CRIM 430: Criminal Justice Research
Syllabus for Fall Quarter 2006
Denise C. Herz, Ph.D. Class Times: MW 10:50am-12:30pm
Phone: 323-343-4624 Class Location: KH D1058
Email: email@example.com Office Hours: MW 1:00-2:00pm; T 10:30am-12:30pm
Office Location: King Hall, D1058
CATALOG DESCRIPTION: Prerequisites: CRIM 301 (Written Communication) and CRIM 303 (Theories
and Perspectives). Underlying research concepts, methodologies and techniques appropriate for application
in criminal justice environments, including the scientific method, basic research designs and data collection
techniques. Special consideration of constraints on research within criminal justice settings.
COURSE PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this course is to understand (1) the definition and
process of scientific inquiry; (2) the relationship between theory, research, and practice; (3) basic
measurement concepts; (4) basic research designs and data collection methods; and (5) the role of
professional ethics when conducting research.
REQUIRED COURSE TEXT:
Maxfield, M.G. & Babbie, E. (2001). Research Methods for Criminal Justice and Criminology, Third
Edition. Belmont, CA: Wadworth/Thompson Learning.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS: A final grade will be computed based on the following requirements:
Exam 1 20% Project 30%
Exam 2 20% Presentation 20%
PROJECT: Each student will be required to work with others to design an evaluation methodology to
appropriately measure a program that is presented to the class. The project will entail mandatory group
work throughout the quarter, a group presentation, and a written paper by each individual member of the
group. Each student will be responsible for his/her own paper (5-7 pages in length), which will reflect the
group’s work on the project.
PRESENTATION: Each group must present their research question and proposed methodology. Visual
aids (i.e., PowerPoint presentations or overhead slides) will be required as part of the presentation.
Participation in discussions related to projects will also be part of this grade.
EXAMS: Each student is required to complete two exams. Exams will contain a combination of multiple
choice, true/false, and short essay questions. If you have any special needs related to exam administration,
you must discuss those arrangements with me prior (at least 48 hours) to the day of the exam. NOTE:
Arriving late to an exam without prior approval will disqualify you from taking the exam. Additionally, no
one will be allowed to use the restroom during the course of the exam—be sure to take care of all personal
needs prior to the beginning of the exam.
PARTICIPATION: This portion of the grade includes attendance, participation in class discussions and any
other classroom activities, and quizzes (if necessary).
ATTENDANCE POLICY: Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each class. If you are late to class,
this will be noted on the attendance sheet and your participation grade will be affected. Additionally,
leaving class early without prior approval will also be noted and reflected in your participation grade. You
are responsible for making sure your name is listed on the attendance roster.
CLASSROOM ETIQUETTE: Please keep classroom disruptions to a minimum. All personal needs
should be taken care of prior to coming to class. CELL PHONES AND PAGERS SHOULD BE TURNED
OFF IN THE CLASSROOM.
GRADING POLICY: For all assignments, grades will be based on correct answers as well as the
presentation of the assignment. For instance, grades for papers will reflect not only the substance of the
paper but also how well the paper was written. Assignments that contain spelling mistakes, obvious
grammatical errors, and incomplete sentences will be penalized. For exams, application of these
requirements will be less stringent; however, well-developed essays are still expected. The +/- grading
scale will be used to assign final grades.
ACADEMIC DISHONESTY: Cheating and plagiarism are unacceptable and will automatically result in a
failing grade for that particular assignment. “Cheating… is the act of obtaining or attempting to obtain
credit for academic work through the use of any dishonest, deceptive or fraudulent means. Plagiarism…is
the act of using ideas, words, or work of another person or persons as if they were one’s own, without
giving proper credit to the original sources” (CSULA, Schedule of Classes, Fall 2002: p. 139). Please refer
to the University’s policy on Academic Dishonesty if you have any questions. Examples of plagiarism
Failing to give credit via proper citations for others’ ideas and concepts, data and information,
statements and phrases, and/or interpretations and conclusions;
Failing to use quotation marks when quoting directly from another, whether it be a paragraph, a
sentence, or a part thereof;
Paraphrasing the expressions of thought by others without appropriate quotation marks or
Assembling parts from various works and submitting the synthesis or single paper as one’s own
Representing another’s artistic/scholarly works as one’s own.
MAKE-UP POLICY: If you miss an exam, you have 24 hours to contact me with a reason. If the reason is
reasonable (see University policy), you will be required to make-up the exam within 48 hours after the
original exam date. Make-up exams may not be the same as the original exam.
Date Topic Reading Assignment
Sept. 25 Introduction Ch. 1
27 Criminal Justice, Scientific Inquiry, and Ethics Ch. 1 & 2
Oct. 2 Overview of Research Design Ch. 3
4 Overview of Research Design Ch. 3
9 Presentation of Project Program --
11 Concepts and Measurement Ch. 4
16 Concepts and Measurement Ch. 4
18 Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs Ch. 5
23 Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs Ch. 5
25 Midterm ---
30 Data Collection and Sampling Ch. 6
Nov. 1 Data Collection and Sampling Ch. 6
6 Survey Research Ch. 7
8 Survey Research Ch. 7
13 Agency Records, Content Analysis, and Secondary Data Ch. 9
15 Agency Records, Content Analysis, and Secondary Data Ch. 9
20 Research and Policy Ch. 10
22 Research and Policy Ch. 10
27 Presentations Projects due at the time of
29 Presentations presentation
Dec. 4 10:45: Final Exam
This syllabus as well as all other course handouts will be available on my faculty website: