Your WIKI should have a title and can have an image (as a sort of title page) and all group members should be listed

external image mobster-mafia-13.gif

Then you should start with a clear, concise introduction PRG.


Images and stereotypes of the Mafia are integrated in our modern American Society. Typical mafia figures are a spefici sub-genre of gangster, who operate outside the law, and have a fierce and intimidating (often bloody) reputation. They are associated with crimes involving prostitution, money laundering, illegal drug and weapons sales, as well as the organized syndicates who are commonly assumed to "control" areas of civic life, like waster management and the construction industries. While they are loathed and feared, society accepts that rarely are these criminal persued, caught, or prosicuted, as their access to incredible amounts of money buys them corrupt police and government officials. They are commonly thought to work in families, like the famed Costa Nostra, and steretypes often include families of Sicilian or Italian composition who are often devout catholic. How can devout christians be theives and murderers? How can criminals be idolized? galamoraized, so that even video games integrate their violence and lessen the horrors of true mafia actions? Are these stereotypes founded in any truths? What does the modren mafia really look like? What sort of power and/or terror does it yeild? Do the images of pop culture contribute to the popularity and acceptance of this illegal, violent group of citizens? Literature and modern cinema have played a large role in shaping these images that most Americans accept as truth.

Do you see how my intro PRG lets the reader know exactly which things I will be researching and dicussing in this wiki? There are clear forecasting elements that tie to the development that will follow. * Remember that the idea here is to Divide and Conquer! Members of the wiki group must read and view the SAME research so that there can be a lively discussion in the ideas that come next. For example, after viewing the film Goodfellas, does your group agree on the idea that the Mafia uses or preys on young men from poor backgrounds and lures them into a life of crime by using money and a false sense of security?


My 1st discussion PRG should give a clear definition of MAFIA - give clear context and working vocabulary for the readers. In other words, every reader has an idea of what "mafia" means, but you want the reader to use YOUR researched definitions. You have providing context for the discussion to follow. (Everyone feels they understand what HERO means, but as we've discovered in class, these definitions and criteria are widely varied.)


The Mafia (also known as Cosa Nostra) is a criminal syndicate that emerged in the mid 19th century in Sicily. It is a loose association of criminal groups that share a common organizational structure and code of conduct (Wars, 44). Each group, known as a "family", "clan", or "cossa", claims sovereignty over a territory in which it operates its rackets – usually a town or village or a neighbourhood (borgata) of a larger city. Their primary activity is protection racketeering, but they are also involved in bid rigging, drug trafficking, loan sharking, and rum running and cigarette smuggling(Life).

goodfellas narration


I would have a PRG or 2 that details the history of the mafia in America (my wiki's focus) and can include images in between PRGs to support those ideas:
How they were "imported" to America, the land of opportunity
How recruitment and growth occured into the Great Depression and boomed during Prohibition...Who is Capone...external image capone6.jpg
MAFIA style/reputation in the 1920s:

Attempts on Capone's life were never successful. He had an extensive spy network in Chicago, from newspaper boys to policemen, so that any plots were quickly discovered. Capone, on the other hand, was skillful at isolating and killing his enemies when they became too powerful (Mafia, 412). A typical Capone murder consisted of men renting an apartment across the street from the victim's residence and gunning him down when he stepped outside. The operations were quick and complete and Capone always had an alibi.

external image massacre.jpg

Capone's most notorious killing was the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. On February 14, 1929, four Capone men entered a garage at 2122 N. Clark Street. The building was the main liquor headquarters of bootlegger George "Bugs" Moran's North Side gang. Because two of Capone's men were dressed as police, the seven men in the garage thought it was a police raid. "As a result, they dropped their guns and put their hands against the wall. Using two shotguns and two machine guns, the Capone men fired more than 150 bullets into the victims. Six of the seven killed were members of Moran's gang; the seventh was an unlucky friend. Moran, probably the real target, was across the street when Capone's men arrived and stayed away when he saw the police uniforms. As usual, Capone had an alibi; he was in Florida during the massacre" ("HistoryFiles").

NOTE how I have CITED my sources in the above PRGs of discussion!? Your wikis will be MLA cited (with a full bibliography at the very end, as you would have in a traditional academic essay).

Notice how I give historical FACTS about the real mafia, including facts about events, especially brutal and bloody ones. TELL what happened, THEN use video of images (in this case an actual photograph of victims) to support your research.
TRANSITION from one idea to the next!

Modern RULES of the Cosa Nostra with OLD WORLD origins- there are consequences to belonging to "this thing of ours" - the Cosa Nostra- and rules that can't be broken, many of which have connections to religious beliefs. A 2007 raid of a Mafia stronhold in Italy revealed new information about the interior structure of the true Mafia:

Composition that follows highlighting the "Ten Commandments" of the Mafia and how protection of an oppresssive ruler gives rise to organized syndicates who offer security against organized governements, and this idea is imported to America. Capone was barred full mafia membershp because the #1 rule is that you must be Sicilian.

CATHOLIC CONNECTIONS? (further discussion)":

Emmett McLoughlin, author of a 1962 book, ''Immorality in the Catholic Church conducted years of research in to the connectios between the Vatican and the American (branch of the) Mafia. He states that, ''American gangsterism during Prohibition days was largely a Roman Catholic monopoly,'' he writes. ''From these days into our time emerges the Mafia, totally Roman Catholic in fact and in origin.'' He even quotes an unnamed former priest as saying ''some priests in the Chicago area said Mass in the morning and slipped into the Mafia for the rest of the day.''

My disucssion will proceed on in this way until I have explored all the connections I set out to in the intro PRG

You can end with a final image, but this cannot substitute for a comprehensive Conclusion PRG (restate your thesis and sum up all main points of discussion).

AFTER your conclusion PRG, you may have a list of "CREDITS" that appears before the Bibliography. If you have divided the research or group work into clear segments, you can list them as such in the credits, as you would see following filmsFor instance:
Al Capone Expert
Victoria Shropshire

Executive Director (coherence, proofreading, citation)
Victoria Shropshire

Director of Film Clip and Integration
Victoria Shropshire!

will have an MLA formatted Works Cited.

Have fun!!