Students will be required to submit a 2-3 page (double-spaced) reaction paper to a secondary source criminological article taken from an academic journal.
Steps to the paper:
1. Find an academic peer-reviewed journal article that pertains to a subject within criminology that interests you. This could be: developments in policing, courts, corrections, young offenders, Aboriginals, minorities etc. Note that you must find article with an empirical topic, and not just a conceptual review/theoretical piece.
2. Read the paper carefully.
3. Identify the general theoretical orientation of the author (whether or not it is explicitly stated by the author). Is this author deploying an individualistic or larger structural perspective? Are they more consensual or conflictual in their thinking?
4. How explicit is the author in identifying their theoretical position?
5. Does the author make any policy recommendations, and how do these recommendations relates to their theoretical position?
6. Does the author present sufficient evidence in their paper to justify their theoretical position?
7. Based on the analysis in the paper, do you think that the authors theoretical position is the best one for looking at the empirical topic of interest? What kinds of data might they need to make their theoretical position stronger (i.e., to back up their theoretical point)?
8. Do you think that there is another theoretical tradition that more adequately addresses the empirical topic of interest? If you are going to do research in this area, what kinds of questions would you ask, what kinds of data would you look for, and what kinds of theory would inform your research?