Assignment: Students will be required to write a paper on one of the criminological theories we covered during the course. Students should select the theory they believe is the most valid explanation of criminal behavior. Students may select more than one theory if they believe a combination of theories best explains the criminal behavior. Each student must incorporate at least 10 peer-reviewed journal articles into his or her paper. Papers should be at least 8 pages in length, double-spaced, paginated, and in Times New Roman font. Cover pages and references do not contribute to the required pages. Quotations are not allowed. Students may paraphrase authors’ words; when this is done, remember to cite your sources in text. All references must be cited in a bibliography using APA format.
Please address the following prompts in your paper. You should use the bold faced items below as subheadings in your paper.
In this section students should name the theory they selected and briefly state the crime or criminal incident to which they will apply the selected theory. A clear objective or thesis should be incorporated into this section. For instance, at the end of the introduction you might state, “The objective of this paper is to explain and provide support for Merton’s strain theory. More specifically, this paper will explain the utility of strain theory, provide empirical support for the theory, and discuss policy implications for the theory.”
Description of Incident
Detail a criminal incident that occurred in the United States (e.g. the DC Sniper; Boston marathon bombing, etc.). Students are not allowed to use criminal incidents incorporated into the theory application discussion board posts. Be sure to provide background on the criminal incident including but not limited to: 1) details about the offender (e.g., age, sex, race/ethnicity, family history, previous crimes), 2) details about the victim(s) (e.g., age, sex, race/ethnicity, number of victims, etc.), 3) other pertinent information about the criminal incident (e.g., location, how the offender was caught, collateral consequences of the crime, etc.).
Detail the selected theory. Explain why this theory does the best job of explaining the occurrence of the selected criminal incident. For instance, what does this theory take into consideration that other theories do not. Be sure to discuss the various components of the selected theory. For example, if Merton’s strain theory was selected, the student should speak about people’s goals in society, legitimate means for achieving the goals, and the 5 adaptations that people implement in relation to these goals and means. Students may incorporate a combination of theories in the justification section. When this is done, be sure to discuss the components of each selected theory.
Has the theory been empirically supported? In other words, cite 3 studies that have tested the theory and be sure to report the findings of these studies. Students should incorporate three peer reviewed journal articles that tested the selected theory?
In this section students should detail how the selected theory best explains its occurrence of the criminal incident presented in the “description of incident.” Be sure to make direct connections between components of the theory and the criminal incident. Deep analysis is more important than loosely connecting the criminal incident to all components of the theory. That is, discussing how specific components of the theory explain the criminal incident, and where the theory fails to explain the criminal incident is ideal.
What policies could be implemented to reduce the occurrence of similar criminal
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August 9, 2018
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