Journals

All students in CJS 101 are required to maintain a journal of items related to crime and criminal justice.

Requirements: Students must purchase a folder (with two pockets) into which they can insert typed journal entries. Each entry must be a page to two pages long (double spaced with a 1.5 inch margin on the left side and typed in arial font, 12 points in size). Each time journals are submitted there must be one new entry plus, after the first time, responses to the instructor's comments on the previous set of journals. That is, each student's journal will be submitted 3 times over the course of the semester and there will be a total of three entries plus two sets of responses to the instructor's comments and questions. Each time you submit your journal entries, please include all of your previous journal entries. As with other assignments in CJS 101, you will not receive any credit for journal assignments submitted late. However, if they are not submitted at all, you cannot pass the course.

Topics: Each journal entry must report on a movie or an episode of a television show about crime or criminal justice in the United States. Each must include the name of the movie or television show, the date on which you watched it, a brief description of the criminal or criminal justice issue it addresses, and it must include a brief analysis of the issue in terms of stereotypes or myths about crime and criminal justice. lf you prefer, for your third journal you may use a real life crime incident reported in a magazine or newspaper. If you choose this option, a copy of the newspaper or magazine article must be submitted along with your journal entry. lf you choose this option, the analysis must still be based on stereotypes or myths about crime.

Sources: Clearly movies and television shows are the sources on which journal entries must be based. The movie or television show must be fictional in nature. Documentaries may not be used. You may not use the same television series more than twice. lf you choose to write your third journal about a non-fictional situation, newspapers or news magazines are the appropriate sources.

Evaluation: Evaluation is based on the written material submitted and on your responses to the instructor's questions and observations on your previous entries. Evaluation of the journal entries depends most heavily on your thoughtful and inciteful analysis of the issues that you discuss, remembering that analysis is to be based on the concept of stereotypes or myths about crime and criminal justice.

Feedback: Each time your journal is submitted, the first new page must be a response to any questions or observations the instructor wrote in the journal when it was last submitted. If the instructor indicated that he couldn't follow a particular part of your journal, rewrite that part. If he indicates you didn't do enough analysis, do more analysis in your response. You MUST respond to all questions and comments made by the instructor. Failing to respond to all of the comments and questions will significantly reduce your grade.

Schedule: The syllabus indicates when journals are due. For the Fall 2017 semester, journals are due on September 28, October 24, and November 16.

Examples: Here are two examples of well-done journal entries (both received grades of "A") from the Spring of 2014. They are well written, follow the instructions, involve very appropriate materials and attempt to analyze the situations in terms of class material, especially crime myths. Example 1 and Example 2.