At the conclusion of this course, you should have a thorough understanding of research and writing as a Criminal Justice professional. You should be able to:
A. Class Participation
Active class participation is one of the most essential parts of a valuable learning experience. This course will involve some form of activity and participation during each class—your success in the course and mastery of the material depends heavily on your willingness to participate. Class participation accounts for 5% of your final grade. Good class participation involves 1) attending all class meetings; 2) coming to class having read the assigned material and having completed any assignment given;
3) voluntary, thoughtful, and respectful participation in class activities and exercises.
B. Class Essays and Paragraph Assignments
A diagnostic paragraph assignment, skills assessment assignment, and two longer papers will be required during the regular semester. The topics for these paragraphs and essays will be assigned and the specific requirements for each will be given in class. Many of these paragraphs and papers will involve your observation of a scenario and then writing about various aspects of what you have observed. These assignments will give you the opportunity to demonstrate the writing skills you have learned up to that point in the course, and will also serve as exercises in editing and revising.
C. Research Paper
40% of your grade will be determined through your submission of a final research paper. The process of researching, writing, developing, and editing this paper will take place throughout the semester as you learn and develop the skills necessary to write such a paper.
The topic requirements for the research paper will be discussed more extensively in class. The paper should show your ability to choose an appropriately narrow topic, conduct scholarly research, develop a thesis statement, draft a paper, and revise that paper at various levels to produce a final work product. Several progressive steps will be taken in the completion of your final research paper. All portions of the research paper must be completed in order to receive full credit on the final research paper. For each portion of the research paper assignment that is not completed in accordance with the deadlines stated in the syllabus, one (1) letter grade will be deducted from your final research paper grade.
The paper should be between 12-15 double-spaced pages in length, excluding title page(s), references, and appendices. The paper should be written in 12-point Times New Roman font with 1-inch margins. Papers should be carefully edited to eliminate grammatical errors. For each page that the research paper is short of the length requirements, one (1) letter grade will be deducted from your final research paper grade.
The paper must utilize a minimum of five (5) scholarly sources. Your paper may not utilize electronic sources. For the purposes of this course, electronic sources are unverifiable web pages and other non-scholarly publications found on the Internet. Books, scholarly journals, and other reliable publications that are accessed by means of the Internet are not considered electronic sources and are perfectly acceptable for use in your paper. If there are any questions about the acceptability of a certain source, please contact the professor.
APA 6th edition referencing should be utilized throughout the paper. Exploring the scholarly work of others is an important part of active research. However, when the work of others is reflected in your own paper, credit must be given through proper citation. Failure to do this is plagiarism and constitutes academic dishonesty.
Your research paper must be an original work, created and submitted exclusively for this course. Submitting a research paper identical to or substantially similar to a paper submitted for any other course will be considered an act of academic dishonesty and will result in an automatic grade of F for the course.
More specific information regarding the due dates and requirements for various portions of the paper will be given in class.
Diagnostic Paper 5%
Skills Assessment Paper 10%
First Paper 20%
Second Paper 20%
Final Research Paper 40%
Class Participation 5%
Failure to complete any of these assignments will result in a grade of F for the course.
Your grades will be determined on the following scale:
90-100 = A
80-89 = B
70-79 = C
60-69 = D
60-below = F
I reserve the right to lower any student’s final grade, at my discretion, for:
(A) Repeated unpreparedness for class
(B) A negative, rude, or inattentive attitude in class
(C) Repeatedly disrupting the class
(D) Inappropriate class behavior (including cell phone use, texting, sleeping, etc)
(E) Not showing respect for fellow classmates’ questions, opinions, or class presentations
(F) Excessive absences
Students are expected to submit assignments on the due date and late assignments will not be accepted. Unless prior arrangements have been made with the professor, students will receive no credit for an assignment submitted past the due date. Assignments are due on the date stated in the syllabus regardless of whether a student is in class on that date. If a student must miss class on the day an assignment is due, it is that student’s responsibility to make arrangements to submit the assignment on or prior to the due date.
Students are expected to attend all class meetings for this course, following the university attendance policy. Attendance is taken at the beginning of class, and a late student is an absent student. As tardiness is unacceptable in the professional world, it is also not tolerated in my classroom.
This class meets only once a week, so each class absence is the equivalent of missing an entire week of class. Furthermore, this is a class that requires extensive participation during class. Missing class will put you at a significant disadvantage for the rest of the semester. Therefore, each unexcused absence will result in the deduction of one letter grade from your final course grade. Missing more than three (3) classes will result in an automatic “F” for the course. If a class absence is unavoidable, you must obtain approval from the professor before missing class; whether or not an absence is excused is solely at the discretion of the professor.
Many important announcements are made during class. If you miss a class, you are responsible for contacting one of your classmates to obtain notes, hear announcements, and get class updates. Making up for your absence is not the responsibility of the professor.