The Magic of Cinematography: Becoming a Film Major

4310 Research Paper

4310 Research Paper Rubric


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Once you pick a topic, you need to discuss, define, and elaborate on the topic as well as identify the critical issues that police departments OR any part of the criminal justice system (e.g. courts, probation, parole, corrections, juvenile justice, treatment, etc.) are experiencing regarding this topic and how they are addressing these issues. You will need to utilize outside references to help write your paper (see SOURCES section below).



The research paper is 30% of the course grade and will need to be over some current criminal justice-related policy debate



How should I start?

  • Start by exploring a topic that interests you and identify a problem.

Discuss how the CJ system has attempted to address that problem and evaluate the solutions to see if they are effective. Make suggestions of your own. Let me know what you think. Students are given wide discretion to decide a topic for the term papers, but all papers must emphasize some current criminal justice-related policy debate (I have given you some examples in the previous section titled “Paper Topic” as guidance). Be sure to integrate research into your arguments. Do not make statements of fact that are not supported with solid research and cited appropriately. Term papers should be, above all else, research-based. That is, students are expected to go beyond merely offering opinions and beliefs. As in all scholarly writing, students are expected to make clear arguments that are empirically grounded. Students are expected to draw heavily on empirically based journal articles, research reports, and books. The Internet has

many other sources but should not be solely used as a reference. You should avoid using internet websites as sources but instead draw on original research material.


How will I grade your paper? I will grade based on content, organization, readability, and grammar.


  • Content includes your ideas as well as your research.
  • Organization includes external transitions (section to section) and internal transitions (paragraph to paragraph and sentence to sentence).
  • Readability means how well the paper flows. Avoid wordiness and the passive voice.
  • Grammar includes spelling and other grammar errors including subject-verb

agreement. Please write your paper in third person. You should always avoid

using personal pronouns such as you and I in a researched paper. To state your

opinion, you could use a phrase like “the author suggests”.



Grading Rubric:

  • Content & Organization 50%
  • Readability 25%
  • Grammar 25%



How long does this need to be? Your paper should be a minimum of fifteen (15) pages. APA

style also requires a Cover Page, Abstract and a References page with a list of your sources. The cover page, abstract and references page do not count toward the fifteen (15) pages. Your paper should be double spaced and Times New Roman 12-point font with 1-inch margins.



At least nine (9) references are required for this paper. I recommend going to the University

library and beginning your research there. Speak with a reference librarian to get started. The

online library is also a fantastic resource for accessing databases with journal articles on your



What is APA Style?

For writing tips and information on the APA style, check out the Online Writing Lab at Purdue

University, found here: Also, as a student, you can always get

help at the University’s Writing Center.