In criminal investigation there are many methods of inquiry. Most of these
methods can be placed in one of two categories: methods that help to reconstruct the past
or methods that help to discover or create a new idea or theory. Some examples of these
methods are induction, deduction, classification, synthesis and analysis.
Induction is a process that starts out with a specific observation and works
backward toward a general conclusion. Induction has been compared to the formation of
human common sense. As with common sense, a conclusion reached by induction can be
incorrect or misleading. Care should be taken when using this method of inquiry.
Deduction is essentially the opposite of induction. In deduction, you begin with a
general conclusion and the end result is specific fact or observation. As with induction
this method of inquiry is not always correct and can also be misleading.
Classification is when objects are arranged based on similar traits or
characteristics. This method (also called taxonomy) is very helpful when categorizing
evidence to be used later on the judicial process.
Synthesis is combining various forms of evidence to create a more accurate
account or details pertaining to a criminal investigation
Analysis is taking a complete theory or conclusion and breaking it down into
individual parts that can be easily studied, verified or understood.
Scientific method is another very essential method of inquiry. Scientific method is used
to observe, evaluate and essentially solve problems that are affiliated with the criminal
investigation process in a systematic and purely objective manner. It completely removes
any form of personal opinion or beliefs and relies solely on scientific facts to prove or
disprove a conclusion. It is used regularly to connect bits of circumstantial evidence and
provide investigators with a solid hypothesis, which in turn can help lead to a...
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