Criminological Research

July 20, 2017 | Author: herma | Category: Quantitative Research, Causality, Qualitative Research, Criminology, Statistics
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This material is for Criminology Board Examinations review and for other educational purposes....


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This material is for Criminology Board Examinations review and for other educational purposes. Not intended for reproduction for profit or sale.

A. General Nature and Scope of Research

I. RESEARCH What is Research? 

The word “research” is composed of two syllables, re and search. re- (prefix) “again”, “anew” or “over again” search- (verb) to examine very closely and carefully Synonyms: investigate, delve into, study, explore, examine, make inquiries..

The term ‘research’ is used to refer to a wide range of activities; o It is not merely looking up some information that is already known and reproducing that information. o It may be a new analysis of existing data or the re-analysis of extant material or maybe a new synthesis (combination). o It attempts to advance a corpus of ideas and existing knowledge. 

Research is simply a systematic (orderly), controlled (guarded), empirical (practical) and critical (vital) investigation or refined technique of thinking, employing specialized tools, instruments, and procedures in order to obtain a more adequate solution of a problem than would possible under ordinary means.

Research process starts with: a. Identifying the problem b. Formulation of hypothesis c. Collection of data or facts d. Analysise. Conclusion- reaches decisions based on actual evidence.




Measureme nt

Operationalizat ion

Formats used in research The two most common types of research paper formats are Modern language Association (MLA) and American Psychological Association (APA) style. Each has its own unique requirements for layout and formatting, and whichever type is preferred or expected by the teacher should be followed. In general, however, MLA style is used for works in humanities, literature, and English classes while APA is used in psychology, history, and sociology classes. 1. American Psychological Association (APA) style In general, this is used in psychology, history, and sociology classes. It is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences. The usual parts are: Title page Abstract Introduction Method

Discussion References Appendices (if necessary) Tables and/or figures (if necessary)

2. Modern Language Association (MLA) style 1. Abstract- An abstract summarizes the major aspects of the entire paper in a prescribed sequence that includes: 1) The overall purpose of the study and the research problem(s) you investigated; 2) The basic design of the study; 3) Major findings or trends found as a result of your analysis; and,

4) A brief summary of your interpretations and conclusions.


allows a researcher to evaluate quickly the content of your paper,


and judge if it is relevant to their research. An abstract needs to convey a complete synopsis (summary) of


the paper, but within a word tight limit. (200-250 words) The abstract allows you to elaborate upon each major aspect of the paper and helps readers decide whether they want to read the rest of the paper.

2. Introduction- gives an overall review of the paper, attempting to explain the rationale behind the work and justifying its importance in the field. Explains how you mean to solve the research problem, and creates


‘leads’ to make

the reader want to delve further into your

work. This is to set the scene, giving your paper a context and seeing


how it fits in with

previous research in the field.

. Delimitations of the Study Delimitations refer to those characteristics that limit the scope and define the conceptual boundaries of your study. This is determined by the conscious exclusionary and inclusionary decisions you make about how to investigate the research problem. In other words, not only should you tell the reader what it is you are studying and why, but you must also acknowledge why you rejected alternative approaches that could have been used to examine the research problem. Obviously, the first limiting step was the choice of research problem itself. However, implicit are other, related problems that could have been chosen but were rejected. These should be noted in the conclusion of your introduction. Examples of delimitating choices would be: 

The key aims and objectives of your study,

The research questions that you address,

The variables of interest [i.e., the various factors and features of the phenomenon being studied],

The method(s) of investigation, and

Any relevant alternative theoretical frameworks that could have been adopted. Review of Related Literature A literature review surveys scholarly articles, books and other sources relevant to a particular issue, area of research, or theory, and by so doing, providing a description, summary, and critical evaluation of these works. Literature reviews are designed to provide an overview of sources you

have explored while researching a

particular topic and to

demonstrate to your readers how your research fits into the larger field of study. - A literature review may consist of simple a summary of key sources, but it usually has an organizational pattern and combines both summary and synthesis, often within specific conceptual categories.

The purpose of a literature review is to: 

Describe the relationship of each work to the others under consideration,

Identify new ways to interpret, and shed light on any gaps in previous research,

Resolve conflicts amongst seemingly contradictory previous studies,

Identify areas of prior scholarship to prevent duplication of effort,

Point the way in fulfilling a need for additional research, and

Locate your own research within the context of existing literature.

3. Methodology- The methods section of a research paper provides the information by which a study’s validity is judged. The method section answers two main questions: 1) How was the data collected or generated? 2) How was it analyzed? The writing should be direct and precise and written in the past tense. Although there are slightly different variations according to the exact type of research, the methodology can be divided into a few sections. -

Describe the materials and equipment used in the research.


Explain how the samples were gathered, any randomization techniques and how the samples were prepared.


Explain how the measurements were made and what calculations were performed upon the raw data.


Describe the statistical techniques used upon the data. Includes:    

Research design Population (includes scope and delimitation of the study) Data-gathering procedures Data gathering tools (includes the description of the research instruments, Validity and Reliability of the instruments) Statistical tools

 The writing for the method should be clear and direct, concise and straight to the point. The major point is not to stray off into irrelevance, and this process is helped by making a few basic assumptions. Whilst not always possible, the methodology should be written in chronological order, always using the past tense.

DATA GATHERING- is an extremely important part of any research because the conclusions of the study are based on what the data revealed. 

Data- refers to any kind of information researchers obtain on the subjects, respondents or participants of a study.

TOOLS IN GATHERING DATA 1. Observation- a systematic and selective way of watching and listening to an interaction or phenomenon as it takes place. (Overt or covert). 2. Interview- a commonly used method of data gathering from people. Any person to person interaction between two or more individuals with a specific purpose in mind is generally called an interview but there are three kinds of interview;  Structured interview- sometimes called as ‘closed interview’. Respondent’s responses will be limited upon the specified questions and interviewee should avoid soliciting additional comments.  Unstructured interview- may have variations depending upon the purpose. Sometimes referred to as focused, clinical or non directive interview which provides openended responses to questions.  In-Depth Interview- more intensive and detailed interview, usually of fewer subjects and is particularly useful in life histories or case studies. 3. Case studies-it involves in-depth analysis of one or a few cases generally involves analysis of diaries, letters, biographies and auto-biographies or even to live in the same community where the subject is or where the phenomenon happened to obtain a detailed data. 4. Questionnaire- a written list of questions, the answer to which is recorded by respondents. Respondents read the questions, interpret what is expected and then write down the answers.  Fixed alternative questionnaire- this require respondent to choose an answer from a printed list of choices. Yes or no, true or false.  Open ended questionnaire- it allows respondent to answer in their own words the questions. 5. Psychological test- an instrument designed to describe a sample of certain aspects of human behaviour. It yields adjectives and standardized descriptions of behaviour, quantified by numerical scores. 6. Library technique- is the gathering of data that a researcher can employ to realize he objective of his research. Books, magazines, periodicals or pamphlets and previous research works are used. 7. Social survey- involves asking a segment of population their attitudes or reported behaviour. 8. Immersion in a setting, for purposes of gaining an understanding of how that setting operates, is the data collection method that drives the production of ethnography. Originally advanced by anthropologists,

ethnographic methods combine observational skills with interpersonal skills of navigating a new environment so as to find one’s way through a new world while learning how to be a non-disruptive presence in that new world. 9. Content analysis is the examination of some form of media or communications for purposes of identifying how such messages reflect construct and are a part of culture. Scholars who engage in content analysis take as their data a collection of similar types of media (magazine







confessions, etc.) and work within a structured, systematic process to identify patterns and trends in what is included, what meanings are being communicated, the type of vocabulary/images used to convey particular types of messages or how various types of messages are contextualized within their particular form of media. 10.Focus groups, sometimes referred to as group interviews, are guided conversations in which a researcher (or research team) meets with a collection of similarly situated persons for purposes of uncovering information about a topic. DATA ANALYSIS- is a process of inspecting, cleaning and transforming data with the goal of highlighting useful information, suggesting conclusions and supporting decision making. Two categories of Quantitative Data Analysis  Descriptive Statistics. These Statistical



summarize, organize, and describe data, providing an organized visual presentation of the data collected. Ex. Measures of central tendencies (Mean, median mode) and measures of variability (range, inter quartile range, variance, semi-quartile range, and standard deviation) 

Inferential Statistics.

These are statistical techniques used to

estimate or predict a population parameter from a sample statistic. RESEARCH DESIGN- is a plan, structure and strategy of investigations conceived as to obtain answers to research questions or problems. It includes an outline of what of what the investigator will do from writing the hypotheses and their operational implications o the final analysis of data. TYPES OF RESEARCH DESIGN 1. HISTORICAL RESEARCH- A process of selecting the area of topic which describes the present situation in relation to past events. It is the process of systematically examining past events to give accounts, and it may involve interpretation to recapture the nuances, personalities, and ideas that influenced these past events, and to communicate an understanding of past events. 2. DESCRIPTIVE RESEARCH- descriptive research describes what is. It involves the description, recording, analysis, and interpretation of the

present nature, composition or processes of phenomena. The focus is on prevailing conditions, or how a person, group, or thing behaves or functions in the present. Descriptive research, also known as statistical research, describes data and characteristics about population or phenomenon being studied. Descriptive research answer the questions who, what, where, when and how. It often involves some types of comparison and contrast. 3. DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH- As opposed to simple instructional development has been defined as the systematic study of designing, developing and evaluating instructional programs, processes, and products










effectiveness. A fundamental distinction should be made between reports of actual developmental research- practice, and descriptions of design and development procedural models-theory. It is conventionally divided into Quantitative And qualitative research method...Although it has frequently been misunderstood, developmental research has contributed much to the growth of the field as a whole, often serving as a basis for model construction and theorizing Figure. It is also sometimes called trend, Longitudinal, cohort, or panel studies, Analyzes Growth or Change in a group over time. Age profile is often a problem in developmental research as one cannot randomly assigns individuals to particular age group. 4. Case or Field study- it is a research methodology common in social sciences. It is based on an in depth investigation of individual, group or event to explore causation in order to find underlying principles. 5. Correlation studies- a scientific study in which a researcher investigates relationships between variables. They are often used in psychology research. But, correlation does not equal causation; two different variables can be correlated without being casually related. 6. CAUSAL- comparative design- attempts to identify



relationship between an independent variable and a dependent variable. 7. TRUE- experimental design- a method or procedure involving the control or manipulation of conditions for the purpose of studying the relative effect of various treatments applied to a sample. 8. Quasi-experimental design- attempts to approximate



experimental design but lacks random assignment to experimental and control group. Ex. Foot patrol investigation. 9. Inferential study- used to make inferences or presumptions about an unknown variable based on known descriptions 10.Action research- a reflective process of progressive problem solving led by individuals working in teams with others as part of a “community of practice” to improve the way they address issues and solve problems

4. Results- The results section of the research paper is where you report the findings of your study based upon the information gathered as a result of the methodology [or methodologies] you applied. - The results section should simply state the findings, without bias or interpretation, and arranged in a logical sequence. The results section should always be written in the past tense. A section describing results [a.k.a., "findings"] is particularly necessary if your paper includes data generated from your own research. 5. Discussion- The purpose of the discussion is to interpret and describe the significance of your findings in light of what was already known about the research problem being investigated, and to explain any new understanding or fresh insights about the problem after you've taken the findings into consideration. - The discussion will always connect to the introduction by way of the research questions or hypotheses you posed and the literature you reviewed, but it does not simply repeat or rearrange the introduction; the discussion should always explain how your study has moved the reader's understanding of the research problem forward from where you left them at the end of the introduction. The discussion section is where you explore the underlying meaning of your research its possible implications in other areas of study, and the possible improvements that can be made in order to further develop the concerns of your research. -

This is the section where you need to present the importance of your study and how it may be able to contribute to and/or fill existing gaps in the field. If appropriate, the discussion section is also where you state how the findings from your study revealed new gaps in the literature that had not been previously exposed or


adequately described. This part of the paper is not strictly governed by objective reporting of information but, rather, it is where you can engage in







interpretation of findings. This is where you infuse your results with meaning. The content of the discussion section of your paper most often includes: a. Explanation of results: comment on whether or not the results were expected and present explanations for the results; go into greater depth when explaining findings that were unexpected or especially profound. If appropriate, note any unusual or unanticipated patterns or trends that emerged from your results and explain their meaning.

b. References to previous research: compare your results with the findings from other studies, or use the studies to support a claim. This can include re-visiting key sources already cited in your literature review section, or, save them to cite later in the discussion section if they are more important to compare with your results than being part of the general









information. c. Deduction: a claim for how the results can be applied more generally. For example, describing lessons learned, proposing recommendations that can help improve a situation, or recommending best practices. d. Hypothesis: a more general claim or possible conclusion arising from the results [which may be proved or disproved in subsequent research].

6. Conclusion- The conclusion is intended to help the reader understand why your research should matter to them after they have finished reading the paper. A conclusion is not merely a summary of your points or a restatement of your research problem but a synthesis of key points. - A conclusion involves summing up the paper and giving a very

brief description of the results, although you should

not go into

too much detail about this.

General rules: 

State your conclusions in clear, simple language.

Do not simply reiterate your results or the discussion.

Indicate opportunities for future research, as long as you haven't already done so in the discussion section of your paper.

7. Writing the Bibliography- allow the reader, or the person marking the paper, to check the original sources if they require more detail. Your bibliography, often called a citation list, always comes at the end of the paper, and it must include all of the direct sources that you referred to in the body of the paper.

Ex. Book with One Author APA: Milgram, S. (1974). Obedience to Authority. New York: Harper & Row. MLA:

Milgram, Stanley. Obedience to Authority. New York: Harper & Row. 1974 Book With Two Authors APA: Argyris, C., Schön, D.A. (1996). Organizational Learning II. Addison-Wesley. MLA: Argyris, Chris and Donald A. Schön. Organizational Learning II. Addison-Wesley, 1996. Edited Book Use the term "Ed." if there is only one editor. "Eds." is used if there are two or more editors (This applies for both the APA-standard and MLA-standard). APA: Deutsch, M. (2000). Cooperation and Competition. In M. Deutsch and P. Coleman (Eds.) The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice (pp. 21-40). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. MLA: Deutsch, Morton. "Cooperation and Competition". The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice. Eds. Morton Deutsch and Peter Coleman. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. 2000. 21-40. Journal Article (If there are more than six authors, list the first six and then use: et al.) APA: Quattrone, G.A., Tversky, A. (1984). Causal versus diagnostic contingencies: On self-deception and on the voter's illusion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 46 (2), 237-248. MLA: Quattrone,









contingencies: On self-deception and on the voter's illusion." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 46.2 (1984): 237-248. Article From an Online Journal APA: Nisbett, R.E., Wilson, T.D., (1977). The Halo Effect: Evidence for Unconscious Alteration of Judgments. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 35 (4), 250-256.




MLA: (Change "6 Jul. 2011" with the date you retrieved the website) Nisbett, Richard E. and Timothy DeCamp Wilson. "The Halo Effect: Evidence for Unconscious Alteration of Judgments." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,








General Categories of Research 1. Descriptive Research- this type of study finds answer to the questions what, who, when, where and how. This type of research describes a situation or given state of affairs in terms of special aspects or factors. What maybe described are characteristics of individuals or groups (offenders, victims, witnesses) or physical environments (city, province, highland, lowland, etc.) or conditions or programs as to their effectiveness or level of performances or situations whether dangerous or safe. 2. Correlation Research- this study goes beyond description of the problem or situation. It attempts to explain the possible factors related to a problem which has been observed in a descriptive research. It answers the questions why and how. The factors related to the problem, however, need not to be viewed as real causes of the problem, but factors which are associated with or may contribute to the occurrence of the problem. 3. Intervention Research- this study evaluates the effect or outcome of a particular intervention. It studies the cause and effect relationship between certain factors on certain phenomenon under controlled conditions. The subjects of the study are randomly assigned to the experimental group and to the controlled group and both groups are exposed to the same conditions except for the intervention. Other classification of research 1. Pure Basic Research- is concerned with the acquisition of new knowledge for the sake of science or the development of the field.

2. Applied Research- is practical research concerned with solving immediate policy problems. Is concerned with showing how the

findings can be applied or summarized into some type of teaching methodology.

3. Practical Research- goes one step further and applies the findings of research to a specific "practical" teaching situation.

For example, practical research may be based on theory that came from previously done basic research. Or, theory may be generated by the combination of results from various practical research projects. The same bidirectional relationship exists between applied research and basic research or practical research.

4. Qualitative Research- involves research concepts that are viewed as sensitizing ideas or terms that enhance our understanding regarding a certain issue in which researchers hope to immerse themselves in the subject matter to enhance their understanding and explanation of reality. It is about recording, analysing and attempting to uncover the deeper meaning and significance of human behaviour and experience, including contradictory beliefs, behaviours and emotions. 5. Quantitative Research- is concerned with measuring or assigning numerical values to certain phenomenon to determine their level as to their gravity, effectiveness or mass. It usually involves collecting and converting data into numerical form so that statistical calculations can be made and conclusions drawn.

6. Pragmatic approach to research (mixed methods)- involves using the method which appears best suited to the research problem and not getting caught up in philosophical debates about which is the best approach. Pragmatic researchers therefore grant themselves the freedom to use any of the methods, techniques and procedures typically associated with quantitative or qualitative research.

7. Advocacy/participatory approach to research (emancipatory)- The researchers are likely to have a political agenda and to try to give the groups they are studying a voice. As they want their research to directly or indirectly result in some kind of reform, it is important that they involve the group being studied in the research, preferably at


stages, so as to avoid further

marginalising them. 8. Exploratory Research- is a loosely structure but valuable methodological strategy. This is often used by researchers to determine the desirability and feasibility of a study. 9. Explanatory Research- has a primary goal of understanding a prevailing situation or explains a relationship between factors

which may have been identified while conducting an exploratory study, and why this relationship exists. It seeks more specific answers to ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions. B. Criminological Research

I. Criminological research




A careful, systematic study of knowledge in the field of Criminology or criminal justice, undertaken to establish facts regarding the various criminological issues. It is also defined as the systematic process of collecting and analysing crime and victim data to find an answer to a question or find a solution to criminological problem. It can also be utilized to validate or prove existing criminological theories.

Criminological research has much in common with social research in general and the principles that apply in other areas of social science are also relevant to researching criminology. However, researching criminology does have certain distinctive features. For a start, doing criminological research usually involves the study of things that are illegal. The criminological researcher is likely to learn about illegal acts and meet people who have committed such acts. Quantitative Research in Criminology Quantitative Research- defined as "methods such as surveys and experiments that record variation in social life in terms of categories that vary in amount. Data that are treated as quantitative are either numbers or attributes that can be ordered in terms of magnitude" (Schutt 17). 

 

Since the inception of Criminology, quantitative methods have provided the primary research methods for studying the distribution and causes of crime. Quantitative methods provide numerous ways to obtain data that are useful to many aspects of society. The use of quantitative methods such as survey research, field research, and evaluation research as well as others, help criminologists to gather reliable and valid data helpful in the field of criminology. The data can, and is often, used by criminologists and other social scientists in making causal statements about variables being researched.

Development of Quantitative Research in Criminology

Quantitative methods in Criminology were developed later during the 19th century resurgence of positivism spearheaded by well-known sociologist Émile Durkheim, who is responsible for one of the first modern research projects titled Suicide.

Research Project “Suicide”- published in 1897 and was the first work of its kind to include quantitative data, mainly suicide rates across different populations. o This study marks the first documented use of quantitative research

methods in the field of criminology.

The first case of this in the United States occurred at the University of Chicago, around 1915 where scientists were studying the massive immigration into the city. It provided an ideal setting for empirical studies, where the scientists were testing hypotheses related to the proneness to criminal behavior. To study this they looked at recorded convictions, environment and social experiences, from which they recorded data and statistics to formulate a conclusion for the study.

Qualitative Research in Criminology “Quality refers to the what, how, when, and where of a thing – its essence and ambience. Qualitative research thus refers to the meanings, concepts, definitions, characteristics, metaphors, symbols, and descriptions of things.” (Berg, 2007, p. 3). Qualitative research methods provide more emphasis on interpretation immersions and a depth of understanding of concepts. Benefit of Qualitative Research in the study of Criminal Justice -



Qualitative methods are about gaining true understandings of the social aspects of how crime occurs and how the agents, structures and processes of responding to crime operate in culturallygrounded contexts. Qualitative methods provide a depth of understanding of issues that is not possible through the use of quantitative, statisticallybased investigations. Qualitative methods are the approach that centralizes and places primary value on complete understandings, and how people (the social aspect of our discipline) understand, experience and operate within milieus that are dynamic, and social in their foundation and structure.

Although qualitative research is less common than quantitative research in criminology and criminal justice, it is recognized for the value and unique contributions it can make.

Difference between Quantitative and Qualitative Quantitative


 Hypothesis  Data are in the form of numbers from precise measurement  Theory is largely causal and deductive  Replication is possible  Analysis proceeds by using statistics, tables, or charts

 No hypothesis  Data are in the form of words and images from documents, observations, and transcripts  Theory non causal and inductive  Replication is rare  Analysis proceeds by extracting themes or generalizations (although numbers are possible)

Criminology and Methodology What is a method? It is a planned process of testing and research of a phenomenon or the path to achieve a goal on the philosophical, scientific, political or practical area. Methods in Criminological Research 1. Descriptive method (to describe systematically a situation or area of interest factually and accurately) 2. Historical method (to reconstruct the past objectively and accurately, often in relation to the tenability of a hypothesis) this method describes a certain research object or phenomenon in its historical dimension or time sequence. 3. Comparative method compares two or more phenomenon (research objects) with a final goal to find certain connections or dissimilarities between them. Comparing two objects we can find out, does the connection between them really exists as well as what are natures of their similarities or dissimilarities. 4. Psychological method consists of itself of various behavior observations, attempts of behavior modifications and attempts to predict future behaviors of delinquents. Psychology in some way is a hocus-pocus science, because it isn't easy to modify or predict human behavior or to know for certain what fully caused it. 5. Statistical method. Mark Twain once said: "Statistics is only accurate in inaccuracies." Crime can be statistically analyzed using various attributes: conceptual (name of the analyzed phenomenon), temporal (one year, six months, one month) and territorial (town, country, and region or globally). 6. Clinical method is used in psychology. Psychology mostly normal behaviors, but specialized field in psychology known psychology researches abnormal behaviors, while psychiatry mental health disorders i.e. dangerous behaviors. Clinical

researches as clinical researches method is

formed as an interview. Clinical psychologist asks the questions, and a patient (person) gives the answers. During the interview, the psychologist takes notes. Whole interview takes about 30 minutes. Psychologists then take those notes and set diagnosis and prognosis about health condition and possible behavioral developments. 7. Case and Field method (to study intensively the background, current status, and environmental interactions of a given social unit) one of the best detail analyses ever introduced into science. However, case studies are detail, but expensive. Some of the best results and scientific contributions in understanding the juvenile delinquency are achieved through a case study. Case study can analyze one case or can analyze 30 or more similar cases by comparing them together. 8. Correlation method (to investigate the extent to which variations in one factor correlate with variations in one or more other factors based on correlation coefficient) 9. Causal-comparative or “Ex post facto” method (to investigate possible cause-and- effect relationships by observing some existing consequences and looking back through the data for plausible causal factors) 10.Experimental method (to investigate possible cause-and-effect relationship between two or more treatment conditions and comparing the results to a control group(s) not receiving the treatment; “What will happen”)

Data Sources in Criminological Research 1. 2. 3. 4.

Victimization Reports Observation Surveys of offenders Using data that has already been obtained (ex, Uniform Crime Reports)

Criminal Statistics Sources 1. Police statistics about crimes, criminals and presumptive criminals, 2. State attorney's statistics about accused and convicted persons, 3. The Court statistics about convicted persons and about (private) lawsuits 4. Victimization studies, 5. Self-report and anonymous report studies. Three main kinds of data: 1) 2) 3)

Observation– looking at things, people and events. Words– verbal or textual communication in its various forms. Numbers– counting things, people and events.

Languages of Criminological research 1. Concepts- these are abstract tags or notions and are the beginning points of conducting a research. 2. Operationalization- defines the concepts by describing how they will be measured. ‘working definitions’ or ‘operational definitions’ are other terms 3. Variables- these are concept that have been operationalized or concepts that can vary or take on Different values of a quantitative nature.  Dependent variable- the dependent or outcome variable is the one that one is attempting to predict and by convention is denoted by letter Y. In criminal justice, these are concepts like Crimes and recidivism. Ordinarily, this variable is some behaviour or attitude that is usually the subject of one’s study.  Independent Variable- the independent or predictor variable is the variable that causes, determines or precedes in time the dependent variable and is usually denoted by letter X Or any letter other than y. For example, the study of the impact on poverty (X) upon crime (Y) finds poverty as a predictor or independent variable, whereas poverty can cause the commission of crimes. 4. Theories- are attempts to develop a believable explanation of reality. They are generally or broad statements regarding the relationship between, usually two variables and are derived from more general theories. 5. Hypothesis- states an expected relationship between variables in positive terms. 6. Sample- a subset of a population and it represents a division of manageable size. 7. Validity- refers to the degree to which a study supports the intended conclusion drawn from the results. 8. Reliability- the dependability and consistency of information, subject or respondent. 9. Statistics- usually deals with count or numerical measurement in their original collected form which is the raw data. Types of Criminological Research 1. Action Research (to develop new skills or new approaches and to solve problems related to criminology with direct application to the workplace or other applied setting) 2. Survey (descriptive) Research (to know of interest “what is”; typically employs questionnaires and interviews to determine attitudes, opinions, preferences, and perceptions of interest to the researcher)  Close-ended Questionnaire (pre-categorized by the researcher’s words) “What do you think is the most frequent crime committed in your neighborhood?” a) Robbery, b) Murder/ homicide, C) Rape d) estafa  Open-ended Questionnaire (in respondent’s words)

 

ex: “What do you think is the most frequent crime committed in your neighborhood?” Serving as the most frequently used mode of observation within the social sciences including Criminology Involves the collection of information from a sample of individuals through their responses to questions (Schutt)

3. Observational Research (collecting direct information about human behavior) 4. Historical Research (investigating documents and other sources that contains facts that existed in the past; “What was”) 5. Evaluation Research (to study processes and procedures for the improvement of a system) 6. Cross-sectional Research- involves studies of one group at one point in time, therefore offers a quick glimpse or snapshot of the phenomena being studied. Ex: Hirschi’s famous study of causes of delinquency in which he asked male respondents a series of questions related to involvement in delinquent activities and emotional ties to social bonds. 7. Time-series research- typically involves variations of multiple observations of the same group (i.e., person, city, area, etc,,) over time at successive points in time. Ex .Study of rape rate in the Philippines over the last 20 years. 8. Meta-analysis- a recent advent in research methodology, it is the quantitative analysis of findings from multiple studies. - Involves researcher pulling together the results of several studies an making summary, empirical statements about cause and effect relationship 9. Longitudinal Research- concerned with assessing within-andbetween group change 2 commonly used longitudinal designs -Cohort study- examines more specific population as they change overtime, follows individuals or specific cohorts as they change over time. -Panel study- typically interviews same set of people at two or more period of time. Types of Criminological Research According to Purpose 1. Exploration (to develop an initial, rough understanding of a phenomenon)

Methods: literature reviews, interviews, case studies, key informants 2. Description (precise measurement and reporting of the characteristics of the population or phenomenon)  Methods: census, surveys, qualitative studies 3. Explanation (why “Is x the case?” or “Is x the relationship?”)  Methods: experimental 

Variables are the conditions or characteristics that the researcher manipulates, controls, or observes. (Independent Variable, Dependent Variable, Moderator Variable)

Hypothesis (“wise guess”) Null hypothesis (operational hypothesis)



4. Causation- Causation is a type of research method that examines and tries to interpret trends. Examining these methods helps criminologists look at ways to prevent crime and help determine underlying causes of crime. 5. Causality- is defined as a directional relationship between one event and another event, which is the result of the first. To look at causality in regards to criminology we can look at factors that affect why crime rates are higher in some areas as opposed to others.

WRITING THE RESEARCH PAPER General style Specific editorial requirements for submission of a manuscript will always supersede instructions in these general guidelines. To make a paper readable 

Print or type using a 12 point standard font, such as Times, Geneva, Bookman, Helvetica, etc.

Text should be double spaced on 8 1/2" x 11" paper with 1 inch margins, single sided

Number pages consecutively

Start each new section on a new page

Adhere to recommended page limits

Mistakes to avoid 

Placing a heading at the bottom of a page with the following text on the next page (insert a page break!)

Dividing a table or figure - confine each figure/table to a single page

Submitting a paper with pages out of order

In all sections of your paper 

Use normal prose including articles ("a", "the," etc.)

Stay focused on the research topic of the paper

Use paragraphs to separate each important point (except for the abstract)

Indent the first line of each paragraph

Present your points in logical order

Use present tense to report well accepted facts - for example, 'the grass is green'

Use past tense to describe specific results - for example, 'When weed killer was applied, the grass was brown'

Avoid informal wording, don't address the reader directly, and don't use jargon, slang terms, or superlatives

Avoid use of superfluous pictures - include only those figures necessary to presenting results

Title Page Select an informative title as illustrated in the examples in your writing portfolio example package. Include the name(s) and address(es) of all authors, and date submitted. "Biology lab #1" would not be an informative title, for example. Abstract The summary should be two hundred words or less. See the examples in the writing portfolio package. Writing an abstract Write your summary after the rest of the paper is completed. After all, how can you summarize something that is not yet written? Economy of words is important throughout any paper, but especially in an abstract. However, use complete sentences and do not sacrifice readability for brevity. You can keep it concise by wording sentences so that they serve more than one purpose. For example, "In order to learn the role of protein synthesis in early development of the sea urchin, newly fertilized embryos were pulse-labeled with tritiated leucine, to provide a time course of changes in synthetic rate, as measured by total counts per minute (cpm)." This sentence provides the overall question, methods, and type of analysis, all in one sentence. The writer can now go directly to summarizing the results.

Summarize the study, including the following elements in any abstract. Try to keep the first two items to no more than one sentence each. 

Purpose of the study - hypothesis, overall question, objective

Model organism or system and brief description of the experiment

Results, including specific data - if the results are quantitative in nature, report quantitative data; results of any statistical analysis shoud be reported

Important conclusions or questions that follow from the experiment(s)

Style: 

Single paragraph, and concise

As a summary of work done, it is always written in past tense

An abstract should stand on its own, and not refer to any other part of the paper such as a figure or table

Focus on summarizing results - limit background information to a sentence or two, if absolutely necessary

What you report in an abstract must be consistent with what you reported in the paper

Corrrect spelling, clarity of sentences and phrases, and proper reporting of quantities (proper units, significant figures) are just as important in an abstract as they are anywhere else

Introduction Your introductions should not exceed two pages (double spaced, typed). See the examples in the writing portfolio package. Writing an introduction The abstract is the only text in a research paper to be written without using paragraphs in order to separate major points. Approaches vary widely, however for our studies the following approach can produce an effective introduction. 

Describe the importance (significance) of the study - why was this worth doing in the first place? Provide a broad context.

Defend the model - why did you use this particular organism or system? What are its advantages? You might comment on its suitability from a theoretical point of view as well as indicate practical reasons for using it.

Provide a rationale. State your specific hypothesis(es) or objective(s), and describe the reasoning that led you to select them.

Very briefly describe the experimental design and how it accomplished the stated objectives.

Style: 

Use past tense except when referring to established facts. After all, the paper will be submitted after all of the work is completed.

Organize your ideas, making one major point with each paragraph. If you make the four points listed above, you will need a minimum of four paragraphs.

Present background information only as needed in order support a position. The reader does not want to read everything you know about a subject.

State the hypothesis/objective precisely - do not oversimplify.

As always, pay attention to spelling, clarity and appropriateness of sentences and phrases.

Materials and Methods There is no specific page limit, but a key concept is to keep this section as concise as you possibly can. People will want to read this material selectively. The reader may only be interested in one formula or part of a procedure. Materials and methods may be reported under separate subheadings within this section or can be incorporated together. Writing a materials and methods section Materials: 

Describe materials separately only if the study is so complicated that it saves space this way.

Include specialized chemicals, biological materials, and any equipment or supplies that are not commonly found in laboratories.

Do not include commonly found supplies such as test tubes, pipet tips, beakers,









spectrophotometers, pipettors, etc. 

If use of a specific type of equipment, a specific enzyme, or a culture from a particular supplier is critical to the success of the experiment, then it and the source should be singled out, otherwise no.

Materials may be reported in a separate paragraph or else they may be identified along with your procedures.

In biosciences we frequently work with solutions - refer to them by name and describe completely, including concentrations of all reagents, and pH of aqueous solutions, solvent if non-aqueous.

Methods: 

See the examples in the writing portfolio package

Report the methodology (not details of each procedure that employed the same methodology)

Describe the methodology completely, including such specifics as temperatures, incubation times, etc.

To be concise, present methods under headings devoted to specific procedures or groups of procedures

Generalize - report how procedures were done, not how they were specifically performed on a particular day. Always think about what would be relevant to an investigator at another institution, working on his/her own project.

If well documented procedures were used, report the procedure by name, perhaps with reference, and that's all. For example, the Bradford assay is well known. You need not report the procedure in full - just that you used a Bradford assay to estimate protein concentration, and identify what you used as a standard. The same is true for the SDS-PAGE method, and many other well known procedures in biology and biochemistry.

Style: 

It is awkward or impossible to use active voice when documenting methods without using first person, which would focus the reader's attention on the investigator rather than the work. Therefore when writing up the methods most authors use third person passive voice.

Use normal prose in this and in every other section of the paper – avoid informal lists, and use complete sentences.

What to avoid 

Materials and methods are not a set of instructions.

Omit all explanatory information and background - save it for the discussion.

Omit information that is irrelevant to a third party, such as what color ice bucket you used, or which individual logged in the data.

Results The page length of this section is set by the amount and types of data to be reported. Continue to be concise, using figures and tables, if appropriate, to present results most effectively. Writing a results section

IMPORTANT: You must clearly distinguish material that would normally be included in a research article from any raw data or other appendix material that would not be published. In fact, such material should not be submitted at all unless requested by the instructor. Content 

Summarize your findings in text and illustrate them, if appropriate, with figures and tables.

In text, describe each of your results, pointing the reader to observations that are most relevant.

Provide a context, such as by describing the question that was addressed by making a particular observation.

Describe results of control experiments and include observations that are not presented in a formal figure or table, if appropriate.

Analyze your data, then prepare the analyzed (converted) data in the form of a figure (graph), table, or in text form.

What to avoid 

Do not discuss or interpret your results, report background information, or attempt to explain anything.

Never include raw data or intermediate calculations in a research paper.

Do not present the same data more than once.

Text should complement any figures or tables, not repeat the same information.

Please do not confuse figures with tables - there is a difference.

Style 

As always, use past tense when you refer to your results, and put everything in a logical order.

In text, refer to each figure as "figure 1," "figure 2," etc. ; number your tables as well (see the reference text for details)

Place figures and tables, properly numbered, in order at the end of the report (clearly distinguish them from any other material such as raw data, standard curves, etc.)

If you prefer, you may place your figures and tables appropriately within the text of your results section.

Figures and tables

Either place figures and tables within the text of the result, or include them in the back of the report (following Literature Cited) - do one or the other

If you place figures and tables at the end of the report, make sure they are clearly distinguished from any attached appendix materials, such as raw data

Regardless of placement, each figure must be numbered consecutively and complete with caption (caption goes under the figure)










consecutively and complete with heading (title with description goes above the table) 

Each figure and table must be sufficiently complete that it could stand on its own, separate from text

Discussion Journal guidelines vary. Space is so valuable in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, that authors are asked to restrict discussions to four pages or less, double spaced, typed. That works out to one printed page. While you are learning to write effectively, the limit will be extended to five typed pages. If you practice economy of words, that should be plenty of space within which to say all that you need to say. Writing a discussion Interpret your data in the discussion in appropriate depth. This means that when you explain a phenomenon you must describe mechanisms that may account for the observation. If your results differ from your expectations, explain why that may have happened. If your results agree, then describe the theory that the evidence supported. It is never appropriate to simply state that the data agreed with expectations, and let it drop at that. 

Decide if each hypothesis is supported, rejected, or if you cannot make a decision with confidence. Do not simply dismiss a study or part of a study as "inconclusive."

Research papers are not accepted if the work is incomplete. Draw what conclusions you can based upon the results that you have, and treat the study as a finished work

You may suggest future directions, such as how the experiment might be modified to accomplish another objective.

Explain all of your observations as much as possible, focusing on mechanisms.

Decide if the experimental design adequately addressed the hypothesis, and whether or not it was properly controlled.

Try to offer alternative explanations if reasonable alternatives exist.

One experiment will not answer an overall question, so keeping the big picture in mind, where do you go next? The best studies open up new avenues of research. What questions remain?

Recommendations for specific papers will provide additional suggestions.

Style: 

When you refer to information, distinguish data generated by your own studies from published information or from information obtained from other students (verb tense is an important tool for accomplishing that purpose).

Refer to work done by specific individuals (including yourself) in past tense.

Refer to generally accepted facts and principles in present tense. For example, "Doofus, in a 1989 survey, found that anemia in basset hounds was correlated with advanced age. Anemia is a condition in which there is insufficient hemoglobin in the blood."

The biggest mistake that students make in discussions is to present a superficial interpretation that more or less re-states the results. It is necessary to suggest why results came out as they did, focusing on the mechanisms behind the observations. Literature Cited List all literature cited in your paper, in alphabetical order, by first author. In a proper research paper, only primary literature is used (original research articles authored by the original investigators). Be cautious about using web sites as references - anyone can put just about anything on a web site, and you have no sure way of knowing if it is truth or fiction. If you are citing an on line journal, use the journal citation (name, volume, year, page numbers). Some of your papers may not require references, and if that is the case simply state that "no references were consulted."

Parts of a Research Paper Example 1. A. Preliminary Pages  Cover page  Approval Sheet

 Abstract  Table of Contents  List of Tables Chapter 1 Introduction  Background of the Study (includes significance of the study)  Conceptual framework  The Problem and hypotheses) Chapter 2 Method and Procedures  Research design  Population (includes scope and delimitation of the study)  Data-gathering procedures  Data gathering tools (includes the description of the research instruments, Validity and Reliability of the instruments)  Statistical tools Chapter 3 Interpretation and Analysis of Findings  Presentation of data  Analysis and Interpretation  Drawing implications out of the research findings  Corroboration from related sources of information  Discussion Chapter 4 Conclusions and Recommendations

References: 1. Burgess, Robert and Akers, Ronald. "A Differential AssociationReinforcement Theory of Criminal Behavior." Social Problems, Vol. 14, No. 2. (Autumn, 1966), pp. 128–147. 2. Dantzker, ML, and Ronald D. Hunter. Research Methods for Criminology and Criminal Justice: A Primer. Butterworth-Heinemann, 2000. 3. Fox, James A., ed. Methods in Quantitative Criminology. New York: Academic Press, 1981. 4. Jones, Stephen. Criminology. New York: Oxford University Press, USA, 2006. 5. Kempf, Kimberly; Measurement Issues in Criminology. New York: Springer, 1990. 6. Matsueda, Ross. "Testing Control Theory and Differential Association: A Causal Modeling Approach". American Sociological Review, Vol. 47, No. 4. (Aug., 1982), pp. 489–504. 7. Maxfield, Michael G. Research Methods for Criminal Justice and Criminology. Ed. Earl Babbie. California: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1995. 8. Neuman, Lawrence W., and Bruce Wiegand. Criminal Justice Research Methods. Allyn and Bacon, 2000. 9. Rihoux. “Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and Related Systematic Comparative Methods: Recent Advances and Remaining Challenges for

Social Science Research.” International Sociology, v. 21 issues 5, 2006, p. 679-706. 10.Sampson; Robert J. & Groves, W. Byron; The American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 94, No. 4. (Jan., 1989), pp. 774–802. 11.Schutt, R.K. (2006). Investigating the Social World: The Process and Practice of Research 12.Siegel, Larry. Criminology. St. Paul: West Publishing Company, 1995. 13.Technologies for Understanding and Preventing Substance Abuse and Addiction by DIANE Publishing Company (Editor), DIANE Publishing Company (Editor), DIANE Publishing Company, April 1996, ISBN 978-07881-2786-1, 250pp 14.Walker, Jeffrey T. Statistics In Criminal Justice: Analysis and Interpretation. Maryland: Aspen Publishers, Inc., 1999. 15.Walklate, Sandra. Criminology the Basics. New York: Routle

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