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Assignment 4: Review Paper—Topic Proposal & Reference Page

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The purpose of this assignment is to provide you with the opportunity to select a topic in the particular area in which you have an occupational or research interest, and to complete a literature review of the topic, using a minimum of ten scholarly references. This will allow you to demonstrate mastery of the program outcomes for the criminal justice program.

You may want to review the following documents:

For additional resources, conduct an Internet search using these keywords: writing a literature review.

Topic Proposal

The topic must address one of the core areas students have studied in the Criminal Justice Program. Below is a list of core areas and important topics related each area. Students must select a topic related to the following general areas:

  • Introduction to American Criminal Justice
  • Theories of Crime, Fourth Amendment Search and Seizure, The Evolution of the Prison System, Inmate Rights
  • Corrections
  • The Purpose of Punishment, Punishment Approaches, Sentencing Guidelines, Parole Administration and Services, Prison Privatization
  • Criminal Law
  • Fifth and Sixth Amendment Right to Counsel, Rights of the Accused, Public Decency and Morals, Victims’ Rights
  • Criminal Courts
  • Changing Laws and Their Impact on Society, Technology in the Courtroom, Issues Related to the Death Penalty, Incarceration and Juvenile Justice
  • Police Organizational Structure and Operations
  • Border Patrol and Illegal Immigration, Technology and Policing (“the CSI Effect”), Recruitment: Federal, State, and Local, Police Professionalism, Rights of Citizens During an Investigation, Law Enforcement and Combating Terrorism
  • Introduction to Security Management
  • Potential Threats and Vulnerabilities, Identifying Critical Assets and Reducing Risks, Technological Advances in Security, Private Sector Security, USA PATRIOT Act

Write one to two paragraphs (a) selecting the general area of focus (see above list), (b) summarizing the problem area (be specific in defining the problem), (c) describing what you already know about the topic, and (d) why you have chosen this topic for a literature review. The topic should apply criminal justice research to an individual, organizational, or social problem. Include a working title and the objective of the paper.

Reference Page

Search for literature on your selected topic and create a Reference Page containing at least 10 scholarly references. A good way to begin searching for relevant literature is to search for key words related to your topic in the Library research database. Narrow your search to articles in peer-reviewed journals. Another good idea is to check the list of References at the end of an article to find other relevant work. If you have any questions about this part, please feel free to set up an appointment with your instructor or ask the librarian. You will create a reference page for your literature review paper in an appropriate APA style. Your resources must come from scholarly, peer-reviewed journals or books. Use both the textbook and reputable outside resources from the Internet and online library resources to locate the laws, statutes, and cases.

 

 

Assignment 3: Review Paper—Summary of Literature Findings

Evaluate the evidence. Create a summary of the findings of the ten articles you have selected and how they contribute to our knowledge of this problem. Be sure to address each of the following items in your draft:

  1. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each article.
  2. If the articles talk to each other (that is, if they support or contrast with one another), explain how and why.
  3. What do the articles’ findings tell us?
  4. Is there another possible explanation you can think of? Based on what you have read, what is your hypothesis? In other words, what is your explanation for the findings?
  5. How can you refine your question or topic even further, now that you have described the findings?

Your paper should be double-spaced and in 12 point, Times New Roman font with normal one-inch margins, written in APA style, and free of typographical and grammatical errors. It should include a title page with a running head and a reference page. The body of the paper should be at least 5–6 pages in length. Submit your paper to the M2: Assignment 3 Dropbox by Wednesday, September 9, 2015.

 

Assignment 2: LASA # 1: Literature Review Paper

The purpose of this assignment is to provide you with the opportunity to select a topic in the particular area in which you have an occupational or research interest, and to complete a literature review of the topic, using a minimum of ten scholarly references. This will allow you to demonstrate mastery of the program outcomes for the B.S. criminal justice program

You may want to review the following documents:

For additional resources, conduct an Internet search using these keywords: writing a literature review.

Based on your review of the most recent, relevant research findings on your chosen topic, submit a final version of your literature review paper, integrating feedback received from your instructor. Be sure to include a research/focal question, synthesis of the literature you reviewed, well-established conclusions, and points of discussion and/or future research.

  • Begin the review by defining the objective of the paper. Introduce the reader to your focal question. What is this question intended to address? You may state your “question” in the form of a problem if you like. Describe the topic for your literature review and why you chose this topic. Explain why you think it is important. It is also useful to tell the reader how the review is organized in your introduction section, before you transition into the body of the review.
  • Organize your literature review paper by themes/theories/concepts, rather than article by article. If there is one major theme you want to highlight, state the theme. If there are three major themes or streams of thought on the topic, briefly name them—and then organize the balance of your literature review around those three streams. Think of themes, theories, concepts, lines of thought, and ideas as organizing strategies for your literature review. Your creativity in this assignment is not the content or findings but the clarity with which you organize the review and create a context for understanding the focal question.
  • When you are done introducing the first line of thought, create a new paragraph to discuss studies which present another line of thought or opposing view.
  • Your literature review should hit the high points of each article. You should not discuss a single article, one by one, like a grocery list. Zero in on the main theme or finding and then move on to the next theme. Remember, this is a synthesis, an integration of all the things you have learned. You are creating a discussion on paper, which in turn gives the reader a context for understanding where the scholarship has been, where it is currently, and where it likely will be heading next. Provide enough details to help the reader understand the significance of the studies you cite without “rebuilding Rome.” Be sure to evaluate the studies and offer critical comments on any shortcomings you’ve observed or that have been reported by the authors.
  • Discuss the main findings and their implications. Given the results of your literature review, what is/are the prevailing argument(s)? What research question could you ask in order to further develop this area of study and contribute to the existing body of knowledge? Complete your review by drawing conclusions about your body of research and identifying gaps in the research which still remain to be explored, maybe even by you! Make an argument as to why your research question is important and relevant to the current work being done on your topic.

Requirements

Apply current APA standards for editorial style, expression of ideas, and formatting of the text, headings, citations, and references. Remember to use your own words to describe and evaluate the articles. Avoid quoting the material and also cite works when you are discussing someone else’s ideas. Be sure to integrate any and all feedback received from your instructor. Your paper should be double-spaced and in 12 point, Times New Roman font with normal one-inch margins, written in APA style, and free of typographical and grammatical errors. It should include a title page with a running head, an abstract, and a reference page. The body of the paper should be no less than 5–6 pages in length.

Submit your review paper to the M3: Assignment 2 Dropbox by Wednesday, September 16, 2015.

 

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