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This paper will entail a review of the scholarly literature on your topic including at least seven academic journal articles (not including articles assigned for class). Your paper should be organized to defend a clearly-stated thesis statement. Your paper should demonstrate conceptual clarity, be well organized, exhibit precise footnotes and references, and, of course, be well written.
You are free to choose from a wide range of potential topics. In general, the more focused your topic is, the better. Here are some potential paper topics:
Criminological research/crime measurement. You may focus on a suspected correlate of crime, crime trends for a specific type of crime, some aspect of the social context of crime, or validity/reliability of some type of crime data as it relates to criminological theory.
Criminological theory. You may choose a specific criminological theory to evaluate. You may also choose to explore one of several pressing issues in theoretical criminology: biosocial theories, theoretical integration, some aspect of life-course criminology, specific vs. general theory. You may also investigate the theoretical contributions of a particular criminologist (e.g. Sutherland, Beccaria, Wolfgang, Sampson, etc).
Crime prevention policy. You may examine the research on a specific crime prevention program or policy as it relates to criminological theory, or you may assess a particular area of crime prevention related to criminological theory. You may also address some methodological/research design issue in crime prevention research. If you choose one of these topics be sure to emphasize criminological theory as well. (e.g. the theoretical underpinnings of the policy, or a theoretical critique of the policy).
There are a whole host of different things you could potentially write your paper on. The important thing to note is that the paper should reflect your synthesis of ideas, rather than simply a running description of different articles.
I suggest choosing a criminologist ****