Project #21842 - My research paper topic is organized crime

 

 

MY TOPIC IS ORGANIZED CRIME

 

Each student will be responsible for submitting a research paper. The student may select the topic he or she would like to write about, but the topic must be approved by the instructor. The topic needs to address an aspect of the criminal justice system covered within this course and needs to incorporate at some place in the paper a discussion of the Saint Leo core value of responsible stewardship as it relates to the topic. Download the worksheet CRM220 How to Choose a Research Paper Topic in Doc Sharing and follow the directions. Submit your topic on the worksheet as an attachment to your instructor. If you do not submit your topic by the due date, you may lose points. Submit to your completed topic worksheet to your instructor via course email by no later than Sunday 11:59 PM EST/EDT of Module 2.

The paper must be at least 2000-2500 words, excluding the title page and reference page, and must adhere to the APA sixth edition writing format. Please reference the APA Guide link under Resources. If you paper does not comply with this format, you will lose points. Commercial software program templates are available for purchase to assist in the correct formatting for use of APA. One example is found at http://www.perrla.com.

Please cite at least five scholarly references for your paper. Please be aware that websites such as Wikipedia are not scholarly sources. You are encouraged to access the University’s online library resources to find scholarly journal articles, etc. Proquest and EBSCO may be helpful, but remember to limit your search to scholarly journal articles. Please remember to review the information available for locating and citing proper sources in your syllabus. No more than 20% of this paper may be attributed to referenced sources.

Submit the Research Paper to the Dropbox by no later than Sunday 11:59 PM EST/EDT of Module 7. (This Dropbox basket is linked to Turnitin.)

The following rubric will be used to grade the Research Paper:

Criteria

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Ratings

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Null

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Novice

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Basic

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Proficient

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Exceptional

The paper extensively develops the issue and ideas are presented in a clear, concise manner

0

14

16

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18

20

The paper provides a fundamental overview of the topic as it relates to the criminal justice system.

0

14

16

18

20

Shows depth and understanding of the subject matter with appropriate analysis of the topic selected (this includes Saint Leo core value requirement).

0

14

16

18

20

Meets acceptable college level standards with respect to form and substance; meets APA style requirements.

0

14

16

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18

20

Free of typographical errors; typed in a double- spaced format with bibliographic references; free of plagiarism.

0

14

16

18

20

Total

 

Sometimes the text of the mail messages do not come out as planned (spacing, type size, etc.). Easiest thing to do is to copy this whole message and paste it in a document on your computer. Then you can adjust the type size, etc.

OKAY - THIS IS A VERY LONG MESSAGE. HOWEVER, I WANTED TO TRY AND ADDRESS ANY QUESTION YOU HAVE REGARDING THE RESEARCH PAPER ASSIGNMENT. 

*Since Scholarly Papers are basically "mini" Research Papers, A LOT of this information is relevant to your scholarly papers too (such as APA, Department Grading Criteria, etc.).

**It is very important you comply with the directions pointed out here. Especially regarding APA. The number of students who have been submitted for plagiarism over the past couple of years have (in my opinion) increased significantly. This is due in part because of the Department's directive to faculty to enforce writing standards. Please understand that if you write something that is NOT YOUR WORDS, you need to IDENTIFY it (use "quotation marks" around the quoted/copied material or indent it) and then CITE it (APA citation needs to follow the quote). Always refer to the APA book you have for this class OR the APA information (APA GUIDE) listed in the "Resources Area" of this class OR the "Purdue Owl" website I provided in my "Class Directive #6" ANNOUNCEMENT.


DEVELOPING YOUR RESEARCH PAPER


STEP ONE: First thing you need to do is to determine what is which article contains a subject that is “interesting” to you. Once you have determined a possible topic, you will send me the **TOPIC WORKSHEET** regarding your research topic. The TOPIC WORKSHEET (look in Doc Sharing area) must be sent to me via class email by the end of Module 2 which is SUNDAY (1/19). IF YOU DO NOT SUBMIT YOUR TOPIC TO ME BY THEN FOR APPROVAL, YOU RUN THE RISK OF SUBMITTING A PAPER THAT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE (obviously the grade will not be one you will want).


STEP TWO: Do not assume you know APA. Students have 'thought' they knew it, but ended up losing valuable points because they did not check their work with the resources found in this class site or the APA textbook that is required for this class.


STEP THREE: I recommend you set up a basic outline of your paper. At this stage it can be very basic since you are using it to get your thoughts together.


STEP FOUR: Research your topic. You need to use at least 5 references (not including any wiki sites). Using any dictionaries or encyclopedia sites are also viewed as poor references (fine for high school, but not really college level). Also, the textbook is okay, but as a starting place. Do not rely upon it since it does not demonstrate “research skills”. Remember that every citation must match up with a reference AND EVERY REFERENCE must have a citation listed in the paper itself.


STEP FIVE: Putting your research notes together with the outline. This is the time you may want to make your outline more comprehensive. Set up how you want to review the subject of our research. This is important since you need to have a ‘ flow’ with your paper. Jumping around can confuse a reader which affects the quality of what you write.


STEP SIX: Writing your paper. Some people provide an abstract some do not. While your Title Page and Reference Page do not count towards minimum words, an abstract will. 


STEP SEVEN: Once you have finished your paper comes the HARD PART. Making sure you complied with the rules:


1) Did you cite references within the body of your paper correctly? Remember, just because you did not use direct quotes doesn’t mean you don’t provide a citation. Review ‘ paraphrasing’ in your APA.

2) Did you follow APA when listing your references?

3) Did you double space?

4) Did you double check spelling/typo errors? I use a 1% error rate. Meaning, if you have more than 1 error for every 100 words, you will receive a 10% penalty. So, if your paper is 2500 words, you cannot have more than 24 errors in that whole paper. Sounds like a lot, but trust me, it isn’t hard to hit that many errors. Do spelling/grammar check on your paper. THEN, have someone else read it. You are your worst proofreader.

5) Watch the similarity/originality report (YOUR ORIGINALITY SCORE FOR THE RESEARCH PAPER MUST BE UNDER 20). This report tells me how much of your paper is from other people and not from you (this comes from turnitin.com). If you do a lot of quotes or paraphrasing – basically using someone else’s work, your originality report will be high. So, the best thing to do is to use your opinions and experiences (personal/professional) if possible, THEN provide some research support for them as you write. DO NOT copy a big chunk of information from an article – it will raise your originality score. Remember, the lower the better; however, keep in mind that simply listing 5 references, but then having a paper full of “I believes” with no support will score poorly too. The originality score measures how much of your paper is copied material (if it is 20% or higher there is a penalty, originality scores of 40% or higher - the paper will fail). 

6) DO NOT USE PAPERS FROM A PREVIOUS CLASS EVEN ONE YOU MAY HAVE WRITTEN AT A DIFFERENT COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY! Trust me, turnitin.com will catch it. In the last term, I had 2 requests for student papers from separate professors regarding students “recycling” a paper they used in my class. In the past, I have had two students receive an “F” grade on the research paper for doing it in my class (one used a paper he/she wrote at a different college & the other used part of a paper he/she used in a different Saint Leo class). 

7) Did your paper show how the subject you selected impacts the CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM as a whole? This is the DEPARTMENTS GRADING CRITERION #2 (for both Research & Scholarly papers). In other words, you may be writing about open juvenile records. It is clear that the topic is relevant to the Courts, but what about law enforcement or corrections? What if you are reviewing a specific explanation (theory) for why children become killers? Knowing this “reason” could impact policing as well as possibly the Courts (sentencing options). But, could it not also affect Corrections? Remember, this criterion wants you to tell me the affect or relationship your topic has on the WHOLE SYSTEM (not just one part).


STEP EIGHT: Final review. If you have not waited until the last week to start your paper, set it aside for a day or two. Then read it one more time. How does it sound to you? Does it flow? Does it make sense? If you have another person available – have him/her read it.


STEP NINE: Submit your assignment (Module 7). There is a drop down box for submission and I will provide more info on this issue during Module 6. Once your paper has been reviewed by turnitin, you will get an originality score and a report. It is extremely important that you take time to review both the score and the report. If you don’t obtain a report within 2 hours, contact me ASAP.



****THE DEPARTMENT GRADING CRITERIA (USED FOR SCHOLARLY PAPERS AND RESEARCH PAPER):

The grading rubric has 5 grading criteria. Each grading criterion is worth up to 20% of your final grade.


Each student will complete a research paper on a selected topic related to juvenile justice. Papers will be graded according to the following grading rubric. The information provided in this LONG message is probably the most important you will receive in this class. Not so much because of the points available for the research paper, but the issues of APA compliance AND especially the issue of PLAGIARISM (which is a grade killer and possibly an education killer). For those two reasons alone, I STRONGLY recommend you copy this whole message and keep it available when you do your Research Paper!



Rating:



Exceptional: corresponds to an A- to A (90-100%). Performance is outstanding; significantly above the usual expectations.

Proficient: corresponds to a grade of B- to B+ (80-89%). Skills and standards are at the level of expectation.

Basic: corresponds to a C- to C+ (70-79%). Skills and standards are acceptable but improvements are needed to meet expectations well.

Novice: corresponds to a D to D+ (60-69%). Performance is weak; the skills or standards are not sufficiently demonstrated at this time.

Null: This criterion is missing or not in evidence.



Department Criterion #1: The paper extensively develops the issues and ideas are presented in a clear, concise manner.


Department Criterion #2: The paper provides a fundamental overview of the topic as it relates to the criminal justice system.


Department Criterion #3: Shows depth and understanding of the subject matter with appropriate analysis of the topic selected (this includes Saint Leo core value requirement).


Department Criterion #4: Meets acceptable college level standards with respect to form and substance; meets APA style requirements.


Department Criterion #5: Free of typographical errors; typed in a double-spaced format with bibliographic references; free of plagiarism.



How I view the Department's Grading Criteria (Keep in mind - Word Count is very important as it establishes the "grade range" your paper is eligible to receive. More specific information on this is provided later in this message):


The first Criterion deals with how much information does your paper provide (beyond what is provided in the textbook). It also looks at how well you presented the information. Does the paper flow or does it jump from one topic to another and then back again?


The second Criterion examines how you demonstrated the affect of your subject/topic on the criminal justice system as a whole. If your paper is on the social control theory, but you never talk about how it interacts with or affects the criminal justice system…you just lost up to 20% of your paper grade. THIS IS AN AREA THAT MOST STUDENTS LOSE POINTS ON! Basically it is asking the question: how does your topic affect or relate to the CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. This should be about 20% of your total paper (so a paragraph or two probably won't be enough).


The third criterion also examines how you deliver the information in your paper as well as the information itself. Does your paper present the problem(s), analyze them, and then have a logical conclusion? Does the information you provided demonstrate an understanding of the subject/topic. Simply copying the work of others or a paper comprised entirely of opinions will score low here. Yes, this is the area that utilizes the similarity/originality score that turnitin.com provides. 

The fourth criterion reviews your compliance with APA issues within the body of your paper.

The last criterion also considers APA issues (referencing and plagiarism) as well as issues such as double spacing your paper, typos, spelling, capitalization, punctuation, grammar, etc. The number of references also affects this grade if the number is under 5 (2 for scholarly papers).


Just a quick word about turnitin.com: some students in the past have thought they could ‘beat’ turnitin by using papers they used in a previous class or just changing a few words around in a reference they want to use (but not want to quote or did not give credit which is a form of plagiarism). Let’s say I said: “By making a mistake twice is problematic, making the same mistake a third time is a crime.” You want to use it in your paper, but you change it to “Making a mistake twice is bad, but making the same mistake three times is terrible”. Is this paraphrasing or a quote?


FINAL COMMENTS:

1) Remember, your paper will be automatically submitted to "Turnitin" once you submit it to the dropbox (thus your need to know and use the APA format). Both of these issues are requirements of the Criminal Justice Department. You should have purchased a book on APA. Strongly recommend you take time to review the email on APA sites I sent you.


2) PAPER LENGTH: There is no "maximum length" to the paper. I provided you with the word count requirements for this paper in "DIRECTIVE #1" found in the ANNOUNCEMENT area. Please understand that doesn't mean you are going to get an "A" EVEN if your paper exceeds 2500 words. It only means that you are eligible for a grade up to 100% (you could still fail due to APA non-compliance issues or other grading criteria). Word count does not include title page or reference page (however, it does include the "abstract").


3) I recommend you begin working on your paper as soon as possible. Some students put it off until the week before it is due. Not a good idea, keep in mind that it is a RESEARCH paper and your other classes, family, work, etc. will also have demands on you. Your paper MUST BE posted during Module 7.


4) Unfortunately I do not have the time to "preview" a person's research paper.


5) Keep in mind that you need to decide on a topic and submit it to me using the form found in the "Doc Sharing" area the end of Module 2.


6) I know I have mentioned it before, but it is so very important to your grade: APA grading issues are actually found in 2 of the 5 grading criteria so that means up to 40% of your paper grade is based on APA "stuff".


OKAY, THIS IS IT! Hopefully it will answer many of your questions. However, it would surprise me if it answers them all (it would be nice, but…). If you still have a question after reading the above (and reviewing any class areas I referred to)-- CONTACT ME! Remember, I view a big part of my job in this class is to "be available to answer your questions". So, put me to work if something isn't clear!

 

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