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Research on an Offender/Victim

*Be sure to read the entire contents of this document before starting your paper.*

** For this writing assignment, your task is to research an offender/victim of your choice and cohesively incorporate at least 4 theories discussed during class into your research paper. Two theories must explain the criminal behavior of the offender (chapter 4), while the other two must explain the victimization (chapter 5). Additionally, you should also incorporate any other relevant key terms, concepts, or ideas that were discussed throughout the semester.**

You will be required to write a 5-7 page Final Paper that will critically analyze and evaluate criminal justice topics that have been covered in class.
The paper will require an APA title, Abstract, and reference page (Not included in the 5-7 pages required).
The paper must be double-spaced, with 1.0-inch margins, in Times New Roman, 12-point type size, font.
Your paper must draw from a minimum of 5 sources, which must be cited correctly in the text and be documented correctly in the reference page. These sources should be articles from academic journals or books published by an academic press, or other credible sources (NO Wikipedia, Huffington Post, Washington Post, CNN). Your textbook may be used as a source but does not count towards the 5 that are required.
Do not include theses or dissertations as references. References and in-text citations must be in APA format.
You need to write your paper in a professional manner. You should review it for grammar and mechanics errors. If you need any additional assistance with your paper, you may make an appointment with FIU’s Center for Excellence in Writing for tutorial services. Be sure to do so in advance as spots fill quickly. The link for more information is: https://writingcenter.fiu.edu/make-an-appointment/
Assume that I lack any knowledge on your topic.
Your paper is subject to review for text comparison by Turnitin.com, a plagiarism detection service. Any papers that yield a higher percentage (typically above 20%) will be investigated thoroughly. Please refer to the syllabus regarding penalties and disciplinary actions that may result from plagiarism. When in doubt, cite!
To submit your paper, you will upload your Word document electronically through a link located on the CCJ 2020 Canvas portal on or before the day and time that your paper is due.
This writing assignment will be graded according to the criteria indicated in the rubric below.
This writing assignment is worth 20% of your final grade.
Late assignments will NOT be accepted and will result in a grade of “0.”


Title Page

The title page should be the first page of your writing assignment. Directions on how to construct a proper APA title page may be found at this link: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/. Also, see example provided in Week 1 Module on Canvas. The title aims to catch the attention of the reader and compel him/her to read on, thus your title should be descriptive, punchy, and relevant.

Abstract (not included in the 5-7 pages required)

The abstract should be a 200-250 word summary of your research and thesis. The purpose of this element is to help the reader quickly ascertain the paper’s purpose. Also, see example provided in Week 1 Module on Canvas.


The purpose of this element of your paper is to introduce the topic(s) that will be discussed
in your paper. Ideally, your introduction should be interesting to draw your reader in. Your
introduction should convey to the reader your topic of discussion, how you plan to proceed with
your discussion, and why your topic is important. It is important for your introduction to contain
a thesis statement – a statement that asserts what your main argument is. In this case, your thesis
statement should indicate the theories that you have selected to discuss. Your goal is to research
and incorporate background information to justify the relationship between your selected
theories and your offender and victim. It is also important to define any key terminology that is
needed to understand the topic. Assume that the reader is not knowledgeable about the theories
and concepts that you will be discussing.

The body of your paper is where you present the evidence needed to support your thesis
statement. For this paper, use the following subheadings (following APA formatting directions):


In this section, briefly summarize the early life and criminal career of your selected
topic. Additional questions that may be answered in this segment include, but are not limited to:
What was your offender’s M.O. (i.e., modus operandi)? What implications does this have?
What does research reveal about these particular types of crimes? If your offender was formally charged through the criminal justice system, give an overview of the sequence of events from arrest to sentencing.
Did they enter a guilty plea during arraignment? Were they adjudicated to be not guilty by reason of insanity? Were they sentenced to death?

Analysis of Theories

This section should have at least two subheadings within it – one for the theories explaining
your offender’s behavior and the other for explaining the victimization theories. Refer to Purdue Owl to format these correctly. Within each subheading, be sure to provide detailed, accurate explanations of each theory and effectively relate these theories to your offender/victim. Are there any potential holes/weaknesses in your argument? Higher-level thinking involves not only investigating this relationship, but also addressing and discussing any potential deficiencies in your argument. Incorporate, cite, and discuss any statistics that you feel may contribute to your argument.


This section should briefly restate your thesis and summarize your main points. Any future
implications or additional insights may be added here.

Written Communication Rubric

Written Communication Rubric
Level of Achievement
Evaluators assign a zero (0) to any measure that does not meet benchmark
(cell one) level performance
1 2 3 4
Content Development
Thesis and ideas
Main thesis is not clearly developed. Uses appropriate and relevant content to develop simple ideas in only some parts of the work. Minimally accomplishes goals of the assignment.
Main thesis is poorly developed. Uses appropriate and relevant content to develop and explore ideas through most of the work. Shows some signs of accomplishing the goals of the assignment. Main thesis is evident. Uses appropriate, relevant, and compelling content to explore ideas within the context of the discipline and shape the whole work. Generally accomplishes goals of the assignment. Main thesis is clearly stated and present throughout the paper. Uses appropriate, relevant, & compelling content to illustrate mastery of the subject, conveying the writer’s understanding, and shaping the whole work. Completely accomplishes the goals of the assignment.
Organization and Disciplinary Conventions
Clear & consistent organizational pattern; follows formal and informal rules of criminal justice research
Unclear organization or organizational plan is inappropriate to thesis. No transitions. Shows little awareness of criminal justice conventions.
Some signs of logical organization. May have abrupt or illogical shifts & ineffective flow of ideas. Follows criminal justice expectations at a basic level of understanding.
Organization supports thesis and purpose. Transitions are mostly appropriate. Sequence of ideas could be improved. Uses criminal justice conventions consistently.
Fully & imaginatively supports thesis & purpose. Sequence of ideas is effective. Transitions are effective. Demonstrates successful execution of criminal justice conventions.

Mechanics Conventions
Spelling, capitalization, punctuation, grammar, general proofreading
Abundant spelling errors, non-existent or incorrect punctuation, and/or severe errors in grammar that interfere with understanding.
Some frequent, incorrect punctuation, significant errors in grammar causing interference with understanding in some parts of the paper. Occasional lapses in spelling, punctuation, grammar, but not enough to seriously distract the reader. Very few spelling errors, correct punctuation, and grammatically correct, leading to clear understanding of content.
Control of Syntax
Language, word choice, and sentence variety
Uses language that sometimes impedes meaning because of errors in usage. Repetitive words and sentence types.
Uses language that generally conveys meaning to readers with clarity, although writing may include some errors in language, word choice, and sentence types. Uses straightforward language that generally conveys meaning to readers. The language in the portfolio has few errors in language, word choice, and sentence types. Uses graceful language that skillfully communicates meaning to readers with clarity and fluency, and is has very few errors in language, word choice, and sentence types.
Sources and Referencing Documentation and referencing of criminology and criminal justice research
Neglects important sources. Overuse of quotations or paraphrase to substitute writer’s own ideas. Possibly uses source material without acknowledgement.
Uses relevant sources but lacks in variety of sources and/or the skillful combination of sources. Quotations & paraphrases may be too long or inconsistently referenced. Uses sources to support, extend, and inform, but not substitute writer’s own development of idea. Does not overuse quotes, but may not always conform to required style manual. Uses sources to support, extend, and inform, but not substitute writer’s own development of idea. Doesn’t overuse quotes. Conforms to required referencing style.


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