Term Paper Assignment
*Important: See Instructions for Annontated Bibliography and Proposal (Due Week 5) below. You will need to first understand the instructions for the term paper in order to complete your proposal and annotated bibliography.*
Choose any one (1) specific form of criminal or deviant behaviour and apply any TWO (2) of the following theories to it:
Learning Theory (Differential Association, Differential Identification, Differential Reinforcement, or Differential Association-Reinforcement)
Subculture Theories
Control Theory
Labeling Theory
Neutralization Theory
Social Disorganisation Theory / Ecological theory
Strain Theory
In your introduction, please provide a brief summary/description of the issue/crime that you are going to discuss. You do not need to go into great detail here. You may assume that I am familiar with many issues pertaining to crime and deviance and this is not intended to be a research paper about a particular type of crime. The purpose of the paper is for you to demonstrate that you understand and can use the theories presented in class to provide a critical analysis of a “real life” issue. Therefore, the bulk of your paper should focus on applying the theories.
The body of your paper must address:
How the crime/deviant behaviour fits into the explanatory framework of each theory. In other words, how can the particular crime or issue be explained by the theory? What is the cause of this crime or issue, according to the theory?
What solutions would the theory propose for that crime? How could it be addressed/prevented, according to the theory?
How effective do you think the theory is in explaining that phenomenon? What are any problems you can see with the explanation? In other words, you should provide a critical analysis of the theory’s approach to the issue. Compare and contrast the two theories you have chosen in their approach to your chosen topic, focusing on differences and similarities.
In your conclusion, please state which of the frameworks you feel is better able to account for the particular form of crime that you have chosen to study.
The Important Details
Your essay will be:
In standard 12 point font;
Formatted with 1 inch margins
Maximum 8 pages (not including title page and references).
Use in-text citations to reference works that you have consulted. Papers without citations and references will receive a failing grade. You must use a minimum of 5 academic sources (ie. journal articles and books). Websites are not appropriate academic sources unless they are created by a reliable academic or government institution and you are using the information with an understanding of where it is coming from. Government statistics presented in the format of a research report will be accepted as source material. Under no circumstances will Wikipedia (or sites of this nature) be accepted as an academic source. The internet can be a useful tool in directing us to articles and books that are peer-reviewed and good academic sources – it is fine if you choose to use the internet for this purpose, as long as you seek out and refer to the original source material. Be wary of citing the websites of interest groups – always find the original source of statistics or research to substantiate the claims that are being made. If you are uncertain about the validity or reliability of a source, ASK! Feel free to contact me for assistance.
You must use the APA style of referencing and citation. This is the style used by many major social science journals, including Contemporary Justice Review. For examples of how to use this style correctly refer either to an issue of Contemporary Justice Review (available electronically through the library), the APA Quick Reference guide posted on Web CT, or the Owl at Purdue’s handy APA style guide to referencing, available online here.
Proofread your paper, have a friend proofread it, or take advantage of the writing help centre to guard against spelling and grammatical errors. Your paper will be marked on content, but also on its overall presentation. While one or two minor grammatical errors will not affect your grade, you will lose marks if you have obviously not proofread your paper and there are mistakes throughout.
Familiarise yourself with the University regulations and policies on plagiarism and academic misconduct. Plagiarism or academic misconduct will result in a grade of 0 on this assignment. If you do not know how or when to properly cite a source, ask! Feel free to contact me for assistance. The paper is due at the end of Week 12. You must upload your work to the appropriate DropBox by 11:59 pm on Day 7 of Week 12.
Annotated Bibliography and Proposal Assignment
Due: Upload to DropBox before 11:59 pm on Day 7 of Week 5
Value: 10% of Final Grade
This is a scaffolding assignment intended to get you thinking about your final paper and working toward it early in the semester. This assignment is an opportunity for you to receive feedback on your topic and the direction of your paper, including your choice of theories. Your grade will be based on your attention to conforming to the instructions of the assignment (e.g. APA format for annotated bibliography) and the quality of your submission with respect to writing style, originality, and how well you explain the connection of your topic to the theory.
Your proposal must:
Identify the specific type of crime or deviance that you intend to analyse for your final paper. Provide a brief description of the issue (one paragraph) to set out the scope of your analysis.
In one or two brief paragraphs, identify the two theoretical perspectives that you propose to use to analyse this source, and discuss why you think these might be good perspectives. I know that you have not yet learned all of the theories that we will be discussing in the course, but I encourage you to look at the syllabus and to google some of the theories to see if you can identify 2 that you think would be useful for your paper. Remember that the point of this assignment is to get feedback on the theories that you choose, so be clear about how you see them connecting to your topic.
Provide a working annotated bibliography with 5 academic sources that are not course readings that you think will be useful to help you analyse your topic. Please note: an annotated bibliography includes a brief, concise summary of each article, with some indication of how this article will be useful for your paper (one-two paragraph maximum for each article). Do not merely reproduce the article abstract! You should present the reference in APA format and the annotation (description) should follow it immediately.
Be typed, double-spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman font, with one-inch margins on all sides.
Provide appropriate in-text citations and references in APA format. Please note that your annotated bibliography is a sufficient reference list for this proposal—you do not have to include a separate reference list.
For information on how to properly use APA format, please click here.