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Research Methods for Criminology and Criminal Justice

Course Details

Course Number
Fall 2010
Martin Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times

Tuesday, 2:30-5:20

Dr. N. Moran Ph.D. (view Profile)

Course Attachments


Course Objectives

Course Description


According to the course definition, CRJU 3213 examines “[m]ethods and techniques of research in the behavioral sciences; historical development of psychological and social research; techniques and problems.” 

The class format is a combination of lecture and class discussion, emphasis on discussion.  Questions are strongly encouraged. 


Course Goals


            The Student should gain and retain the skills and abilities to integrate and synthesize the basic elements of research methodology and statistics for the purposes of conducting criminal justice and criminological research.

Course Expectations

Exam Format


Three exams will be given during the semester and will include multiple choice, true-false and short answer questions. 


Research Proposal


A research proposal (a.k.a. research prospectus) is considered to be the “term paper” for the course.  The prospectus is a paper asserting how you would perform the research if indeed you were going to do the research.  For the purposes of this course, there will be no need to do the actual research, but rather only to formulate the research methodology on the basis of a full literature review of your topic and the textbook readings. 


            The prospectus consists of three sections: (1) an abstract, (2) literature review, and (3) a research methodology section.[1]  As each section of the proposal is completed the student is invited to turn it in to the professor for editorial review.  The Student is strongly encouraged, but is not required, to re-write the section for the possibility of an improved grade per the editorial comments made by the professor. 


            The required referencing style is APA.  Guidelines for APA referencing are available at the American Psychological Association website (  Papers should be:


  1. Double-spaced,
  2. Use Times New Roman,
  3. Use 12 point font, and
  4. Maintain 1-inch margins. 


            The proposals will be graded individually by section (i.e., abstract, literature review, and research design sections) and then the total taken for all three sections will be added for the final proposal grade.  The abstract will be graded on the ability of the student to succinctly relate the proposal’s content in less than 250 words (but more than 100).  The literature review section will be graded on the ability of the student to demonstrate to the instructor that s/he has performed a thorough and comprehensive review of the literature regarding the proposal’s topic, utilizes APA referencing, is free of grammatical and spelling errors, and is succinct.  The research design section will be graded on the ability of the student to demonstrate that s/he is cognizant of the best method to perform the research, and the limitations thereunto, and can the utilize research terminology to convey to the instructor the research methodology. 


            10% will be deducted from the final proposal grade for each day the final proposal is late. 




            Five (5) quizzes will be given at random intervals during the semester and will test the Student’s ability to recall both basic and in-depth facts about the readings and lecture material covered from the semester’s initiation or from the most recent quiz. 


[1]Sample proposals will be distributed in class. 

Grading Standards

Grading Policy and Weighting System


            Research Proposal                                             20%


                                Literature Review-(45%)

                                Methods Design---(45%)

                Exam I                                                                  20%      

Exam II                                                                                20%


Exam III                                                               20%


Class Participation/Attendance                      10%


Quizzes                                                                 10%


                                                                                Total      100%

Submission Format Policy Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.
Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Other Policies

Recording and Other Electronic Devices


            Tape recorders and other recording devices are allowed in the class at any time.[1]  However, all material presented by the instructor is copyright protected and the unauthorized reproduction of lecture material outside the class is subject to copyright laws.   


Pagers, cell phones, and other communication devices should be turned off during class, with the exception of students whose careers require them to do otherwise. 


Class Participation and Attendance


            Students are permitted to miss three (3) hours of class with no penalty.  Class participation and attendance, like the quizzes, are the difference between an A and a B for the final course grade.  Class participation is weighted differently than class attendance.  It is expected that Students do not miss a class for any reason other than that approved by the University or the instructor, such as a medical emergency, illness, death in the family, etc.  It is further expected that the Student will contact the instructor when a class is going to be missed, lest there be consequences and repercussions.  Roll will be taken at random intervals during the semester.  


Disabled Student Policy


            Students with a disability which affects their academic performance are expected to arrange for a conference with the instructor in order that appropriate strategies can be considered to ensure that participation and achievement opportunities are not impaired. 


Academic Dishonesty


            Each student is expected to abide by the rules of academic honesty as defined in the student handbook.  Cases of academic dishonesty will result in a failing grade for the course and a letter to the Dean of the College of Health Sciences and Human Services requesting that you be withdrawn from the University.  If there are any questions as to whether an action is academically dishonest please consult with the professor. 


WebCT as a Supplement


            WebCT will be utilized in this course to provide supplemental materials to the class.  On some days, the class will meet via WebCT rather than in the classroom.  Please log-in to WebCT ASAP and check it prior to each class meeting. 

[1]The instructor reserves the right to ask that recorders be turned off. 

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at