he purpose of this assignment is to encourage you to select a topic within the sociological study of crime and criminal justice that interests you and explore it in more detail. In addition, this assignment will allow you to become more familiar with academic literature and how to find academic journal articles on a given topic. In this course we are examining our sources of knowledge about crime and how theoretical perspectives inform the type of research that is conducted. Through this assignment you will be able to explore recent academic research and will have an opportunity to critically evaluate that research. Not only will you have the opportunity to learn more about a topic that interests you, but the skills you develop here will be useful in finding and assessing information about crime (or other topics) in the future. For this assignment, you are asked to first select a broad topic within the area of criminology or criminal justice. Some examples are provided below. This is not an exhaustive list, but is meant to give you some ideas about the types of areas/issues you could choose. Choose a topic that interests you and that you would like to learn more on. Ideally the topic would have Canadian content and application. Once you have selected a topic, please review the (peer-reviewed) sociological/criminological academic journals for recent research articles related to your topic. Please note, if you are not able to find articles, you may need to broaden your topic or switch topics. Some examples of academic journals you may use are provided below. Also, make sure it is a sociology or criminology journal. If you are unsure if the journal you have selected fits the criteria, please check with me. This assignment is intended to have you review the professional academic sociological literature. Accordingly, worldwide web, newspapers, and magazines cannot be used for this assignment. Using sources that are not appropriate for this assignment will negatively affect your grade. As well, they should be recent articles (i.e. published in the last 5 years), and have Canadian content as much as possible. Note: Most of the journals are online and can be accessed through the University of Regina’s Main Library. A SOC 215 library resource page has been created for this class which can be found here. As you review the journals, you should be able to narrow your focus to three articles on a specific topic within your broad area of study. The three articles should discuss the specific topic, but from different perspectives, or focus on different elements of the issue. Make sure that the articles you have selected are research articles (i.e. not purely theoretical articles or reviews, commentaries, book reviews, or an introduction to a special edition of a journal). The article should outline the study that was conducted, the methodology used, and the findings or results. See this example of a research article on student attitudes toward wrongful convictions. Once you have selected three (related) articles, you should then complete the following: Introduce the reader to the topic you have chosen to research. Write a 3-5 page overview of the articles you have read. This would require you to succinctly summarize the content of the articles, including the research question or issue being studied, the methodology the author(s) used for their research, and an overview of the main results/findings and conclusions. Write 1-2 pages identifying the common aspects of the articles. Be sure it is clear to your reader how each article compares or contrasts with the others. What were the points of common agreement? What were the points of disagreement? You should also compare/contrast the research methodology used. Write 1-2 pages developing your own conclusions based on the research you have reviewed. Did the authors provide a persuasive argument? Why or why not? If all the articles came to the same research conclusion, you should explain why you agree or do not agree with the conclusion. Or, if the articles presented different conclusions, explain which conclusions you found more compelling and why. Please save your paper as a Word or a PDF document before submitting it. Submit your 6-9 page assignment (double-spaced), along with the proper citations (you can use ASA, APA, or MLA) for all of your articles. You also need to include a copy of each journal article’s abstract. The abstract is the summary that appears at the beginning of the article – they can be copied and pasted at the end of your paper. You can submit your assignment through the course “Assignments” tool. This assignment is worth 30% of your final grade. Late assignments may be subject to a penalty of 1% per day.
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