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Davis-Fall2020: Writing Prompt

"The Minority Report" Writing Prompt

Assignment Prompt:

The prompt for the research paper is as follows: Philip K. Dick’s short story “The Minority Report” examines the dangers of police reliance on predictive technology.  The story was published in 1956, and in it, the Pre-Crime Division of a police agency uses three psychics known as “precogs” to identify would-be criminals.

When a majority of precogs predict that someone is going to commit a crime, that person is arrested before the crime occurs.  Today’s law enforcement agencies increasingly implement predictive technology and argue that it increases public safety.  Opponents of “predictive policing” argue that law enforcement use of such technology infringes on individual privacy rights
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For this assignment, research modern law enforcement use of predictive policing, its effectiveness, and its impact. You will then write an essay that combines your research with “The Minority Report.”

Your essay should have three parts: The first part should analyze “The Minority Report” to determine Dick’s concerns about police use of predictive technology. The second part should make and support the argument that Dick’s concerns are the same concerns that modern critics of predictive policing have. The third part should discuss whether the reduced crime (if any) achieved by use of predictive policing outweighs the individual privacy rights infringed upon by use of such technology.  You must use the film Pre-Crime in the third section of the essay.  Citation instructions for Pre-Crime are on Blackboard.
You must use one scholarly source to support your position; however, you may not use more than two scholarly sources for this essay.  The maximum number of other written sources (i.e., magazine articles, policy reports, etc.) you may use is two.

 

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