CJ 416 – Methods of Criminal Justice Research – Spring 2014
CJ 416 – Methods of Criminal Justice Research – Spring 2014
Instructor: Lynn M. Greenwood, MCJ
Course and Contact Information:
Class Location:
Class Duration:
Class Time:
Office:
Office Hours:
ONLINE
January 13 – May 8, 2014
ONLINE
Founder’s Hall, Room 217F
Tue/Thu 12:00pm-2:00pm; Wed 2:00pm-6:00pm
Preferred modes of communication:
Phone:
Mobile: 512-525-9173
 If texting, please identify yourself
 If leaving voicemail, please identify yourself
Email:
[email protected]
 Please direct all email communication through this email. Blackboard has
an email feature, but I do not check it on a regular basis.
 When emailing, always identify yourself and what course you are in. In
general, when communicating electronically you should use complete
sentences and be very clear about what you are asking or saying to avoid
miscommunication.
Catalog Description: Methods of Criminal Justice Research. (3-0) This course is an introduction
to the methods of criminological and criminal justice research, with emphasis on research
ethics, research design, and methods of data collection and analysis.
Prerequisites: Junior or Senior level standing.
Expanded Course Description: This course is intended for junior or senior level students, and is
required of all Criminal Justice majors. CJ 416 is intended to assist students in developing basic
social science research skills. Students will be required to write a formal research proposal.
Subsequent data collection and analysis will give special attention to theory and hypothesis
testing, and adherence to research ethics, culminating in a presentation of applied data results.
CJ 416 students will be required to demonstrate oral and written competencies appropriate to
upper level standing.
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CJ 416 – Methods of Criminal Justice Research – Spring 2014
Course Objectives:
1. Students will demonstrate writing skills appropriate to the discipline of Criminal Justice.
2. Students will demonstrate discipline specific use of technology.
3. Students will understand and value the ethics of Criminal Justice.
a. Students will understand, value, and practice ethical behaviors associated with
social science research.
4. Students will understand key concepts of Criminal Justice.
a. Students will understand basic social science research methodologies as applied
to research in Criminal Justice and Criminology.
5. Students will apply key concepts to Criminal Justice create operational strategies and
formulate justice policy.
a. Students will utilize theoretical hypothesis testing in applied research projects.
Required Textbooks:
Withrow, B.L. (2014). Research Methods in Crime and Justice. New York: Routledge.
ISBN: 978-0-415-88443-3
Supplementary Materials:
Supplementary material may take the form of handouts, oral presentations and references
from your instructor, presentations by students, power point presentations, and online
activities. This supplementary material is designed to broaden the educational experience and
create more variety to the usual lecture/discussion format of class presentations.
Mode of Instruction and Course Access:
This course is web-enhanced and uses the TAMUCT Blackboard system. To be able to
successfully complete this course, the student must be able to access Blackboard.
Accessing Blackboard:
 Access Blackboard at the following link:
https://tamuct.blackboard.com/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp
 Login using your MyCT Username and Password. To set up your MyCT account, follow
the instructions in the following link:
http://www.tamuct.edu/departments/informationtechnology/myct.php
 Select Criminal Justice Ethics from the course list:
201401_F_1_CJK_416_110: 21947-CJK-416-110-Methods Crim Justice Reserch
Student-Instructor Interaction:
Since this is an online class, most communication between the instructor and students will be
electronic in nature; however, all students are welcome and encouraged to attend office hours
or make an appointment for an office visit.
I will be checking and replying to student emails on a daily basis - students should expect a
response within 24 hours. Any deviations from this will be announced on Blackboard. During
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CJ 416 – Methods of Criminal Justice Research – Spring 2014
office hours, emails will be responded to more quickly, and Blackboard chat, Skype, Facetime,
or some other method of communication can also be utilized if pre-arranged.
There will be a discussion board available for students to post general questions that will be
checked and responded to on a regular basis – students should expect a response within 48
hours. This is highly recommended for general questions (for example, what chapters will be
covered on an exam), so that all students in the class may benefit from the answers.
______________________________________________________________________________
Required Course Work:
1. Article Critiques (350):
Students will be required to critique seven (7) articles over the course of the semester. Each
critique will be worth 50 points of the total course grade. These assignments will help students
understand and critically evaluate the methods used by actual researchers who have published
research articles in peer-reviewed journals. The articles and review questions will be provided
in Blackboard in the tab labeled Article Critiques. Your reply to the questions provided should
be typed (or copied and pasted) into the textbox in Blackboard.
2. Proposal Assignments (600 points):
Students will be responsible for completing six (6) writing assignments regarding their research
proposals. Each writing assignment is worth 100 points of the final course grade. The
assignment due dates are listed on the course calendar. Details on the writing assignments will
be provided in class and on Blackboard.
3. Exams (400 points):
There will be four (4) non-cumulative exams in this course. Each exam is worth 100 points of
the total course grade. The format of the exams may include a variety of question types,
including multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, and short essay.
4. Wiki Presentation (50 points):
Students will be responsible for presenting their final proposal in the course wiki. According to
the Merriam-Webster dictionary (www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wiki), a wiki is “a web
site that allows visitors to make changes, contributions, or corrections”. Each student will make
a contribution to the class wiki in Blackboard. The information included in the wiki should
include:
 An introduction
 The research question
 A brief summary of the literature
 A breakdown of the chosen methodology
Most of the wiki content will come from the proposal assignments, and students can make
changes to their wiki entry until the due date.
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CJ 416 – Methods of Criminal Justice Research – Spring 2014
Your Wiki entry should be written so that individuals outside of our classroom and the criminal
justice discipline can read, understand, and utilize the information provided. Plagiarism applies
to this assignment. Make sure to provide citations for your sources of material.
Grading criteria for Wiki Presentation assignment:
 30 points – Content
o All required information is included; clarity of entry; Are the main points clear
and organized effectively
 20 points – Mechanics
o Grammar; spelling; word usage; citations
Late assignments: Late writing assignments will not be accepted.
Grading Criteria Rubric and Conversion:
Final course grades will be assessed on the following scale:
Assignment
Exam 1
Exam 2
Exam 3
Exam 4
Proposal Assignment 1
Proposal Assignment 2
Proposal Assignment 3
Proposal Assignment 4
Proposal Assignment 5
Proposal Assignment 6
Article Critique 1
Article Critique 2
Article Critique 3
Article Critique 4
Article Critique 5
Article Critique 6
Article Critique 7
Wiki Presentation
Total
1253 - 1400 points
1113 - 1252 points
973 - 1112 points
833 - 972 points
0 - 832 points
Points
My Grade
100 points
100 points
100 points
100 points
100 points
100 points
100 points
100 points
100 points
100 points
50 points
50 points
50 points
50 points
50 points
50 points
50 points
50 points
1400 points
A
B
C
D
F
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CJ 416 – Methods of Criminal Justice Research – Spring 2014
Mastery, understanding, and familiarity with course content will be demonstrated through
exams, written assignments, and online Blackboard discussions.
Academic Integrity:
Texas A&M University - Central Texas expects all students to maintain high standards of
personal and scholarly conduct. Students found responsible of academic dishonesty are subject
to disciplinary action. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating on an
examination or other academic work, plagiarism, collusion, and the abuse of resource
materials. The faculty member is responsible for initiating action for each case of academic
dishonesty and report the incident to the Associate Director of Student Conduct. More
information can be found at
http://www.tamuct.edu/departments/studentconduct/facultyresources.php.
Plagiarism:
Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty. Plagiarism, most simply defined, is not properly
crediting your sources of information through the use of textual citations and the provision of a
works cited list. If something is not your own original idea, thought, words, or the product of
your original data collection and analysis, you need to cite your source in the text. You must
also include a works cited list. Failure to do so is cheating and will be dealt with as such.
Submitting the same, or essentially the same work, from another class may also be a form of
academic dishonesty, unless I approve it in advance. Work handed in should be your own, not
that of a friend, relative, Internet site, published article, or anyone else.
Disability Support Services:
If you have or believe you have a disability and wish to self-identify, you can do so by providing
documentation to the Disability Support Coordinator. Students are encouraged to seek
information about accommodations to help assure success in their courses. Please contact
Vanessa Snyder at (254) 501-5836 or visit Founder's Hall 114. Additional information can be
found at http://www.tamuct.edu/departments/disabilitysupport/index.php.
Tutoring:
Tutoring is available to all TAMUCT students, both on-campus and online. Subjects tutored
include Accounting, Finance, Statistics, Mathematics, and Writing (APA). Tutors are available at
the Tutoring Center in Founder's Hall, Room 204, and also in the Library in the North Building.
Visit www.ct.tamus.edu/AcademicSupport and click "Tutoring Support" for tutor schedules and
contact info. If you have questions, need to schedule a tutoring session, or if you're interested
in becoming a tutor, contact Academic Support Programs at 254-501-5830 or by emailing
[email protected]
Chat live with a tutor 24/7 for almost any subject on your computer! Tutor.com is an online
tutoring platform that enables TAMU-CT students to log-in and receive FREE online tutoring and
writing support. This tool provides tutoring in Mathematics, Writing, Career Writing, Chemistry,
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CJ 416 – Methods of Criminal Justice Research – Spring 2014
Physics, Biology, Spanish, Calculus, and Statistics. To access Tutor.com, click on
www.tutor.com/tamuct.
Library Services:
INFORMATION LITERACY focuses on research skills which prepare individuals to live and work in
an information-centered society. Librarians will work with students in the development of
critical reasoning, ethical use of information, and the appropriate use of secondary research
techniques. Help may include, yet is not limited to: exploration of information resources such as
library collections and services, identification of subject databases and scholarly journals, and
execution of effective search strategies. Library resources are outlined and accessed at
http://www.tarleton.edu/centraltexas/departments/library/
Drop Policy: If you discover that you need to drop this class, you must go to the Records Office
and ask for the necessary paperwork. Professors cannot drop students; this is always the
responsibility of the student. The record’s office will give a deadline for which the form must be
returned, completed, and signed. Once you return the signed form to the records office and
wait 24 hours, you must go into DuckTrax and confirm that you are no longer enrolled. If you
are still enrolled, you must FOLLOW-UP with the records office immediately. Should you miss
the deadline or fail to follow the procedure, you will receive an F in the course.
Extra Credit: Extra credit is not available in this class.
Conduct: Mastery of course content is greatly enhanced through professional conduct in the
classroom. Although this is an online class, professional conduct must still be observed in your
written communication. You will be expected to conduct yourself in a professional manner at
all times in this class.
Netiquette – Communication Courtesy Code: All members of the class are expected to follow
rules of common courtesy in all email messages, threaded discussions and chats. If I deem any
of them to be inappropriate or offensive, I will forward the message to the Chair of the
department and the online administrators and appropriate action will be taken, not excluding
expulsion from the course. In addition, all students should refer to the TSUCT Student
Handbook for classroom conduct policies, as it applies equally to online students as well as to
students in traditional face-to-face courses. The TSUCT Student Handbook is available online at
the TSUCT website.
Note: as in many criminal justice and social science courses, the issues of racial and ethnic
diversity must be considered part of the course content. In addition, topics may come up in
class that not everyone will be comfortable with or agree upon. Civility and courtesy to
everyone in the class, including the instructor, is expected. Incivility or discourtesy to anyone in
the class will not be tolerated and may result in your expulsion from the course.
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CJ 416 – Methods of Criminal Justice Research – Spring 2014
Calendar: Subject to revision, if necessary, during the semester.
Week of
Jan 13
Description
Course expectations
Syllabus
Personal introductions
Plagiarism
Jan 20
The Research Practice
Jan 27
The Research Process
Feb 3
The Ethical Principles
that Guide Researchers
Feb 10
Classifying Research
Feb 17
Causality
Feb 24
Measurement
Mar 3
Variables and the
Structure of Research
Reading/Assignments
Reading:
 Course Syllabus
Assignments:
 Plagiarism Assignment submitted by midnight on Jan
19 via Blackboard
 Introduction discussion completed by midnight on Jan
19 via Blackboard
Reading:
 Chapter 1 – Withrow
Assignments:
 Article Review 1 due by midnight on Jan 26 via
Blackboard
Reading:
 Chapter 2 – Withrow
Assignments:
 Proposal Assignment 1 due by midnight on Feb 2 via
Blackboard
Reading:
 Chapter 3 – Withrow
Assignments:
 Article Review 2 due by midnight on Feb 9 via
Blackboard
Reading:
 Chapter 4 – Withrow
Assignments:
 Proposal Assignment 2 due by midnight on Feb 16 via
Blackboard
 Exam 1 – Chapters 1-3 – due by midnight on Feb 16 via
Blackboard
Reading:
 Chapter 5 – Withrow
Assignments:
 Article Review 3 due by midnight on Feb 23 via
Blackboard
Reading:
 Chapter 6 – Withrow
Assignments:
 Proposal Assignment 3 due by midnight on Mar 2 via
Blackboard
Reading:
 Chapter 7 – Withrow
Assignments:
 Article Review 4 due by midnight on Mar 9 via
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CJ 416 – Methods of Criminal Justice Research – Spring 2014
Mar 10
Mar 17
Spring Break
Sampling
Mar 24
Experimental Design
Research Methods
Mar 31
Survey/Interview
Research Methods
Apr 7
Non-Reactive Research
Methods
Apr 14
Qualitative Research
Methods
Apr 21
Evaluation Research
Methods
Apr 28
Wrap it up!
May 5
Blackboard
 Exam 2 – Chapters 4-6 – due by midnight on Mar 9 via
Blackboard
No Class
Reading:
 Chapter 8 – Withrow
Assignments:
 Proposal Assignment 4 due by midnight on Mar 23 via
Blackboard
Reading:
 Chapter 9 – Withrow
Assignments:
 Article Review 5 due by midnight on Mar 30 via
Blackboard
Reading:
 Chapter 10 – Withrow
Assignments:
 Proposal Assignment 5 due by midnight on Apr 6 via
Blackboard
 Exam 3 – Chapters 7-9
Reading:
 Chapter 11 – Withrow
Assignments:
 Article Review 6 due by midnight on Apr 6 via
Blackboard
Reading:
 Chapter 12 – Withrow
Assignments:
 Proposal Assignment 6 due by midnight on Apr 20 via
Blackboard
Reading:
 Chapter 13 – Withrow
Assignments:
 Article Review 7 due by midnight on Apr 27 via
Blackboard
Assignments:
 Wiki Presentation due by midnight on Apr 29 via
Blackboard
Assignments:
 Exam 4 – Chapters 10-13 – due by midnight on May 8
via Blackboard
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CJ 416 – Methods of Criminal Justice Research – Fall 2008