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CRJU 3020: Research Methods In Criminal Justice: Welcome

This guide will help you find information and resources on research methods. Click on the various links to access library resources plus reliable, relevant websites.

Research Assignment

1.    PURPOSE OF RESEARCH PROPOSAL. The main purpose of this research proposal is for you to:

a.identify a specific in the field of criminal justice or  criminology worthy of study,
b.examine critically and thoroughly the theory and research on your problem,
c.describe the methods, including sample, recruitment procedures, research design, data collection method, and instrumentation, to be used to test the research hypotheses, and
d.discuss the impact of proposed study on policy or practice within the criminal justice or criminological fields.

Your proposal must focus on a single research problem (i.e., question) or several issues that you can demonstrate successfully their interconnectedness. You should pick a problem that is narrow in focus, but there exists a fair amount of research on it. The proposal should not be limited to simply a summary of the materials you have collected, but must involve a critical analysis and integration of the theories and research on your topic.  You should strive for originality, organization, and thoroughness when writing your proposal.

2.   STRUCTURE AND CONTENT OF THE PROPOSAL. The structure and content of your proposal must conform to a standardized format used in published research studies. Appendix A provides an outline for the general structure of the research proposal.

3.  PARAMETERS OF RESEARCH PROPOSAL. Your research proposal must focus on a single research question or a set of research questions that you can demonstrate successfully their interconnectedness. All research questions proposed must examine how one or a set of variables influence(s) another variable.  For your research study, you must select one dependent variable and at least one independent variable.  The format is specified below in Appendix A.

4.   BIBLIOGRAPHY AND STANDARDS OF CITATION.  You must use scholarly books and peer-reviewed journals for your proposal, which contribute to the problem you have selected.  Most of your sources will come from scholarly or academic criminal justice, criminology, social science, law, and related journals and books.  For the purposes of this proposal, I want you to use at least EIGHT references (five of which must come from academic, refereed articles, and the other three of which can come from professional or government sources). These sources must be original material (i.e., no magazine or newspaper articles, no web sites, and no textbooks). With one exception, you are allowed to use government web sites, such as BJS, NCJRS, FBI, OVC, etc.  Please consult your instructor if you have questions about the use of a particular web site. Magazines and newspapers such as Newsweek and The New York Times and trade journals such as Corrections Today and Police Chief are NOT scholarly sources that use external peer reviewers and will not be accepted as such for this proposal.  Also, criminal justice, juvenile delinquency, corrections, and criminology textbooks are not appropriate research materials for this research proposal and will not be allowed.  

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