You will be required to write a final paper that takes an area of criminology research and proposes a study. The focus of the paper (and the majority of the grade) will be on your hypotheses and methods section, though you will also be expected to write an introduction literature review. More will be discussed about the paper during the class period and provided in the Assignments tab on Blackboard, but as an overview, it will be 8-10 pages (not including the title page and references), double-spaced, Times New Roman and following APA format. It must be at least 8 pages. You must have five empirical sources (peer-reviewed preferred.) You are encouraged (but not required) to get the instructor’s approval as soon as practical to help give you enough time to successfully complete the assignment”
Please submit via Blackboard and make sure that your file can be opened before the deadline. It is your responsibility to check this. In the case of an emergency technical problem, email me the file but only as a last resort.
Pick any criminology topic that you are interested in. Any topic related to criminology is fine, though you are welcome (but not required) to contact the instructor regarding your topic. You want to make sure you have a topic that you can (1) find research on and (2) can design four studies to test.
The final paper must include:
APA formatted title page (not included in the 8-10 pages)
A background/literature review (~ 2 pages) that introduces your topic and discusses at least five strong sources (preferably from peer-reviewed journals). You should discuss these articles in a substantive, integrated manner. Compare and contrast the articles, paying special attention to the research methods used. This section should lay the groundwork for your own research methods. Do not just provide the five sources as a list – you need to synthesize and integrate the findings together by a topic or sub-topic. Use the outside readings as a guide for how to write a professional research paper’s literature review. The lessons from the two research critiques could be used here when deciding how to examine the articles. This section must end with your explicit hypothesis to test in your methods section.
In a mixed methods section (~ 6 pages), you should start with statement of what your THREE methods will be to examine your ONE hypothesis. Do not change your hypothesis between your method sections. Your hypothesis should be addressed in all three studies. Then, write each of the three method sections separately, breaking them apart with three section headers (such as “Method 1: True Experiment”). Each design should present thorough information on what you would do (avoiding first person) in future tense. Remember: you are not actually doing the research. However, the designs should be very clear so that if I wanted to do your study I would need nothing but your document. You should spend about 2 pages on each methods design and consider the requirements of a methods section including (but not limited to): what your sample would be, how you get your sample, operationalizing and conceptualizing the major terms, the independent and dependent variables, the type of design, the potential for it to be causal, survey or interview questions written out exactly as you would if you were doing the study (if appropriate to your design), how you got your data (if appropriate for your design), as well as ethical considerations. Use the outside readings as a guide for how your research method (e.g., survey; field experiment) is presented or seek out the instructor. Surveys and interviews count for one research design. You will need to come up with two more from class (or from readings).
A brief conclusion that summarizes the topic, the three research designs, and notes which you believe is the “best” design (one you would be most likely to use if you were going to do the study). This is the only place first person is acceptable.
APA formatted references page with the bare minimum five strong sources (peer-reviewed preferred). Review APA citing! (not included in the 8-10 pages)
You can go over 10 pages (no more than 12!), provided that your paper remains clear and concise. Going under 8 pages will result in a grade penalty.
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