Mini Research Paper/Literature Review
1. 4 pages double spaced 12 pt font, APA formatting.
2. , in text citations as needed (see supplemental guide) and a bibliography/reference page.
3. I expect that for each paper you will include the textbook if relevant, but you must have an additional 4 to 5 outside empirical sources (journal articles, government reports, etc).
4. These research papers will be reviews of the theoretical and empirical literature on a criminology/criminal justice topic of your choosing. You most definitely can use ANY of the text readings and articles as the basis for your paper. However, as indicated above, you must dive into related literature and integrate those findings into your paper.
Developing a research paper entails surveying academic resources such as peer reviewed journals to find the most relevant information on the topic of your choice. Thus, you must first pose a research question and then gather the theoretical and empirical information available to answer that question. If you were a graduate student, this would entail collecting and analyzing data. However, in your case, you will review existing research studies that already explore your question, evaluate the collection of studies you have found, and then write a comprehensive analysis that includes an introduction to the topic, summary of the overarching findings, any controversies or gaps in the research, and any interesting information you deem important. You can incorporate your personal thoughts/opinions into your paper (minimally), but must make sure you are basing your thoughts/ideas on the existing literature/research. Refrain from using “I”.Your finished research paper should present your own thinking and ideas of course, but must be backed up by concepts, theories, and information from experts in the field.
For example, if your research question is: Is there a relationship between mental health disorders and mass shootings, part of your paper would discuss the relationship between mental health disorders and violence/aggression in general, Next your paper, would discuss Mass Shootings. Then, another section brings the two topics together by presenting a review of the literature/ notable study findings and their implications, controversies, unanswered questions etc on the link between the two. You would conclude your paper with discussion of policy/programming, additional research that should be done, etc.
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