The link to the story:
What your essay will be about:
In each mystery there has been a crime or injustice committed. Your job is to make an argument about the crime and back it up with evidence. In some mysteries it may appear to be clear or obvious who committed the crime and even perhaps why; however, you will be judged on the merits of the case you present.
Your essay will be framed around two questions:
1. Who committed the crime and why?
2. What does the crime tell us about the society in which it happened?
It is essential that you have an argument/thesis/main claim to your paper. Since there are two questions being asked, you can have two thesis statements or you can combine them into one.
In terms of the first question, who committed the crime and why, the second is more important that the first. In some mysteries it will be obvious who committed the crime, and perhaps somewhat less obvious why the crime was committed. However, you will be judged on the case you make for proving this. How well do you back up your claims/arguments with primary document evidence from the website. In another analogy, you might think of yourself like a prosecutor in a court case, trying to prove who committed the crime in question and the motive behind doing so. The judge and jury obviously would not take your word for but needs to be convinced of it by your reasoning, and most importantly, by the strength of the evidence you present.
The second question is a broader question than the first and should relate back to some of the themes discussed in the course, such as social or moral regulation; ethnicity; gender; class; religion and so on. For this discussion you can look at the documents in the section of your mystery variously called œHistorical Contexts, œContexts, or œSettings.