Pick a crime phenomenon to specialize in. Write a literature review discussing the relevant theories that researchers suggest best explain the phenomenon. To complete this assignment, you will need to read the academic literature (research journals) in which researchers offer causal explanations for the crime phenomenon you are interested in. Rely primarily on research journals for this assignment. The intro, body, and conclusion should be between five to six pages in length. Short papers will lose marks. Your assignment will be graded on its argumentative thesis, organization, grammar, mechanics, language usage, evidence, examples, reasoning, clarity, depth, as well as adherence to APA style and referencing. The paper must have section headings that conform to APA and identify the introduction, body, and conclusion of the paper. Please include an abstract that is no longer than 100 words in length and offers a concise summary of the scope of the paper. Ensure the sources you select are research studies, not essays. Plagiarism or copying may result in failure on the assignment and possible expulsion from the class or the institution.
How to share group work?
It is up to group members to decide of each students’ share of group tasks. I highly recommend that you decide early on the process (around week 2 or 3 of the semester). Your instructor will only be involved in this process if one group member is truly not doing his/her share and reported to be missing by other group members which may result in substantial deduction for student in question. All group members are expected to join group meetings and decision making-process, fulfil their shared duties on time. If you have any questions in planning distribution of workload, I will be happy to answer your questions and offer advice.
Choosing a Crime Phenomenon and Focusing your Search
Remember that you are writing a literature review that synthesizes the important and interrelated literature that offers explanations for why a specific crime phenomenon occurs. Put differently, you must seek out a collection of journal articles in which the researchers review and examine certain causes/explanations for a specific crime phenomenon. More than a summary of these various causes/explanations, your literature review must synthesize some of the key themes or contentious issues found across the studies and draw a conclusion in the form of a thesis statement. This argumentative thesis statement should be easily identifiable in your introductory paragraph.
Deciding on a crime phenomenon will require that you read a variety of research journals until you encounter a relevant and interesting crime phenomenon. Spend ample time exploring the library website to help you find inspiration. Once you have decided on a specific crime phenomenon focus your search on discovering the various explanations offered by the researchers to explain the phenomenon. The references at the end of a journal article offer one way to help you to identify other potentially relevant studies. You will also learn how to refine your search terms as you read various studies. Once you have found a few studies that offer explanations for the crime phenomenon make notes about the various explanations. For example, it might help to ask yourself what sort of theories or propositions (sociological, classical, biological, Marxist) are the researchers using and testing in order to explain the crime phenomenon. Although you will need to briefly summarize each of the sources, a good literature review and a strong thesis statement require you to focus on the key themes or issues that are important. Some things to consider are whether the researchers all arrive at the same conclusion or are there differing opinions? What evidence or reasoning are the differences based on? What gaps or omissions exist? What main questions are raised by the researchers? In the end, you must formulate an argumentative causal thesis statement that reflects your entire paper. Please read Developing a Strong Thesis Statement: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/588/01/
Writing a Literature Review
The introduction should identify and define the crime phenomenon using facts, include some discussion of the significance of that crime (e.g., some statistics, examples and facts regarding its prevalence), and present a thesis statement that outlines the conclusions drawn from your analysis and synthesis of the literature. Be sure to begin your paper with a focused sentence that guides the reader (e.g., this paper offers a review of theorists’ explanations for arson). Avoid opinion and conjecture.
Do not simply summarize each of the sources individually. Instead, discuss and assess the research in accordance with the specific organizational principle(s) that are reflected in your thesis statement. Organizing the paper by the important theme(s) (i.e., controversies, points, issues, etc.) is most common. You may also organize the paper chronologically if this lends to clarity. Most, if not all paragraphs should compare or contrast two (or sometimes three) sources and should have a clear topic sentence that reflects the main point under discussion in each paragraph.
The conclusion should offer a more detailed discussion of your thesis. Explain what your analysis of the material in the body of the paper has led you to conclude about the overall state of the literature; where the literature excels and where it is lacking. You may also provide suggestions for future research or explain how your future research will fill the gaps in the existing body of work on that topic.
Grading Final Project
Written assignments are graded based on the thesis, focus, organization, grammar, mechanics, language usage, evidence, examples, reasoning, clarity, depth, as well as adherence to APA style and referencing. The paper must have section headings that conform to APA and identify the introduction, body, and conclusion of the paper. Please also see rubric that are shared on BB which you will also be familiar throughout the semester.
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