The paper should be typed, double-spaced in Arial or Times New Roman font (12 point), and must be 17 pages long (15 pages of text), which will include a required cover page (see below), and a required reference page that should include all references/citations (this References page will only count as one page no matter the length). The format for the paper, as well as references, should follow the American Psychological Association (APA) Manual (5th edition or later), which is available in the book store and in the campus library (they have a “short-list” handout that may help you).
The paper must have 1-inch margins on all sides (including top-bottom). Pages must be numbered. ADEQUATELY STAPLE the paper in top left-hand corner. DO NOT use binders, folders, etc.
On the front/cover page of the assignment, and there only, the student should note their name, date, and the course number (a title is optional). Only do this on the front page; the following pages should simply have a page number. No abstract is needed.
This assignment involves reading and applying to theories three (3) of the empirical studies in the book, and applying them to the theories that they are testing or discussing. I have given you some options regarding which reading selections you want to review (see below). However, you must review at least one from each pair. The primary goal of the assignment is to apply the content/findings of the empirical study to the actual theory/theories it is meant to test. Not all findings will support the theories, and it is your job in this assignment to point out and explain which portions of the study actually support the theory or theories they are testing, as well as to point out and explain which portions of the given study do not support the theory/theories they are testing. Be sure to relate back to the text portion of appropriate sections of the textbook (in the sections of textbook assigned in the Schedule above) these studies appear in; you must specifically cite pages from the text portion that discuss the theories that such concepts/propositions tested in the studies actually apply to.
ADVICE: I would propose that you devote about 5 pages for each of the studies you choose, and to briefly explain why (theoretically) and how (methods [e.g., sample/measures]) the researcher(s) tested the theory on the first page or so, and then discuss how this particular study does or does not support the theory/theories on the second and third page or so. At least a page or more should be devoted to referring the findings of the study back to the text portions of the book (make sure to cite pages from the text material throughout your paper), regarding whether or not the study supported or did not support the theories discussed in the text portions.
Be specific, especially in terms of concepts/hypotheses and most importantly the findings and conclusions. Also, when writing this paper, do not write it to me; rather, pretend like you are actually teaching this study to a group of people who know nothing about criminology. In other words, be very comprehensive and clear on all concepts, propositions, hypotheses, methods, findings and conclusions, as well as how it informs the established theories discussed in the text portions of the book that the studies are directly testing. Also, try to include a paragraph or more on how would you have done the study differently to better study the given theories!? If you devote about 5 pages per study for the 3 readings you have chosen, then it should put you close to 15 pages of text, which will get set you up for possibly getting full credit for this paper (along with the cover page and reference page to make 17 pages). Of course, you can deviate from this advice, but this is just one sure type of guideline/format that would likely work for acquiring full credit on this assignment.
IMPORTANT: Students MUST specifically cite the PAGE in the textbook for each point they are discussing! Again, these concepts/propositions must span the entire chapter/reading, not just one area of the various readings. Also, you must paraphrase what the researchers found (as well as the theory portions you discuss); in other words DO NOT QUOTE the studies, modules, or text material. To clarify, you must use your own words to describe the findings in both the readings/studies and in applying them to the text on theories. If you directly quote the text, modules, or studies in the text you will lose major points. I want you to put all discussion in your “own words.” Also, MAKE SURE to cite the pages you are discussing in the assigned studies, as well as the appropriate pages that relate back to the text portions (see Schedule above) of the relevant sections of the textbook regarding how it relates or adds to understanding the dominant theories discussed in the textbook.
DON’T USE HEADINGS/SUBHEADINGS EXCESSIVELY; if you do, many points will be deducted!!!! Just use headings to identify the sections/readings you are summarizing; no more headings are needed because you will be citing the pages you are discussing, regarding both the studies and text material each study relates to.
Assuming the above criteria are met, papers will be assessed in four (4) areas:
A) Facts (25%): were the facts provided sufficient from the textbook and/or the scientific literature
B) Logic (25%): did the student’s argument and descriptions rationally explain the issues
C) Application (25%): did the student apply concepts related to the content of the course/texts
D) Grammar/Style (25%): did the author follow acceptable grammatical and stylistic rules (APA)
IMPORTANT: All students must do a SPELL CHECK before turning in the paper. If more than two misspelled words are found that a standard spell-check would pick up, the student will fail this assignment.
ADVICE: Write this paper as if you were teaching it to or going to turn it in to a professional agency as an instruction on how modern research informs criminological theory.
LIST OF CHOICES FOR STUDIES FOR TERM PAPER
7. The Impact of Neighborhoods, Schools, and Malls on the Spatial Distribution of Property
Damage (by LaGrange)
4. The Effects of Focused Deterrence Strategies on Crime: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of the Empirical Evidence (Braga & Weisburd)
23. Informal Reactions and Delinquency (by Zhang)
the book that will be used for this term paper is :Criminological Theory: A Text/Reader 2nd ed. S. Tibbetts & C. Hemmens (SAGE)
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