Native Son Final Paper/Presentation: Individual vs. Environment

Our theme for “Native Son” is the idea that subhuman conditions create subhuman behavior, and that Bigger Thomas, while not blameless for his behavior, was influenced by extenuating forces within his environment that dictated how he acted.

Your group’s assignment is to select a murderer or serial killer from the list:

Leopold and Loeb
Sacco & Vezenti

Lee Harvey Oswald
Kleohold & Harris (Columbine)

Jeffery Dahmer
Susan Smith

John Wayne Gacy
David Berkowitz (Son of Sam)

Bonnie & Clyde
Richard Speck (Nurse Killer)

Ted Bundy
Charles Manson

Ed Gein (Silence of the Lambs)
Sirhan Sirhan

*Only ONE group per tops, so as soon as your group makes a decision, get your topic approved by me

You will then research your topic to write a paper and create a presentation for your final

In your paper, research the following:
1) The facts of the murder case
2) Relevant background information on the killer’s life (environmental issues like family dynamics, neglect, poverty etc.)
3) Once you have gathered the information, your group must determine:
a. Was whether the individual or the environment for the most part responsible for this person’s behavior? Explain
b. Develop a convincing theory about what motivated this individual to murder in this way
c. Were there forces in this individual(s) life that can help us understand their motive? Explain

Your paper:
1) Must be 4-6 pages in length
2) Must have at least SIX sources
3) Must be in MLA format
4) Must have works cited page that include all the sources you use

On the day of your final, you will not only be turning in your paper, but you will also present it.

Your presentation:
1) Must be 10 minutes in length
2) EVERYONE in your group must speak
3) You must have your presentation outlined on note cards
4) You must have at least 3 visuals
5) You will be presenting the facts of your case, the background of the murderer(s), and what conclusion your group made about the murderer(s) motive and the affect his or her environment had on them.

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