Criminal law | criminal justice | American Public University

Research Paper Instructions

Students will write a scholarly paper that is a minimum of 8-10 pages in length (8-10 pages excluding the title page, abstract, and reference page)

References may be found in the APUS library or search engines such as Google Scholar.  The paper must include at least five, peer-reviewed sources that cover your chosen topic from the list below. Keep in mind that 5 is the minimum.  A good quality research paper usually contains in excess of 10.  Sources should be less than 10 years old and if using statistical data, it should be less than 5 years old.  Do not forget to use in text citations to credit your sources.

Note that references used for your research need to be peer-reviewed/scholarly journals. These journals typically have the following characteristics:

1. articles are reviewed by a panel of experts before they are accepted for publication;
2. articles are written by a scholar or specialist in the field;
3. articles report on original research or experimentation;
4. are often published by professional associations;
5. utilize terminology associated with the discipline.

Use of newspapers, news magazines, and similar periodicals must be kept to a minimum, and will be acceptable only as sources for supplementary information.

References like “Wikipedia,” “Psychology Today,” and “Court TV” are not primary sources, are not peer reviewed (reviewed for empirical integrity, accuracy, and authenticity), and are not appropriate references for scholarly writing (with the possible exception of use for anecdotal background information).

Research Paper Topics

Choose a topic relevant to criminal investigations.  Examples include:

4th Amendment

6th Amendment

Crime Prevention

Crimes against children

Crimes against the elderly

Domestic Terrorism

Driving Under the Influence

Human Trafficking

Identity Theft

Juvenile Crime

Landmark Cases

Police Brutality

Police Pursuits

Sex Offender laws

Wrongful Convictions

The paper should be of high quality, free of spelling and grammatical errors, and of original work. Plagiarism will not be permitted and occurrences of it will result in the procedures outlined in the “Student Handbook.”

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