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Criminal Justice 670

CRJU 670: Criminal Justice Research Methods

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

Credit Hours: (3)

The course is designed to provide advanced social science research skills and to allow students to put those skills into practice with a required research project. 


Detailed Description of Content of Course

I. Introduction to theory and application

            A. Theory construction
            B. Causality
            C. Predictive modeling

II. Measurement

            A. Reliability, validity, accuracy and precision
            B. Entering data into the computer

III. Research Methods

            A. Formal and quasi experimentation
            B. Survey research
            C. Field research
            D. Unobtrusive research
            E. Evaluation research
            F. Using computer data bases

IV. Statistics and sampling techniques

            A. Univariates, bivariates and multivariates
            B. Descriptive and inferential statistics
            C. Random sample selection
            D. Calculating sampling error
            E. Computer-based statistic programs

V. The research project

            A. Introduction and identification of problem
            B. Literature review
            C. Hypothesis formation and operationalization
            D. Data collection methods
            E. Data summarization
            F. Conclusions

VI. The thesis proposal

            A. Introduction
            B. Problem statements
            C. Definition of terms
            D. Limitations to the study
            E. Literature review
            F. Methodology and date collection description
            G. Bibliography


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

This course is a practical application of basic research methods developed in the field of criminal justice. The student must conduct a research project or thesis proposal and present their research in the classroom forum. A review of research methodology will be presented. Computer applications will be emphasized where appropriate.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

At the conclusion of the course, students should be able to:

1. Articulate the basic operations and methodology of a criminal justice research project.
2. Comprehend the elements of research design and established research methods.
3. Demonstrate knowledge of the function and use of statistics in the social research.
4. Have the ability to critique existing pieces of social research.
5. Apply the concepts learned in class in a research project of their choice.
6. Demonstrate some expertise in the use of computers.


Assessment Measures

Skill Assessment

a. oral skills demonstrated in classroom participation and research presentations
b. written skills demonstrated with essay-type questions and written research project
c. computer skills demonstrated with word processing assignments, statistical data assignments or use of computer-based data sets
d. students will be encouraged to present their research at a professional meeting if possible

Skills Assessment

a. Oral skills demonstrated in class participation and written presentations
b. Development of a case study with an involuntary client

Knowledge Assessment

a. In class examination
b. Class participation
c. Student research project


Other Course Information



Review and Approval
March 22, 1999