Part 1: Using the ECL
Search the Excelsior College Library (ECL) for a criminal justice research article from the year 2000 or later on one of the following topics: rational choice, deterrence, environmental criminology, biosocial theories of crime, or psychological theories of crime.
If you have never used the ECL before, listen to the audio “Library Overview: A Brief Introduction to the Excelsior College Library (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.,” the first link under `Introduction to the Library and Research Process’ Familiarize yourself with the Library’s online databases for finding academic articles. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. Note that there are a number of databases to search. You should explore several of them, so that you are familiar with the range of possibilities. Examples of good databases for criminal justice research are Academic Search Complete, Soclndex, PsycARTICLES, JSTOR, and Google Scholar (not regular Google). Part 2: Selecting an Article
Make sure the article you have chosen to use for this assignment is scholarly (also called academic or scientific) and peer-reviewed. This means the article is written by an expert in the field, contains credible evidence, has scientific merit, and was reviewed by other experts in the field for accuracy and credibility.
Watch the video on the Library website (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. about the difference between scholarly and popular articles. Watch the video at the NC State University website that explains what a peer-reviewed article means (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Read the instructions on the Library website about how to identify a peer-reviewed article (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. [PDF, File Size 306KBI Part 3: Evaluating the Article
When you have found an appropriate article, evaluate the quality of your finding using the criteria outlined on the Library website (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..
Read the tutorials on Evaluating Information (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. and Credible Sources (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. on the Library website.
Think carefully about whether or not your chosen article meets these criteria. If not, select a more appropriate article.
Part 4: Writing a Draft
Draft a 5-6 page paper that answers the following questions:
What topic did you search for and why? This should be a fairly brief introduction to your paper. How did you locate your article? How did your method of searching for the article follow the best practices described in the Library resources? How did you evaluate the quality of your article? How did your methods of evaluation follow the best practices described in the Library resources? What is the article about? Do not simply repeat what is provided in the abstract. Read the entire article and write your own summary of it. Highlight points that you found particularly interesting. How does this article fit in with the material covered in this module? In other words, what theoretical tradition does it stem from? What knowledge does it add to that tradition? Part 5: Revising and Writing the Final Paper
Revise your draft into a final paper that is thorough, accurate, well organized, and interesting to read. Proofread your work carefully for spelling and grammar mistakes. Seek help with your writing before the paper deadline.