chronology Team

Your task for this activity will depend on cooperating with your team members and fulfilling your assigned role. In some cases, more than one student may be assigned to the same role.
Your professor will send each team member a detailed description of duties for each assigned role. If you need help, be sure to call on a team member.
Here are the roles:
  1. The Collector (gathers information)
  2. The Compiler (inputs information into the database)
  3. The Fact Checker (reviews the above information for accuracy)
This project will also require that each team submit its findings to an online database, set up by your professor.

Each team will also have a Group Chat area. Use this when you need to ask questions of each other, request assistance or check in with your progress.
You and your team will have two weeks to complete your task.
Project Directions:
  • Go to the following website and carefully review information that pertains to your team: []. You will only be required to pull information from this one website.
  • Completely fulfill your assigned role within the team.
  • Write a brief (100-150 words) essay describing the process you took to complete your role.
  • Cite the website using the APA citation style (found in Doc Sharing).
  • Run your essay through the Spell and Grammar Check before submitting. The essay should be free of serious spelling and mechanical errors.
  • The essay should be composed in the MS Word application.
  • Submit your completed essay to the Unit 9 Drop Box.

JUST A NOTE: I read a white paper released by a national education initiative (don't recall the name but I sent it to Noah), which surveys the poverty level of graduated students from post secondary schools. The findings show that many of these students are still at the poverty level often because they are not working at all or not working in their field of study. According to this report, one of the primary factors affecting students' employability had to do with their program's relationship to reality, i.e.: are students learning practical and valuable skills for the marketplace? Among those skills, and one that is highly valued by employers, is the ability to work in teams. So this prompted me to include the team concept with this project. Small group work is also used frequently in online learning environments to develop student cohesiveness, and it surely contributes to retention. Lastly, by combining students at various levels of the learning spectrum, we can help promote the actuality of peer learning and interdependence. So these are more foundational concepts prompting my project. But hopefully, the project also promotes the CLAs.

A short summary project can be helpful in CM103:

Ann Reich