Term Paper Requirements
The Term Paper is worth 45% of your total course grade. Upon successful completion of this assignment, students will be able to: 1) demonstrate an understanding of the definitions and major concepts involved in the course; 2) explain and critique major theories relevant to the issues addressed in the course; 3) evaluate various theories in light of existing research and their own experience; 4) research (i.e., find and identify) the relevant literature on a particular criminal justice topic; and 5) write a term paper that is excellent in content and appearance.
Your term paper topic is “Hate crimes in the United States.” This is a very challenging topic which continues to be relevant. The topic allows students to demonstrate the ability to research and integrate many sources and concepts into a single cogent paper.
Assume the following: 1) You have been hired as a criminal justice expert by the Hate Crimes Investigation Authority; 2) this authority wants to know what is causing this type of crime; 3) this authority wants to know what it can do to prevent this type of crime; and 4) you have until the deadline indicated in the syllabus to submit your professional report to this authority.
Please keep in mind your report must demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the theories discussed in this course, also understanding that theories are competing versions of descriptions and predictions of human behavior (they can’t all be right), and your familiarity with various library and internet sources of criminological literature and crime statistics.
You may NOT write a term paper about any other topic. THIS IS A DIFFICULT ASSIGNMENT. BEGIN YOUR WORK NOW!!! This assignment is designed to teach students how to think and write like professionals. I expect nothing less than students’ best effort.
The Term Paper a/k/a “report” must meet the following minimum requirements:
1. The term paper must be between 7 and 10 pages in length. The term paper length does not include the title page, table of contents page, or reference page.
2. The term paper must have a title page. The title page must have the title of the term paper, the student’s name, the student’s address, and the name of the course.
3. The term paper must have a table of contents. The table of contents must indicate the pages on which each portion or section of the paper begins. This will look like the table of contents of a book.
4. The term paper must have an “abstract.” An abstract is a short statement of the central ideas in the term paper. The abstract must be between 25 and 40 words in length.
5. The term paper must have a “statement of the problem.” The statement of the problem identifies the topic discussed and the issues pertaining thereto. For purposes of this term paper, it is a one or two paragraph long discussion of the topic and identification of major issues relating to the topic.
6. The “statement of the problem” section of the term paper might identify many issues relating to the topic. However, after the “statement of the problem” section, discuss only one or two of the major issues you identified.
7. The term paper must have a recommendation section. It should briefly summarize the issues raised in the term paper, discuss your recommendations, and note how your recommendations are or are not supported by the facts and expert opinion to which you refer in your paper.
8. There must be a reference section of the term paper, using the APA citation format. If you do not know what the APA citation format is, then look at your textbooks and see how these authors cite the works on which they relied to write their documents. If you still are confused, visit the library and ask a reference librarian to show you an APA citation style document.
9. The term paper must rely upon relevant facts and expert opinion. The term paper must cite at least five peer-reviewed journal articles and scholarly books. THIS MEANS – DO NOT CITE NEWSPAPER OR MAGAZINE ARTICLES!!! The APA citation format must be used.
10. The only references you may cite are peer-reviewed, professional journal articles (e.g., articles published in Crime and Delinquency, Police Quarterly, Social Problems, American Psychological Review), law review articles, scholarly books, federal and state case law (i.e., appellate court decisions), state or federal statutes (including references to their legislative history), and government publications (e.g., Uniform Crime Reports, National Institute of Justice publications, U.S. Census data).
11. Of the references cited, there must be: a) at least one from a scholarly book (i.e., an edited volume or full-length book) published between 1900 and 1990 – I want students to read the books of the theorists we discuss in this course – your textbooks only briefly summarize what the theorists say; b) at least one from a scholarly book (i.e., an edited volume or full-length book) published after 2008 – this will show me that students are familiar with current research and data in this field; and c) at least one from a criminal justice professional journal published in or after January 2013 – this will show me that students know how to find the latest information in this field – if students do the assignments as noted at the end of each lesson they will know how to find this information. If students need help finding reading materials, please go to the library and ask a reference librarian for help.
12. Each section of the term paper must have a separate heading and same must correspond to the page numbers noted on the Table of Contents. Placing a heading at the beginning of each section of the paper makes the discussion in the paper easier to follow. Headings also improve the paper’s visual presentation. Among the headings your paper should have are: a) Abstract; b) Statement of the Problem; c) four to seven word statement of the first issue discussed (including a discussion of theories of crime and delinquency “causing” hate crimes; d) four to seven word statement of the second issue discussed (including a discussion of theories of crime and delinquency “causing” hate crimes; and e) Recommendations.
13. The term paper must use the proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. If a direct quotation is more than two lines long, make certain you single space and indent it.
14. Points will be subtracted for all technical flaws in the term paper.
15. The term paper may not contain any plagiarism. Plagiarism occurs when a person represents someone else’s words, ideas, phrases, sentences or data as one’s own work. When a student submits work that includes such material, the source of that information must be acknowledged through complete and accurate references. All verbatim statements must be acknowledged by means of quotation marks. Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to the following:
One person quoting another’s words directly without acknowledging the source;
Using another’s ideas, opinions or theories without acknowledging the source, even if they have been completely paraphrased in one’s own words;
Using facts, statistics or other illustrative material taken from a source, without acknowledging the source, unless the information is common knowledge;
Using words or work of others taken from the internet without acknowledging the source(s).
For this assignment, academic misconduct will consist of:
Submitting written work to fulfill the requirements of more than one course without the explicit permission of the instructors
and will result in a zero grade.
If any part of a term paper contains plagiarism, no matter how small that part is, the student will receive a zero on the term paper assignment and the matter will be forwarded to the university to begin disciplinary procedures. All papers will be checked by a Plagiarism Prevention System.
For purposes of this term paper assignment, if a term paper fails to use quotation marks when stating the specific language of a statute or court decision, there will be no penalty – just make certain the statute or court decision is properly cited.
16. All papers (and outlines) must be submitted electronically through the “assignments” link. No hard copies will be accepted. There is a REQUIRED Outline, and a REQUIRED First Draft. They must be submitted in order to get credit for the paper.
17. Prepare a detailed Outline (using the format described in #12 above) and list all references (books, articles and other sources of information) you will use to write your term paper. Your detailed outline WITH your list of references that you are using in the term paper must be submitted electronically through the “assignments” link as a “Word” document or in .rtf format, on or before the date listed in the syllabus for the Outline. I will review this document and respond with comments. If you do not submit the Outline to me by the due date in the syllabus I will not review the First Draft of your term paper.
The First Draft of the term paper must be a complete paper – what you consider your final term paper. Submit the First Draft through the “assignments” link as a “Word” document or in .rtf format, on or before the date listed in the syllabus for the First Draft. I will review your First Draft and respond with comments (usually within three weeks). If you do submit the First Draft of your term paper to me by the due date in the syllabus I will not accept your Final Draft.
The Final Draft of your term paper – which is the corrected copy of your First Draft based upon my editorial comments – must be submitted electronically through the “assignments” link as a “Word” document or in .rtf format, on or before the date listed in the syllabus for the Final Draft . As a practical matter, you should drop this course if you fail to comply with these term paper requirements because you will not be able to pass this course. No extensions to these three term paper deadlines will be granted. You have many weeks to do this paper and there is no reason to wait until the last day.
Term Paper Requirements