Research Assignment

Spring 2019

All students in CJS 101 must undertake a research assignment. That assignment, in brief summary, involves collecting some data from the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, presenting those data and analyzing them in terms of crime stereotypes and/or crime myths.

A proposal is due at the beginning of class on Thursday, February 21. If you are required to revise and resubmit your proposal (most people are) you must resubmit it in the very next class after it is returned to you. Proposals will be typed, no more than one page, and will indicate what crime or related activity you will be examining as well as what geographic areas and demographic groups you will cover. In each case you must present data from the most recent ten-year period for which the data are available and you should include, as a separate page, the table with your data as part of your proposal. All versions of your proposal that were submitted to the instructor must be resubmitted with the final version of your paper. The paper must reflect the data and crime myths/stereotypes submitted in the proposal. You will not be given permission to alter the proposal (and therefore the content of the paper) in the last two weeks before the paper is due.

The final paper is due at the beginning of class on Thursday, April 4. A hard copy must be submitted at that time but you must also send the instructor an e-mail with your paper as an attachment (as a single file, don't make the title page or the tables separate files) and that is due by the end of the day (5:00 p.m.) on the day the papers are due. The attachment should have a file name that consists of your last name followed by your first initial. For example, my paper would have the file name donnc-101paper.docx. Those will be submitted to the TurnItIn plagiarism detection program.

As with other assignments in CJS 101, late research papers will not be accepted under any circumstances. You will receive no credit if you turn your paper in late. However, if you do not turn it in at all, you cannot pass the class.

Content of the paper

1. It must contain at least the ten most recent years of data (it can include more) presented as either a graph or a table. Those must be the most recent ten years of data available. Contact the instructor if ten years of data are not available. Those data must relate to a particular crime and to clearly defined demographic groups and regions and the discussion and analysis of those data must be the principal theme of the paper.
2. The graph or table must not be copied from the Uniform Crime Report. You must create it yourself using Microsoft Excell. There should be either one or two tables and/or graphs and they must be contained in the paper. You must cite/indicate the specific tables in the UCR which are the source of the data in your tables or graphs.
3. The paper must contain an analysis of how the data relate to criminological theory, in particular what the data show about particular crime stereotypes or myths
4. The paper must be 4-6 pages in length in total (i.e. including the tables and graphs). It must have a 1.5 inch margin on the left and it must be double-spaced in arial font (12 point).
5. Your paper must be completely consistent with your approved proposal (i.e. you must write the paper your proposal said you would write).

Here is a link to a copy of a paper received in the Fall 2013 semester. It was an excellent paper that received a high "A" as a grade. Here is a link to a paper received in the Spring 2014. It is an acceptable paper but in terms of the analysis is not nearly as good as the other and the writing style is not as good either and therefore it received a "C" as a grade.