Term Paper Guide
Part 1: Summary of Incident
You will choose a news story involving a crime. In your own words, you will summarize the events that took place before, during and after the crime. The news story you choose may involve any time of crime (ex: murder, robbery, rape, fraud, etc.). and can be from any year. Your news story must come from a credible news source. Examples of credible news source may include a newspaper, online news source (ex: NY Times online), journal, news channel or crime mystery documentary (ex: dateline, 48 hour mystery, etc.)
I expect to see the following in your summary:
1. The details of the crime that took place
2. The events that led up to the crime/incident
Part 1 should consist of 2-3 pages
Part 2: Theory
You will choose a criminological theory we’ve learned in class and apply it to the case you choose.
In your own words you will describe:
1. The theory you choose
(I am looking to see if you understand the theory and whether you can accurately explain them)
2. Describe how the theory relates to your case
(Apply the theory to the events of the incident and the offender)
3. Then conclude by determining if whether or not you believe this theory played a role in solving the case or sentencing the offender.
Part 2 should consist of 2-3 pages
You will be assessed on how accurate you explain the theories and how well you can apply it to the case/news story you choose
Your paper will be graded according to the following scale for each:
Missing – 0 points
Incomplete – 6 points
Unsatisfactory – 12 points
Satisfactory – 18 points
Very good – 24 points
Excellent – 30 points
*This Assignment will count towards 30% of your final grade.
The paper must be between 4-6 pages in length.
Plagiarism Rule: Do not plagiarize. If you use a word, sentence or quote that’s not yours, cite the source. A plagiarized paper will receive a automatic F and may result in academic discipline.
List of possible theories you can choose from
An Essay on Crime and Punishment (Beccaria)
The Criminal Man (Lombroso)
Juvenile Delinquency and Urban Areas (Shaw & Mckay)
Collective Efficacy and Crime (Sampson, Raudenbush & Earls)
Legal Cynicism and Crime (Kirk & Papachristos)
A Theory of Differential Association (Sutherland & Cressey)
A Social Learning Theory of Crime (Akers)
The Code of the Street (Anderson)
Social Structure and Anomie (Merton)
General Strain Theory (Agnew)
Crime and the American Dream (Rosenfeld & Messner)
The Culture of the Gang (Cohen)
Techniques of Neutralization (Sykes & Matza)
Social Bond Theory (Hirschi)
A General Theory of Crime (Hirschi & Gottfredson)
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