CJ 316 – Research Methods in Criminal Justice
Component #2 – Literature Review (4 pages)
Due by midnight on Saturday, February 10, 2018
Literature Review: Combine what researchers have found on your topic. What researchers believes, disagree
on, similarities, etc. This is the basic understanding as to what has been stated about your topic. You examine
within your journals different methods/ research designs that the research developed to prove or answer your
thesis question. A perfect way to set up this section is take articles that have similar methods and compare them
to each other. Again, try to find methods that you would like to use in your own study. For example, if you plan
on conducting a randomized experiment find articles on other randomized experiments and discuss their
strengths and weakness.
A literature review is a review of what other researchers have found on your topic. Literature reviews are found
in the beginning of most journal articles. In order to have a well compiled literature review, you will need at
least (5) journal articles. Some great examples of journals are:
• International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice.
• Journal of Criminology: Wiley-Blackwell
• Journal of Crime and Delinquency: Sage
• Criminal Justice and Behavior: Sage
• Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment: Sage
• Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology: Northwestern University School of Law
• British Journal of Criminology: Oxford University Press
• Journal of Research in crime and Delinquency: Sage
• Journal of Quantitative Criminology: Springer
• Punishment & Society: Sage
• Journal of Interpersonal Violence: Sage
The Elements of a Literature Review:
• A brief overview of the topic at hand, different issues that other researchers have found about the topic, or explaining the use of different theories under consideration.
• Sometimes block format is used where the writer explains those in support of a certain position and then a paragraph of those against, even offering an alternative position can be useful.
• Explaining the similarities and the difference of the research can be useful. It is very important to explain the variations of what different researchers have found about your topic. This allows the reader
to see what has already been stated about your topic and therefore can help develop a path to where you
the writer wants to take your topic.
A few important points to remember about a literature review, is that one sentence may cite several sources.
Throughout this section you are combined what the researchers have previously found. Therefore, you need to
incorporate more then one author per paragraph.
For each of the (5) journal articles (Note: you do not need to format your other resources this way as they may
be supplemental in nature, e.g. provides statistical information):
• Variables (Dependent and Independent)
• Type of Design:
• Sampling Technique:
• Sample Size/Details:
• How this article relates to your design:
Walfield (2008) and Clarke (2010) have cited very interesting information on the topic of wrongful
convictions. Although they both believe that wrongful convictions are not a product of the crime control model
their reasoning behind their beliefs differs… (THIS IS JUST AN EXAMPLE) (Please see attachment with real
literature review examples). A simple explanation is to take different articles and compare them and contrast
them, again explaining what has been cited about your topic.
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