Denise G. Silven
CJA/334 Research Methods in Criminal Justice
July 23, 2012
Research Process and Terminology
Students who desire a career in research associated with the criminal justice industry must learn the terminology they will be using in order to understand the process they need to carry out as well as terminology associated with criminal justice. Someone who does not know the proper terminology in either field could find themselves unable to understand exactly what it is they are supposed to discover about the subject matter. Once familiar with any tools and terminology, “much of the anxious sanctimony bestowed upon technical reports, academic concepts, and research findings can be dispensed with” (Hagan, 2010). Some of the terminology a person would use in research could seem like a foreign language. The reaction they have to this language could be interpreted as research shock which is only a “sense of disorientation experienced by a person when suddenly confronted with an unfamiliar style of presentation and research language.” What a person is reacting to is not an aspect of research they are unable to learn, only an unfamiliar aspect of research (Hagan, 2010). Some words that will be encountered, while not completely unfamiliar to a researcher, could have different meanings in the research arena. Learning words such as science, replication, verification, theory, paradigm, methodology, pure, or basic, research, applied research, quantitative research, qualitative research, concepts, operationalization, variables, dependent variable, and independent variable are a good place to start. It would probably be wise to first learn the definitions of pure research, applied research, quantitative research and qualitative research. After digesting these definitions and fully understanding them and what they are, a beginning researcher could move on to other words and their definitions (Hagan,...