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Criminal Justice Paper Essay

The purpose of this Preparation Guide is to provide you with some general direction concerning the content, process, and structure of your class project paper. In the sections below are proffered some helpful information that will prove valuable with respect to facilitating your completion of a course project reflective of the high standards of quality work and personal learning that should be the aim of each participant in the course. Research

Students must conduct research to obtain information from which the paper will be written. Sources of information may be classified as being “primary” or “secondary”. Primary sources include articles in scholarly/peer reviewed journals, court decisions, statutes, personal memoirs/interviews, government review articles, and so forth. Secondary sources include professional magazines in a related field of study, newspaper articles, book chapters, etc. The student will be graded in part on the depth and thoroughness of the research. For a 8 to 10 page paper, the student should develop approximately 10 sources. It is important that you work on this paper throughout the session and not procrastinate. Getting Started

Select any ONE of the following six (6) Research Paper Topics. Other topics may be considered with prior instructor approval, but they must be directly related to a criminological theory for approval.


1. Profile a county in your state on the basis of social, economic, and criminological factors. For the social picture the students may want to include such items as population size, rural versus urban area, rate of college graduates, divorce rate, etc. For the economic picture the students may want to include such items as percentage below poverty, average family income, percentage unemployed, rate of home ownership, etc. Census data are useful for the social and economic variables. Criminological factors, such as crime rates, arrest rates, number of officers, etc., can be obtained from your state crime information center. The focus of the written assignment, then, is to tie the various social and economic forces operating within the county to the levels and types of crimes identified.

2. There are thousands of agencies with the mission of providing services to victims of crime. Complete an in-depth investigation into a specific agency at the local, state, or national level. The paper should include an historical look at the agency, provide statistics on the number and type of victims they assist, offer descriptions of the services provided, give an explanation of the philosophy of the agency, discuss funding sources, and provide information on the location of the agency. You may even want to include a personal interview with a representative of the agency. Try to apply a specific criminological theory.


Select a recent crime from a local newspaper. Spend a short amount of time laying out the facts of the case; attach the article to their final paper. Then define and apply one criminological theory that does a good job explaining this type of offense and one criminological theory that does a bad job explaining this type of offense. Integrate facts from the article to support your argument. This paper works best if you apply a specific criminological theory, like Routine Activities Theory, rather than a more “umbrella” theory, like Social Disorganization Theories.


1. Select one type of crime. Provide the legal definition for the offense, incidence rates at both the state and national levels, and clearance rates at both the state and national levels. To what extent does this crime in your state reflect nationwide trends? Try to apply a specific criminological theory.

2. Street crimes (violent and property), enterprise crimes, and public order crimes vary in definition, incidence level, and how society views them. You may either compare and contrast across these three large crime classifications or select one crime from each of the three categories to use as a representative of that group of offenses. Then discuss how not all crimes are alike or viewed as such. Try to apply a specific criminological theory.


There are hundreds of treatment and rehabilitation programs for offenders that have been utilized in the past or are currently in favor. Identify one such program and provide an analysis of it. Specific topics to be discussed include the type of offender the program targets, the history of the program, its breadth of use across various facilities, its level of success, the length of the program, the structure of the program, etc. Try to apply a specific criminological theory. NOTE: You are encouraged to use the resources of the DeVry University online library and campus library resources. If you are unable to locate source material at the campus library, you should request the material via “inter-library loans”.

Writing Style

In this course you are expected to demonstrate writing proficiency. Pay careful attention to paragraphing, sentence structure, quotation conventions, spelling, punctuation, citation protocol, and other aspects of grammar. Remember to proofread, correcting any typing or printing errors.

All papers written for this course should follow the standards that are applicable in the business environment. This includes a business-appropriate writing style and no misspelled words or grammatical errors. Presentation and organization, while not as important as content, will impact your grade. Always write as if the reader is unfamiliar with the material you are presenting.

It is important that you learn to catch mechanical errors in your writing. Research has shown that they can make a bad impression. In 2001, Larry Beason published a study of how business persons react to minor writing errors–“Ethos and Error: How Business People React to Errors” College Composition and Communication. 53(1), 33-64. He found that “For some readers, simple accidents or certain errors have little impact, while other readers see the same errors and create a damning portrait of the writer.” Many of the business persons in his study interpreted mechanical errors as evidence that the writer was a poor business person–a faulty thinker, not a detail person, a poor oral communicator, and/or a poorly educated person. Some also interpreted mechanical errors as evidence that the writer was hasty, careless, uncaring, and/or uninformed.”

A direct quotation will be indicated by quotation marks (followed by the page number where the quote was taken). Direct quotes longer than three lines, will be indicated by indenting the entire quote and typing it double-spaced (followed by the page number). Unless the style or manner of presentation of the information in the quote is important to the paper, the material will be substantially paraphrased, rather than quoted. The student is reminded that the use of a direct quote or paraphrase without proper citation of the source of the material amounts to plagiarism. Physical Preparation of the Paper

See the Course Paper in the Course Home section of our class.

Submission Deadlines and Point Value:
All submission deadlines will be noted in the class syllabus. See the Course Paper link under Course Home.

Citing Work in the Body of the Paper
This paper will be written using the latest publication manual of the American Psychological Association (APA). There are two steps in the APA style of documentation: (1) works are cited, in an abbreviated form, in the body of the paper (in-text citation), and (2) full information about all works cited in the text provided at the end of the paper in a section entitled “Reference Page.” When you need to document the source of your information, you will provide, within the text the paper, the last name of the author(s) of the work (or a short title if the author is unknown), followed by the date the material was published. This can be done in a variety of methods, depending upon the flow of the sentence. For instance, A Check List and a Few Reminders:

Did you:
* Proof-read your paper
* Use quotation marks (hopefully you did not use many, if any, quotes) for any direct quote (complete with page number where quote was taken)?
* Check to make sure that all sources used in the text match with the reference page (including correct spelling of authors and dates)?
* Review reference page to insure that all sources are complete and in proper order (e.g. alphabetical by author’s last name)?
* Number all pages

* Write the cover page with the following information:

Title of paper, your name, email, Course title, The University, and Due date. * Keep your paper gender neutral? (Do not assume the masculine voice when writing – use “police officer” rather than “policeman” or use he/she rather than he). * Keep the tense the same throughout your paper? (should be in past tense – such as, “research revealed”). * Insure that you have at least 2 complete sentences for a paragraph? (One sentence paragraphs are not accepted in formal writing). * NEVER use a personal pronoun in your paper (such as “I”, “my”, etc.). You are not experts in the field. While your opinion is encouraged during classroom discussion, it does NOT belong in a research paper.


DeVry University is committed to the highest standards of academic honesty. Acts of academic dishonesty include plagiarism, cheating, bribery, academic fraud, sabotage of research materials, the sale of academic papers, the purchase of academic papers, and the falsification of records. An individual who engages in these or related activities or who knowingly aids another who engages them, is acting in an academically dishonest manner and will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the bylaws and procedures of DeVry University (See Student Handbook). Each member of the academic community is expected to give full, fair, and formal credit to any and all sources that have contributed to the formulation of ideas, methods, interpretations, and findings.

The absence of such formal credit is an affirmation that the work is fully the writer’s. The term “sources” includes, but is not limited to, published or unpublished materials, lectures, lecture notes, computer programs, mathematical and other symbolic formulations, course papers, examinations, theses, dissertations, and comments offered in class or informal discussions. The representation that such work of another is the writer’s represents plagiarism. Care must be taken to document the source of any ideas or arguments. If the actual word of a source is used, it must appear within quotation marks. In cases that are unclear, the writer must take due care to avoid plagiarism. The source should be cited whenever:

1. A text is quoted verbatim  2. Data gathered by another are presented in diagrams or tables/charts 3. The results of a study conducted by another are used  4. The work or intellectual effort of another is paraphrased by the writer. Since the intent to deceive is not a necessary element (strict liability), careful note taking and record keeping is essential in order to avoid plagiarism. In other words, it is like being a little bit pregnant (you either are or you are not). One cannot have “accidental/unintentional” plagiarism! Students should consult members of the faculty for clarification of the definition and substance of this policy on plagiarism as it applies to their particular discipline. (Source: City University of New York – Proposal on Plagiarism).

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