Techniques commonly utilized in criminal justice research, emphasis on research design, methods of data collection, measurement of variables, analytical strategies for describing and making decisions using data, and threats to validity and reliability. PREREQUISITE: CJUS 1100 and either CJUS 2226 or CJUS 2326 or CJUS 2426.
The Professor's preferred method of contact is via email: Sheri.Jenkins.Keenan@memphis.edu
Emails will be returned within 24 hours on weekdays and 48 hours on weekends.
Process of Narrowing a Topic
An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief, usually about 150 words, descriptive and evaluative paragraph; the annotation.
The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.
Creating an annotated bibliography calls for the application of a variety of intellectual skills; concise exposition, succinct analysis, and informed library research.
Write a concise annotation that summarizes the central theme and scope of the book or article. Include one or more sentences that:
The following example uses the APA format for the journal citation.
NOTE: APA requires double spacing within citations.
Waite, L. J., Goldschneider, F. K., & Witsberger, C. (1986). Nonfamily living and
the erosion of traditional family orientations among young adults. American Sociological Review, 51, 541-554.
The authors, researchers at the Rand Corporation and Brown University, use data from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women and Young Men to test their hypothesis that nonfamily living by young adults alters their attitudes, values, plans, and expectations, moving them away from their belief in traditional sex roles. They find their hypothesis strongly supported in young females, while the effects were fewer in studies of young males. Increasing the time away from parents before marrying increased individualism, self-sufficiency, and changes in attitudes about families. In contrast, an earlier study by Williams cited below shows no significant gender differences in sex role attitudes as a result of nonfamily living.
You can begin evaluating a physical information source; a book or an article for instance, even before you have the physical item in hand. Appraise a source by first examining the bibliographic citation. The bibliographic citation is the written description of a book, journal article, essay, or some other published material that appears in a catalog or index. Bibliographic citations characteristically have three main components: author, title, and publication information. These components can help you determine the usefulness of this source for your paper. (In the same way, you can appraise a Web site by examining the home page carefully.)
Is this a first edition of this publication or not? Further editions indicate a source has been revised and updated to reflect changes in knowledge, include omissions, and harmonize with its intended reader's needs. Also, many printings or editions may indicate that the work has become a standard source in the area and is reliable. If you are using a Web source, do the pages indicate revision dates?
Note the publisher. If the source is published by a university press, it is likely to be scholarly. Although the fact that the publisher is reputable does not necessarily guarantee quality, it does show that the publisher may have high regard for the source being published.
Is this a scholarly or a popular journal? This distinction is important because it indicates different levels of complexity in conveying ideas.
Having made an initial appraisal, you should now examine the body of the source. Read the preface to determine the author's intentions for the book. Scan the table of contents and the index to get a broad overview of the material it covers. Note whether bibliographies are included. Read the chapters that specifically address your topic. Scanning the table of contents of a journal or magazine issue is also useful. As with books, the presence and quality of a bibliography at the end of the article may reflect the care with which the authors have prepared their work.
What type of audience is the author addressing? Is the publication aimed at a specialized or a general audience? Is this source too elementary, too technical, too advanced, or just right for your needs?
If you were researching Konrad Adenauer's role in rebuilding West Germany after World War II, Adenauer's own writings would be one of many primary sources available on this topic. Others might include relevant government documents and contemporary German newspaper articles. Scholars use this primary material to help generate historical interpretations--a secondary source. Books, encyclopedia articles, and scholarly journal articles about Adenauer's role are considered secondary sources. In the sciences, journal articles and conference proceedings written by experimenters reporting the results of their research are primary documents. Choose both primary and secondary sources when you have the opportunity.
Is the publication organized logically? Are the main points clearly presented? Do you find the text easy to read, or is it stilted or choppy? Is the author's argument repetitive?
A thesis statement guides your essay by identifying both your subject and your attitude toward it. A thesis statement:
By looking at __________________, we can see ____________________, which most readers/viewers/observers don’t see; this is important because ___________________.
Another way to construct a working thesis is to start with a paradigm in the form of a “seed sentence.” These are patterns that reflect common ways of thinking about topics that are open to different perspectives. While anything constructed using one of these seeds will almost certainly need to be revised before the paper’s final version, they can provide a helpful starting point. If you choose to use sentence-paradigms to help you construct a thesis, try out several to find the best fit for your topic, idea, and assignment.
“Once I was _______________, but now I am _______________.”
“They say that _____________, but my experience [or closer examination] shows that ____________.”
Once I thought vulgar language was unforgivable, but now I feel sorry for those who express hatred by using it.
They say that people can learn from their mistakes, but my experience shows that once they learn prejudice, few people change their behavior.
“When I saw ____________, I saw ____________ instead of ______________.”
When I saw that I could fight the bullies or ignore them, I saw that fighting would be degrading while nonviolence would maintain my self-respect.
Cause and Effect:
“If _________________, then ________________."
“Because ______________, ________________."
If we look at the way teens view bullying, then we see that current interventions devised by adults are not likely to be effective. Because I learned to ignore bullies when I was young, I can now find ways to encourage people with differing points of view to work together.
“Because of ____________similarities [or differences], ___________.”
Because adults and teenagers define bullying differently, the typical adult approaches to combatting the behaviors will not be effective.
Difference/Likeness (or Likeness/Difference):
“However ______________, ______________.”
However much both adults and teenagers agree that bullying behaviors damage relationships, this problem will persist until both groups begin using the same language to label the undesirable actions.
“Not only ___________________, but also _________________.”
Not only do adults want to blame technology for the problem of bullying, but they also tend to rely on ineffective solutions such as school assemblies.
Shift of Focus:
“Instead of [even though, because, etc.] _______________, we should direct attention to ________________.”
Even though these attempts to stop bullying are well-meaning, they will not be effective until they address the roots of the problem: lack of empathy and the desire for attention.
These rubric standards should be met to receive an excellent rating in each category.
For more details on other grading levels refer to the downloadable file below.
First, one must understand that a critical book review is not a book report (a summary of the contents of a book). A critical book review is a vehicle for examining and discussing issues the book itself raises or fails to raise. One writes a critical book review for the benefit of those who might not presently have time to read the book but who nevertheless need to learn more about its basic approach should they desire to read or study it at a future time. The job of the book reviewer is to inform these readers concerning any merits and/or shortcomings the book may have. From information based on a well-written review, the reader may conclude that this book is either indispensable or inconsequential.
A. Give complete bibliographical information at the top of the page (title, author, publisher, place of publication, date of publication, number of pages, and name of reviewer).
Use the following format:
Toward Rediscovering the Old Testament, by Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, l987. 250 pages. Reviewed by Randy C. Slocum.
B. Briefly state the reason this book was chosen for review. State the author's credentials (education, place of employment, previous achievements, etc.) as a preface to giving the book a serious hearing. Biographical information about the author should be included only as it demonstrates the author’s competency to write the book. Within the context of the paper, do not use titles (Dr., Rev., etc.). In most brief reviews, you will likely need to limit the introduction to one or two paragraphs.
C. Briefly (in one or two well-written sentences) summarize the thesis of the book. This is a crucial step because the thesis contains the reason why the author produced this particular book (there may be dozens on the market with similar subject matter). The thesis will state the author's basic presuppositions and approach. The critical nature of the book review will then grow from the reviewer's conclusion that the book does or does not achieve the author's stated purpose.
D. The main body of a critical book review will be concerned with "thesis development." That is, did the author achieve the stated purpose? In this section the reviewer will inspect each of the chapters of the book to see how the thesis is (or is not) developed. If the author makes progress and develops the thesis convincingly, providing adequate information and statistical data, the reviewer says so, providing concrete examples and citing their page numbers in the text.
Given the limited amount of space in a brief book review, footnotes should not be utilized. Quotations or ideas taken directly from the text should be followed parenthetically by the page number of the quotation. The abbreviation for page(s) (p./pp.) should not be used.
Rainer argues that evangelistic churches should focus on reaching youth (20). Indeed, he writes, “Many churches fail to recognize that adolescence is a critical time of receptivity to the gospel” (21).
If the thesis is poorly developed or if the examples are inadequate to support the assertions of the author, the reviewer will point this out as well. Most critical book reviews will contain both praise and criticism, carefully weighed and balanced against one another.
Remember the purpose of a critical book review is not to provide a summary of the book. You may assume that the professor and the grader know the contents of the book.
Questions the reviewer will seek to answer in this section might include:
E. Finally, a summary section should be attached. How does this book differ from other treatments of the same subject matter? What is unique and valuable about this approach as opposed to the others? Would the reviewer recommend this book above others? Why or why not?
This final summary should include the major strengths and weaknesses of the book and evaluate its value for readers who may be interested in that particular field of inquiry. Your primary purpose in this section is to respond both positively and negatively to the book’s contents and presentation. Needless to say, this response should be more in-depth than, “This book is a good book that should be recommended reading for everyone.” On the other hand, “This book is a lousy book not worth reading” is also inadequate. Central to this is the basic question of whether or not the author has achieved the book's stated purpose.
Answer questions such as:
Do not allow your response to this question to become lengthy (for this paper is not primarily an evaluation of your ministry), but do make some application.
Throughout your critique, be specific in your evaluations. Do not just tell the reader about the book; tell and show the reader with concrete examples from the book. As previously suggested, include page numbers when making specific reference to the book.
F. The length of the review should be between five and seven pages, double-spaced.
The following guidelines are included to counter common style errors:
A. Utilize this suggested outline to guide your book review, but do not include the specific subheadings (“Bibliographical Entry,” “Summary of the Book,” etc.) in the essay. The brevity of the review demands a smooth flow from one section to another without including the subheadings.
B. Use first-person sparingly; however, you may use “I” when referring to your opinion of a text.
C. Avoid contractions in formal writing.
D. Use active voice as much as possible.
E. Be clear and concise. A brief review allows no room for wandering from your objective.
F. Use your spell-checker, but do not trust it. A spell-check will not catch the error in such sentences as, “The whole church voted too pass the amendment.” Use your eyes as well as your spell-checker.
G. Proofread your paper. Finish the paper, and proof it. Lay it aside, and proof it again at a later time. If you do not catch your errors, someone else will.
Remember to choose Lambuth for your location when registering for ILL services.
1. Go to the University of Memphis Libraries homepage memphis.edu/libraries/ and click on Interlibrary Loan. This link may also be found on the Lambuth Library website found at memphis.edu/libraries/lambuthlibrary/.
2. Log in to ILLiad (our Interlibrary Loan system) using your University of Memphis username & password:
3. If you are a new ILLiad user, you will be asked to register by providing your contact information.
After registering, click on the appropriate item under the New Request menu (Article, Loan/Book, Book Chapter, etc.). NOTE: Textbooks cannot be requested through Interlibrary Loan.
5. Fill in the required information about the item (red starred fields).
Login to your account at any time to monitor your requests.
Borrowers will receive an email when your item is available at the Library Checkout desk (print materials) or in your account electronically (article or book chapters).
Go to ILL FAQs for more information.
Social: Facebook Page
Conducting research and writing research papers is hard work. We are here to help you!
I can help you:
identify which University of Memphis database(s) will work best for your research paper, project, literature review, or Masters thesis
find, cite, save, organize and print reliable articles that support your research
teach you a tool that will cite your sources for you (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.) OR help you with citing the "old-fashioned" way (from scratch with a guide book)
narrow or broaden a topic or thesis statement by assessing the information in our databases
assist with finding resources for literature reviews and annotated bibliographies
suggest ways to incorporate your sources into your paper, thesis, or dissertation
UofM Lambuth Campus Librarian