CCJ 3700 S

Reference #
Research Methods
CCJ 3700
Monday, 5:40 PM – 8:20 PM
Spring, 2013
3 Credit Hours
Instructor Information:
Dr. Caryn Horwitz, Assistant Professor
School of Justice
Office: 9114
Office Hours: Mon: 7:00 AM – 8:10 AM, 11: 05 AM – 11:15 AM, 12:40 PM – 2:30 PM
Office Hours: Mon: 4:10 PM – 5:40 PM
Office Hours: Tues: 10:00 AM – 2:20 PM
Office Hours: Wed: 7:00 AM – 8:10 AM, 11:05 AM – 11:15 AM, 12:40 PM – 2:20 PM
Office Hours: Also by Appointment
Phone: 305-237-1731
Course Description:
This course describes and evaluates various research methodologies as applied to the study of
Crime, Criminology, and Criminal Justice. Prerequisite: STA 2023.
Basics of Research Methods for Criminal Justice and Criminology, 3rd Edition
Authors: Michael Maxfield and Earl Babbie
Publisher: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning
ISBN: 978-1-111-34691-1
Class Requirements
Assignments: You will be required to take two in-class exams. You will participate in one group
power point presentation based on a research topic approved by your professor. You will also
write a research paper based on your research topic. Additionally, you will write two short papers
based on your textbook readings. You will also be required to participate in all class discussions.
We will discuss group presentation and writing requirements in class.
Late Assignment Policy: No late presentations can be done nor will late papers be accepted.
Grading Scale and Policy: You can earn up to 500 points in this class.
Midterm Exam ==================================== 100 Points
Final Exam =======================================100 Points
Group Presentation =================================100 Points
Research Paper ==================================== 100 Points
2 Short Papers (30 Points each) ========================= 60 Points
Class Attendance and Participation ======================= 40 Points You can earn 3
points for each class meeting. Arrivals 10 minutes after start time and/or departures before the
class ends will only earn you a maximum of 2 points for that class meeting. Please see below for
electronic device use policy. If I need to ask you to put away your electronic device, you will only
earn a maximum of 2 points for that class meeting. Thus, you have the potential of getting 0 to 3
points per class meeting even if you are partially in attendance. For example, if you arrive late
and I need to ask you to put away your phone, you will only earn 1 point for that class meeting.
Please keep track of your attendance (including late arrivals, early departures, and “caught by
professor” electronic use violations).
A ====== 440 or Above Points
B ====== 390 – 439 Points
C ====== 340 – 389 Points
D ====== 290 – 339 Points
F ====== 289 or Below Points
Make-up Exam Policy: No make-up exams will be offered.
Class Policies and Methodology
Attendance: Attendance will be taken at each class meeting and is expected of each of you.
You earn points for attending and participating in class. See above.
Electronic Device Use: Please refrain from using any electronic device during class. If you must
make an emergency call, please step out of the classroom.
Email Policy: Copies of papers and presentations need to be printed and turned into professor.
You may email the professor for specific questions that cannot be handled before and/or after
Equipment and Supplies: No special supplies and/or equipment to buy except for the textbook
used for our class. See above.
Professor’s Expectations: You will be expected to take a key role in your learning experience.
You will read the textbook, attend class, participate in discussions, do your in-class presentations,
write your papers, and take both the mid-term and final exam. Exams will be based on class
discussions/lectures and your reading assignments. If you miss class, please get information
about covered material from one of your colleagues in the class. Please do not write to me and
ask me “Did I miss anything?” Assume you missed something!
Methods of Instruction: Lectures and Discussions based on textbook and class participation.
Unique Requirements of the Class: Your active participation in your learning experience by
sharing in class discussions and bringing current newsworthy issues into class.
Class Outline and Assignments: See below for reading assignments, dates for exams, and
dates for papers due.
College Policies:
ATTENDANCE REPORTING: Federal guidelines require that the faculty now report student
attendance. Students who have never attended class will be withdrawn prior to the withdrawal
date. If a student has attended class and wants to withdraw, they should do so before the
withdrawal deadline. If you have attended class but do not complete any assignments and then
stop attending, you will receive a grade of F. If you complete an assignment and stop attending,
you will receive a grade of F.
ACADEMIC HONESTY: You are expected to do your own work. Cheating WILL NOT be
tolerated. This includes, but is not limited to, collaboration on exams or quizzes and plagiarized
papers. The first incidence will result in a grade of zero for the assignment. A second occurrence
will result in a failing grade for the class, removal from the class and possible additional sanctions
as determined by the Dean of Students.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The course outline below is subject to change by the professor.
Week 1 – Week of January 7
No Class Meeting Yet
Week 2 – Week of January 14
Introduction: General Discussion
Research Topics
Week 3 – Week of January 21 – MLK Day!
No Class – Please celebrate Martin Luther King
Meet with your Research Group
Week 4 – Week of January 28
Criminal Justice and Scientific Inquiry
Read Text, Chapter 1
Week 5 – Week of February 4
Ethics and Criminal Justice Research
Read Text, Chapter 2
Week 6 – Week of February 11
General Issues in Research Design
Read Text, Chapter 3
Week 7 – Week of February 18 – Presidents Day!
No Class – Please celebrate your favorite President
Meet with your Research Group
Week 8 – Week of February 25 -- SHORT PAPER #1 DUE
Concepts, Operationalization, and Measurement
Read Text, Chapter 4
Week 9 – Week of March 4 -- MID-TERM on Monday
Mid-Term Exam
Group Project Meetings
Week 10 – Week of March 11
Survey Research and Asking Questions
Read Text, Chapter 7
Week 11 – Week of March 18
Read Text, Chapter 6
Week 12 – Week of March 25
Survey and Sampling Continued
Text, Chapters 6 and 7
Week 13 – Week of April 1
Interpreting Data
Read Text, Chapter 11
Week 14 – Week of April 8 -- ALL Copies of Presentations and Papers Due on Monday
Interpreting our Own Data
Text, Chapter 11
Week 15 – Week of April 15 -- SHORT PAPER #2 DUE
Other Research Techniques
Reader’s Choice: Text, Chapters 5, 8, 9, or 10
Week 16 – Week of April 22
Final Conclusions and Class Discussion
Week 17 – Week of April 29 – FINAL Exam on Monday
Course Competencies:
Competency 1: The student will understand criminal justice research statistics by:
a. defining the nature of criminal justice research
b. comparing differing hypotheses
c. reviewing the stages of criminal justice research and data sources
d. assessing the function of statistics and surveys
Competency 2: The student will analyze the organization of criminal justice data by:
a. comparing distribution and frequency distributions of nominal data
b. reviewing proportions and percentages, ratios and rates
c. interpreting graphic presentations
d. defining using decimal data, percentile ranks, and cross tabulations
Competency 3: The student will be able to measure the central tendency by:
a. defining central tendency
b. exploring modes of measurements
c. describing data
d. computing the mode, median, and mean
Competency 4: The student will learn the measures of variability as it relates to crime
statistics by::
a. comparing and contrasting Uniform Crime Report (UCR) data
b. reviewing the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) data
c. analyzing the interpretation of crime data
Competency 5: The students will analyze probability and the normal curve by:
a. computing probability and probability distributions for crime victimization
b. examining the characteristics of perpetrators and victims
c. examining crime trends and causal effects
Competency 6: The student analyze crime data relative to populations targeted for violent
crime by:
a. defining and discussing sample populations
b. identifying targeted populations for criminality
c. reviewing professional journals for crime analysis and interpretation
d. gathering arrest data from samples of populations
Competency 7: The student will analyze crime related research by:
a. identifying the research hypothesis
b. analyzing the sample distribution
c. analyzing levels of significance
d. defining and discussing duration
Competency 8: The student will analyze crime data by:
a. examining the calculation between crime victimization and demographics
b. examining the methodologies of reporting U.S. crime statistics
c. examining the cause and effect of terrorist related crime
d. utilizing a regression model reference to the “aging-out” theory
Student Learning Outcomes:
The School of Justice, Academic Programs will focus on the following Student Centered Learning
Outcomes as a measure of student and program success:
a. Examine the various types of data in criminal justice research. Learn how to collect
and analyze data pertaining to specific criminal justice issues.
a. Create strategies to research various criminal justice issues as relates to specific
groups over and/or under represented in the criminal justice system.
a. Create strategies to deal with various ethical issues in conducting criminal justice
a. Learning how to operationalize our research hypotheses and how to best
communicate the results of our research.
a. Use logical reasoning in deciding research questions and analyzing our findings.