CCJ 323: JUVENILE DELINQUENCY
RESEARCH PAPER FORMAT
Your research paper must address one or more aspects of juvenile delinquency. The central topic is one of your own choosing, but must involve an examination of a relevant problem relating to juvenile delinquency, theoretical considerations of the problem, empirical research into the causes, correlates, and controls, and specific, actionable recommendations for improvements drawn from your findings. Papers must be organized to include the following elements.
A. TITLE PAGE must include title of paper, name of course and course number, name of professor, your full name as student author and date of submission.
B. ABSTRACT provides a concise statement (up to 120 words) that identifies the topic, key concepts expressed in the form of questions or issues, the most important and significant research findings, overall conclusions and key recommendation[footnoteRef:1] The abstract is usually the final part of the paper you will write. [1: Please consult the American Psychological Association Publication Manual, or consult myself, or a member of the library staff for guidance.]
C. INTRODUCTION serves to introduce the reader to the subject and scope of your research paper by providing clear and concise statement of the specific questions and issues you will be addressing in the body of your paper. Tell the reader what specific questions your paper is trying to answer. In this section you should include data and information that describes and defines the nature, scope and extent of the problem or issue your topic addresses.
D. EMPIRICAL RESEARCH examines what is known in the scholarly and professional literature about the topic in question. This section organizes, summarizes, and presents insightful research covering the history, recent developments, and key concerns of the problems you are studying. Within the review of research, you must identify the known causes of your chosen topic, theoretical considerations, empirical examinations, and current efforts to address it. You should also consider what complications arise when trying to address the problem from a practical perspective.
E. CONCLUSION(S) AND RECOMMENDATION(S) that can be made based upon the empirical evidence and your analysis. Recommendations should include concrete actions intended to affect the prevention or control of the identified problem and/or improving functions, agencies, programs and/or policies concerned with the juvenile justice and/or delinquency prevention. Be sure to refer to the support, cited earlier in your paper, which motivates your arguments. You may also offer suggestions for future research on this topic.
F. BIBLIOGRAPHY AND/OR REFERENCES – The paper will require reviewing current relevant empirical research literature and directly citing at least five (5) separate, independent, professional, refereed journal articles, book chapters, formal studies and other reputable sources from which empirical research findings were drawn in addressing and organizing your presentation. Empirical research studies, data and information may be retrieved from reputable web sources but must be fully and accurately sourced. Newspaper articles, Wikipedia and similar sources are NOT acceptable as one of the five (5) required cited sources. You will need to go to and use the library. So, go early and often!
Do’s and Don’ts
Papers must be prepared using APA format. They must be typed, doublespaced, using running headers and footers so that the title of the paper and a page number appears on each page. References and cited works should be identified in the form of footnotes. Although no upper limit is set on the number of pages the paper should contain, a good ruleofthumb would be to keep it to no less than 15 pages nor more than 30 pages in length (not counting the title page, abstract, and bibliography.)
In organizing your paper use major side captions and sub-captions to break up the sections or elements of the paper. For example, DO use major side captions for INTRODUCTION, EMPIRICAL RESEARCH, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
DO use minor side captions within each of these sections to organize and distinguish material that applies to different questions or issues under a major caption. Use of major and minor side captions helps prevent run-on sentences and overly long paragraphs that might otherwise cause your reader to get lost or overwhelmed by detail.
DO use data and other forms of empirical support which you may summarize in tables, graphs, charts, illustrations, photographs and other visual references that directly help in communicating your information. DO NOT use these as “filler” as “boilerplate” material to stretch the page length of your paper.
DO use spell check and review grammar, sentence construction, and check for proper punctuation! It would be a smart idea to have a classmate or trusted friend read your paper or read it to you so that you may spot possible errors.
If you intend to request help from the Reference Librarians and folks in the Writing Center, be sure to begin the effort early in the semester and be considerate of the significant demands that are being made on the time and good nature of those who are trying to help you. DO NOT PROCRASTINATE! If you have not begun work on your paper by Spring Break you are at serious risk of difficulty completing your assignments.