Criminal Justice CAPSTONE

timer Asked: Nov 1st, 2017

Question Description

You are required to write a capstone paper for this course. A capstone paper is exactly what it sounds like. It is a paper that will encapsulate all that you have learned as an EAP Criminal Justice major at the University of the Incarnate Word. Sound daunting? It isn’t and won’t be if you follow the directions as I outline them. In fact, this may be the most liberating paper writing experience you undertake.

This paper must be a minimum of 25 pages in length: NO EXCEPTION! Papers can be longer, but if you are approaching the 30-page mark, then you need to narrow the scope of your paper. The paper must be typed, double spaced in 12-point font. A title page with your name on it must be included. An abstract and a full reference page must also be provided in your paper. This paper must adhere to APA format, including citations. An example of this format will be provided to you in class.

Page 1 of 11 This senior capstone course is designed to provide graduating criminal justice students with information about careers. In doing so, criminal justice students are given the opportunity to: (1) learn and explore various careers; (2) learn how to apply effectively for criminal justice positions; (3) learn about your own personality traits and how they fit with careers in criminal justice; (4) polish overall professional skills; and (5) learn some life skills that are beneficial for career development. Additionally, students will create an original, scholarly work synthesizing criminal justice theories, methodology and systems and apply same to a current issue in the field demonstrating substantial knowledge of the student’s criminal justice studies and or concentration outcomes. COURSE OBJECTIVES: By the end of the term students will be able to do the following: 1. Formulate a research project proposal that demonstrates student's ability to effectively compose an undergraduate criminal justice capstone research project by constructing a thesis, analyzing the relationship of the thesis to the student's concentration outcomes and selecting appropriate scholarly resources in support of the thesis. 2. Assess critically project proposals and provide constructive feedback to peers in a group setting and revise own proposal based on peer review and professor feedback. 3. Evaluate a current issue in the field of criminal justice synthesizing criminal justice theories, methodology and systems while demonstrating mastery of the concentration outcomes. 4. Demonstrate writing proficiencies appropriate to the senior college level. 5. Demonstrate proficiency in communicating with peers in a group setting. STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES: This class endeavors to bring some reality and connection to the courses the student has taken as he or she has progressed to this point, about to graduate with a degree in criminal justice. This class has two major goals: first, to review in a minor way the subsystems within the criminal justice field; and to assist the student in developing a mental connection between the classes the student has taken. The second goal is to acquaint the student with a pool of information that will assist him or her in obtaining employment within a criminal justice agency or entering a graduate program of criminal justice. To an extent, this course endeavors to contribute to the individual development, professional growth, and the success of entering the job market. Stated in another way, in order to accomplish the above goals, this class will emphasize: 1. A review of the focus of criminal justice 2. Improve students’ ability to speak, communicate orally while thinking critically 3. Students will practice writing skills while thinking critically Page 2 of 11 4. Prepare students to participate in the job market in the searching and securing of a professional position/career in the criminal justice field After accomplishing the above goals, Students’ Learning Outcomes may be expressed in this manner: 1. Students will be able to orally and in written form describe the three components of the criminal justice system 2. Student will understand the importance of being able to speak intelligently about the criminal justice field 3. Students will develop a resume, and cover letter will be useable in a formal manner 4. Students will have an appreciation for what developing a letter of reference entail 5. Students will be acquainted with a number of avenues which they may employ in seeking professional employment REQUIRED COURSE MATERIALS: ✓ There is no text book required for this course. ✓ MS Office Professional 2010 (or earlier version) ✓ Computer with basic system requirements (Pentium or higher system and 28.8k or higher speed of modem connection.) ✓ Microsoft Office XP or higher on a Windows operating system or comparable Mac system, and ✓ an Internet Service Provider (ISP) SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL: You will need the information from the links below for your capstone paper. The link to the guide for Criminal Justice (the demo is in the “Tutorial” link): The direct link to the demo for searching the Criminal Justice Database is: 8b4pary Access the OWL APA Guide (free) online at: Page 3 of 11 APA CITATION FORMAT POLICY: It is very important that you learn how to cite properly. In some ways, citations are more important than the actual text of your paper. Therefore, you should take this task seriously and devote some time to understanding how to cite properly. If you take the time to understand this process up front, it will save you a significant amount of time in the long run (not to mention significant deductions in points). In the social and behavioral sciences (including Criminal Justice), we use APA (American Psychological Association) format. As a rule of thumb, one cites whenever they are paraphrasing other people’s words or when they quote other’s words directly. HOW COURSE FITS WITHIN CURRICULUM: While this course satisfies the requirements for graduation, it also give students the tools they need to succeed in a criminal justice organization and beyond. Students will have the invaluable opportunity to learn about criminal justice organizations, and their various processes and problems of general importance to the field of criminal justice. ASSESSMENTS/CAPSTONE PAPER: Assignment Instructions: You are required to write a capstone paper for this course. A capstone paper is exactly what it sounds like. It is a paper that will encapsulate all that you have learned as an EAP Criminal Justice major at the University of the Incarnate Word. Sound daunting? It isn’t and won’t be if you follow the directions as I outline them. In fact, this may be the most liberating paper writing experience you undertake. This paper must be a minimum of 25 pages in length: NO EXCEPTION! Papers can be longer, but if you are approaching the 30-page mark, then you need to narrow the scope of your paper. The paper must be typed, double spaced in 12-point font. A title page with your name on it must be included. An abstract and a full reference page must also be provided in your paper. This paper must adhere to APA format, including citations. An example of this format will be provided to you in class. This proposal will be completed in stages. There will be assignment folders for you to upload your proposal for Weeks 2, 4, 6, and 8. IF you do the work when it is supposed to be done, the project will not be overwhelming and you will do well. Below is an explanation of the course requirement including due date, assignment instructions, and other requirements. Follow deadlines carefully. ASSESSMENT EVALUATIONS: Please be mindful that the heart of the study is not on statistics, but the thinking behind the study. Remember that criminal justice studies focus on what you really want to find out, how you build arguments about ideas and concepts, and what Page 4 of 11 supporting evidence you have to persuade people to accept your arguments and/or position. Assessment Capstone Abstract and Draft Week 2 Description Include any additional work you have completed with regards to the capstone abstract and draft. This body of work serves as the baseline from which this course’s learning is developed. Please clearly identify the research topic you will work on for the remainder of the term. Weight 20% Write an Abstract that introduces and establishes the research topic and context. 1. Draft a clear description of your research topic. 2. Reflect on what could be done with the information found by researching this topic. Describe the context of the question, problem, or issue of the study. 1. Create a statement that reflects the purpose of your study. 2. Abstract and Draft should be 7-9 double-spaced pages in length. 3. Follow Capstone Paper Outline and include the following: a. b. c. d. e. Capstone PaperReview of Literature Part I Week 4 Problem Statement Research Questions Purpose of the Study Nature of the Problem Background and Significance of the Problem f. Definition of Terms (if applicable) In no more than 9-12 double-spaced pages (INCLUDE WORK FROM WEEK 2), state the topic and the theoretical and practical importance of studying it, as well as make a case for how it is a contribution to the discipline. Establish the importance of the question, problem, or issue of the study in a specific field by addressing the following: 1. Review of literature should also identify and review the major studies that have examined this issue in the past. 20% Page 5 of 11 2. What are their methodological strengths and weaknesses? 3. State the major hypotheses (2-3) that your study will test. 4. Identify the major independent and dependent variables and the unit of analysis, as part of your front end (if applicable). 5. Write several sentences that illustrate the importance of this study to the criminal justice field. Identify a problem statement that clearly describes and documents the issue the study addresses. 1. Write a paragraph that reflect your thoughts about the overarching rationale for the study. Develop appropriate research questions, identify the variables in the study, and articulate a hypothesis (if applicable). 1. List all research questions. 2. If you conduct a quantitative study, list each proposed independent variable and dependent variable, identifying each with a notation of either IV or DV. Capstone Research Plan, Sampling & Research Design Paper- Part II Week 6 You must include a cover page, abstract, and references. In no more than 12-15 double-spaced pages (INCLUDE WORK FROM WEEK 4), indicate clearly the type of sampling design you will use, your research design, and the measures you will use in your proposed research. Explain how the study problem, purpose, research questions, and design are aligned. You must include a cover page, abstract, and references. In your sample design section, be sure to include your rationale for selecting this type of sample. In your discussion, clearly indicate the population to which your hypothesis applies and how you will select the sample. Pay particular attention to practical issues, such as sample size, potential attrition, and access. Provide a justification for the decisions you make. You should also clearly indicate the type of research design you will use to test your hypothesis. How does this design allow you to test your hypothesis (i.e., justify your design 20% Page 6 of 11 and provide a rationale for it)? Don’t be vague in your design, such as saying you will conduct an experiment or a survey. Be specific – will your survey be a panel design? How many data collection points? Why? What will be the lag or time between surveys/interviews? Why? Will you survey or interview? Why? Support the methodological approach for addressing the question, problem, or issue of the study to respond to the problem. 1. Describe why you think this method is the best fit for the problem you wish to research and the required data. 2. List your ideas for gathering data for your study. Although this proposal may seem rudimentary, the information provided in each section can be used as the basis of your proposal. As such, a significant amount of effort should be given to refining these sections while they are in their simplest form. FINAL Capstone Paper Week 8 Total Grade Finally, discuss your measurement plan. 1. What are the key variables you need to measure in order to test your hypothesis (if applicable)? 2. Indicate precisely how you will measure them and consider/defend their validity and reliability. Submit the final paper Capstone to your professor on the 40% due date (INCLUDE WORK FROM WEEKS 2, 4, and 6). This final proposal should address all comments and suggested revisions provided throughout the term. The proposal should be double-spaced, in 12-point Arial or Times New Roman, with 1-inch margins and in APA format. A 25-page minimum (not including the title, abstract, or references) will be strictly enforced. 100% PARTICIPATION, PUNCTUALITY AND ATTENDANCE: REQUIREMENTS AND EXPECTATIONS CAPSTONE PAPER OUTLINE: As part of the requirements for this course you will be expected to compose a Capstone paper of your own design, based on what you learn in this course and in Research Page 7 of 11 Methods. The Capstone paper will be worth 40% of your course grade. The Capstone paper must be a minimum of 25- pages in length, double spaced, with 12-point font- not counting title page, references, tables, etc. will be required on your specific topic. You should pick a topic of inquiry of interest, identify a research question(s) and formulate a research design to answer your question(s). Before you begin your study, discuss in person and or email your topic to me for approval. Your paper should have a cover page, abstract page, table of contents page, and reference page. A few examples of research proposals have been provided for you on the course content page. Additionally, at a minimum your Capstone paper should generally include the following sections: 1. Abstract: An abstract is a brief summary of a research article, self-contained, and a powerful statement that describes a larger work or any in-depth analysis of a particular subject and is often used to help the reader quickly ascertain the paper's purpose. An abstract of a social science or criminal justice work may contain the scope, purpose, results, and contents of the work. It is not a review, nor does it evaluate the work being abstracted. While it contains key words found in the larger work, the abstract is an original document rather than an excerpted passage. 2. Introduction In this part you should set the stage for the issue you have chosen to study (what are you going to study and why?). Introduce the issue to the reader, tell why it should be studied and briefly provide an overview of the ensuing Capstone paper and a clear statement of the problem or issue of concern. I am looking for what you have learned about current issues that you believe influences the effectiveness and inner workings of criminal justice system. The proposal is expected to have content and thoughtful analysis on the topic on an “advanced” level. I expect that the paper is based on adequate references of scholarly materials rather than introductory textbooks or popular writings. I encourage you to add your own opinions; however, those opinions should be carefully considered, logical, and supported by evidence or outside rationale. The most common mistakes are (a) just summarizing the topic and not analyzing it or discussing your views, (b) failing to relate the subject to larger (broader) issues as found in the readings. Broader issues are how your Capstone paper might yield a different approach to criminal justice, usefulness of various alternatives, different approaches to agency management, etc. State your hypothesis (quantitative) and what you expect to find (do this prior to conducting your research). 3. Hypothesis(es): Include formal statements of the specific hypothesis(es) to be investigated, and how it relates to the research questions you specified in your introduction. What are the expected relationships between your main variables of interest? Page 8 of 11 4. Prior literature In this section you will need to gather a few articles (4 or 5) of studies that have looked at the issue you are proposing to study. Briefly describe what the articles studied and how they studied it. Be careful not to simply list the articles in order. Rather, present the concept and tell how the other authors dealt with it. At the conclusion of this section you should identify the gaps found in the other literature or what still remains to be known about your topic. 5. Research Design and Methodology The methodology section should give the “nuts and bolts” of what you plan to do and how you plan to carry out your research. Your research design will vary depending on the issue and type of study you have selected. It may be inductive, where you seek to understand a phenomenon where little is known, or it may be deductive, where more is known and theories exist to help explain the topic. Will you be analyzing a program? Or perhaps a policy? Will you be using an experimental or quasi-experimental design? What will your unit of analysis be? For inductive research, you will be seeking to understand specific facets of your identified topic in order to formulate general understanding. You will need to clearly state your research questions and how you will answer those questions. (In section II you should have identified how you have arrived at asking these questions). For deductive research, you will be applying more generalized ideas or theories to the selected topic of study. For a deductive study, you will need to discuss theory or theories and draw out theoretically based predictions to guide your inquiry. This should be done in Section II. Based on your theoretical discussion, in this section you will need to draw out conceptualizations of the theory and identify operationalizations and propositions that will be tested. 6. Data and Collection: For either type of study you will need to identify the data you will use and how it will be collected. In other words, you will need to identify the population you will be studying and how that population will be sampled. Will data be collected in a field setting? Through observations or interviews? Will it be taken from public records or an existing data base? Will it be random or non-random? Specification of the unit of analysis and description of sampling design. Who or what will you study, i.e., the sample/population? How will you get access to this sample/population? What sampling technique will you use to select the sample, if not including the entire population? How will you obtain consent, ensure voluntary participation, and protect against harm to participants? If you are using existing data, you still need to describe the sample, as well as any limitations the existing data may have. Theoretical and operational definitions of all concepts. What are the general variables (i.e., independent variables, dependent variables, control variables) that you propose to study? How is each variable initially defined and expected to be measured, or operationalized? You will need to offer theoretical and conceptual definitions of key concepts (e.g., define what is meant by fear of crime). Then you will need to specify how you will measure each concept (e.g., tell me how you will measure fear of crime), including Page 9 of 11 control variables. Will you be developing your own measures or using pre-existing measures? Will measures be based on single indicators or multiple? How will you test for reliability and validity of your measures? If you are going to conduct a survey, measurement will involve the construction of specific questions representing domains of each variable. You do not need to create the survey, but describe what the survey items will include. 7. Proposed Analysis: Briefly (typically one paragraph), indicate what type of analysis(es) you plan to conduct? You are not expected to indicate the specific statistical technique you will use to analyze the data, just generalities such as descriptive and theme pattern techniques for qualitative data and multivariate techniques for quantitative data. Importantly, will you be comparing groups (e.g., control group vs. experimental group, males vs. females, non-offenders vs. offenders) as part of the analysis(es)? 8. Summary: In this section, give a brief overview of what you have just said in the prior pages. You should also discuss why your study is important, and what implications your findings would have for your intended audience. 9. References: Make sure you reviewed the document ensuring that all references used in the proposal appear in the reference section and all references in the reference section appear in the paper. In a Nut Shell: You should provide the background for the research problem in which you’re interested and how addressing it would provide a contribution to the discipline; a clear indication of your research question (s); a statement about your expectations, hypotheses, and aims; a thorough discussion of your research design and plan (e.g., sample, data collection strategy, and analytic plan); any anticipated problems with your strategy; and the potential implications of your study in terms of policy development, program enhancement, or theoretical contribution. You will be evaluated on your ability to convey your research plan to readers, so be sure that your proposal is well-written and thoroughly checked for spelling, grammar, etc. STATEMENT ON PLAGIARISM: Plagiarism is the representation of another person's words, ideas, and creative work in general as one's own. This misrepresentation is a breach of ethics that seriously compromises a person’s reputation. Professional careers have been ruined by revelations of plagiarism. To avoid plagiarism, researchers and professionals in public, private, or nonprofit organizations must scrupulously give credit whenever they use another person’s idea, opinion, theory, written or spoken words, as well as any facts, statistics, graphs, drawings—any pieces of information—that are not common knowledge. The following Page 10 of 11 rules should be observed to make sure that the distinction between one's own words, ideas or work, and those of others is justly maintained. 1. Put in quotations everything that comes directly from the text of another’s work, especially when taking notes. 2. Alternatively, you can paraphrase another person’s work, but be sure you are not just rearranging or replacing a few words. A good strategy is to (1) read over what you want to paraphrase carefully, (2) cover up the text with your hand, (3) write out the idea in your own words without peeking, and (4) check your paraphrase against the original text to be sure you have not accidentally used the same phrases or words, and that the information is accurate. 3. Whether you quote, paraphrase or otherwise borrow another’s work, always cite or indicate the source of the information, and provide references following one of the many accepted styles or formats. 4. Common knowledge such as Abraham Lincoln's date of birth or the meaning of OLS regression need not be quoted, cited, or referenced. However, borrowing another’s original or creative presentation of common knowledge should follow the abovementioned rules. When in doubt, follow the rules. Of course, submitting a paper that is completely the work of another person is plagiarism in its most extreme form. A student who plagiarizes all or part of an assignment can expect severe cumulative penalties, ranging from failure in the course to expulsion from STUDY OBJECTIVES/EXPECTATIONS: This online course is not self-paced, nor is it open-ended. There is a beginning and ending date for each course, and assigned deadlines for written assignments and on-line discussion. Expectations for performance in an online course are the same as for a traditional course; in fact, online courses require a degree of self-motivation, selfdiscipline, and technology skills that can make them more demanding for some students. Our online class will be taught in a somewhat informal lecture and discussion format. There will be a question thread for each week for you to ask questions and interact with your classmates. I highly encourage you to interact with each other. Questions or comments regarding grades or other personal matters should be sent directly to me. I also encourage students to email or call me via telephone if you need more clarity on an issue treated in class. This course is eight weeks long. You will do most of your work off-line, but you will be expected to access Blackboard at least five out of the seven days per week to submit work, retrieve assignments, read, and ask question if necessary. Submitting quality work on time is critical to your successful completion of this class and will have a major bearing on your final grade. SEVEN Cs OF EFFECTIVE WRITING: Page 11 of 11 Numerous methods can be used to compel you toward your best writing. One way to encourage you is to provide the Seven Cs of Effective Writing at the beginning of this course. I am providing the following seven characteristics of effective writing to instill sound writing habits in all UIW students. 1. Complete—Effective writing uses topic sentences, explanations, and supporting evidence. It has only one main idea in each sentence and one main idea in each paragraph. 2. Concise—Effective writing does not use unnecessary words, trite phrases, or redundancies. 3. Courteous—The tone of effective writing avoids demeaning or patronizing language, sexist or other offensive terminology, inappropriate humor, accusatory tone, terse wording, and imperative voice (tone that expresses a request or demand). 4. Concrete—Active, right-branching sentences (sentences that start with a subject, followed by a verb and object) are characteristic of effective writing. Avoid abstract words whenever possible. 5. Clear—Effective writing is clear and unambiguous. Subjects and verbs agree, and pronoun antecedents are clear. Such writing is also free of jargon and slang. 6. Coherent—Organization is key to effective writing. Sentences should flow in a logical sequence and not jar the reader. Transitional elements should show the relationship of one idea to another. 7. Correct—Mechanically correct writing is a hallmark of effective writing. Writing must be mechanically correct with regard to spelling, grammar, usage, punctuation, and format. .

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