Use theory and data to examine crime

Crime Topic and Theory Essay

CRIM 200

Paper Directions

Fall 2017

This essay is worth 100 points. The purpose of this essay is to use theory and data to examine crime. You will choose from the list of crime types and theories provided. You should do your research before choosing a crime type and theory to make sure the theory is applicable to your topic.

You will choose from a list of pre-determined topics (a random draw will determine who gets to choose first, only one topic per person). Each topic can be used up to four times, and sub-topics have to be unique. The topics are broad and you will have the freedom to narrow down the subject. For instance, one person will be assigned to write about homicide. While this topic may initially appear to be narrow, you will find in the research there are many forms of homicide such as serial murder, mass murder, urban homicide, rural homicide, or domestic homicide. You will be required to narrow your paper down to only one subject such as urban homicide. Do not attempt to write on all forms of homicide in your paper.

Your essay final paper is due on Friday Your final paper is due on Tuesday, December 5th by 2 p.m. on Blackboard. the essay will be eight paragraphs long. You will submit the essay on blackboard. The essay must contain a title and reference page. The essay must have 1-inch margins, 12 point Times New Roman font, and include page numbers. You must upload your essay on Blackboard. All essays will be submitted to Turnitin, a plagiarism tool. All reference and in-text citations in the essay should follow APA guidelines.

In this essay you must have at least six academic research resources cited in your essay, only one of your resources can be the textbook. You must cite and reference the essay using APA Style 6th Edition. Failure to cite or reference your paper will result in loss of considerable points.

You must cite and reference the paper using APA style 6th edition. Failure to cite or reference your paper will result in considerable points (see rubric).

There are eight paragraphs that every essay is required to contain:

(1) Introduction

(2) Definition

(3) Scope of the Problem

(4) Characteristics of Offenders and Victims

(5) Theory Defined

(6) Theory Applied

(7) Policy Application

(8) Conclusion.

The following provides more information on each of the paragraphs.

Paragraph 1: Introduction

A good introduction sets the stage and outline for the entire essay. In the introduction you should identify your topic and establish why it is important to study. You need to identify the extent of the problem/topic and justify why the topic is important. You must also introduce your theory, briefly explain what the theory is, and how it can explain your crime topic.  The final sentences or paragraph in the introduction should include the thesis/purpose statement for the paper.  The final sentences or paragraph should also provide a guidepost for the rest of the essay. That is, the introduction should indicate what else the essay is going to talk about. Hint: If you are struggling to write your introduction, re-read your research articles and pay attention to how those authors wrote their introductions.

Paragraph 2: Definition of Crime Topic

In this paragraph, you will be discussing the exact working definition of your crime used in your paper. This section clearly establishes what your topic is. Clear definitions are vital for having an informed conversation/debate on research. Depending on your topic, this section could be lengthy. For instance, there are competing definitions of terrorism, you will have to discuss many of these definitions in order to justify your selected definition. When defining your topic, I want to see the research definition, not the dictionary definition. You will lose points if you use Webster’s dictionary to define a term. You will once again need to provide citations for your arguments.

Paragraph 3: Scope of Crime Topic

In this paragraph you will discuss the scope of the problem. You will need to consult the UCR, NCVS, or any other resources that may be available on your topic. Use the most recent data available. In most instances, data will be drawn from 2015. I do not want you to report data from 2007 as the most recent data available. You will lose points for not consulting original resources. Some web sites you may want to review are as follows: Federal Bureau of Investigation ; Bureau of Justice Statistics ; National Criminal Justice Reference Service These are not the only sources of data. You may include in your discussion a description of the perpetrators as well as the victims.

Paragraph 4: Characteristics of the Victim and Offender

In this paragraph you will be consulting many of the same resources you used in explaining the scope of the problem, such as, the Federal Bureau of Investigation ; Bureau of Justice Statistics ; National Criminal Justice Reference Service web sites. These are not the only sources of data. You will need to be more specific in this section, however, describing who is most likely to be a victim and who is most likely to be the perpetrator. You may use both official data and the literature to identify these data.

Paragraph 5: Theory Defined

In this paragraph you will identify a theory that may be used to explain your topic. Use the research literature to do this. You should read journal articles as well as your textbook. Once you have identified the theory, you must first explain the tenets of the theory. For example, if you are applying Routine Activities theory, you must discuss Cohen and Felson’s original theory and the convergence between motivated offender, lack of guardianship, and available target. You must then discuss how the convergence of these come together to create crime. Remember you MUST use the literature to define your topic. This is one section of the paper that your books will be useful in writing your paper. You will also need to cite peer-reviewed research as well.

Paragraph 6: Apply the Theory

In this paragraph you must apply the theory to the topic. You must use the literature to apply the theory. For example, find an article where researchers have already used your topic to test a particular theory. This will include a discussion on the causes of the crime. For example, if I am using a biological approach to explain violence, I could argue that damage to the frontal lobe could cause an individual to have low impulse control, thus when placed in certain situations they may be more likely to respond in a violent impulsive manner than someone who does not have damage to their frontal lobe. HINT: Make sure your theoretical discussion and the use of resources matches your offender and victim characteristics. For instance, if the most common victim of burglary is a juvenile and you are using social learning theory, then you should find research that uses social learning theory and studies juveniles. Make sure your argument and the evidence supporting your argument is consistent.

Paragraph 7: Policy Development

In this paragraph you should use the literature to identify or create a policy based upon your theory and crime topic. The policy should be implemented to decrease or prevent your crime topic. Again, you must use the literature to support your argument. The required text books are not enough. You need to consult academic peer reviewed journal articles.

Paragraph 8: Conclusion

The final section of your paper is the conclusion and should be labeled as such. You should end your paper with a brief discussion that summarizing the material you have just presented. You should be sure to cite this material just like the rest of the paper.

Minimum Format Criteria (50 points)

Below is a list of the minimum formatting criteria. Pay careful attention to this section. There is NO reason to lose points for these violations.

  1. Includes a title page with Title of Paper; Student Name; Name of Class; Due Date of Paper.
  2. You must cite and reference this paper using APA style 6th edition. Failure to cite within the text of your paper or include a separate reference page will result in an automatic 0 for your paper. 
  3. You must include 8 paragraphs. No more, no less.
  4. You must use one inch margins.
  5. You must use a 12-point font such as Times New Roman.
  6. You must type your paper.
  7. You must use a minimum of 6 academic resources outside of the required course material. Only one of those resources can be the textbook, the other five must be external resources.
  8. Includes a separate Reference page.
  9. No direct quotes are allowed in the essay.
  10. Remember to cite even when paraphrasing. The only time you do not have to cite is when something is common knowledge. For example, if I am discussing violent crimes, I would not have to cite a statement indicating that “violent community events often receive the top story designation on the nightly news”. However, if I was discussing a specific violent event then I would need to cite that material.
  11. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Instances of plagiarism will result in a 0 for the assignment and potentially the course. The syllabus contains information on plagiarism. Further, there are documents on Blackboard that discuss different forms of plagiarism and how to avoid plagiarizing.

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