Theories of Crime & Delinquency

200 Points (39%) of course grade
EXTRA CREDIT (5 points)
Take your completed paper to the CSBS Writing Lab in SB 354 for assistance and
obtain a credit slip from them for proof of attendance. Turn in the credit slip to the
professor by the paper due date. Or you may also take your paper to the Writing Center
in University Hall. See the Writing Centers link on BB for more information.
The paper assignment is to explain a criminological theory that has been discussed in
this class, and then use the theory to explain a crime that has been reported in a
newspaper or magazine from the perspective of the theorist.
 The crime must have occurred on or after April 5, 2016
 The account of the crime (from the newspaper or magazine – can be an online
version) must name an individual/individuals who were arrested for committing the
crime. (It cannot be an article stating that police are “searching for suspects” in the
commission of a crime). The individuals do not need to have been convicted – just
arrested. (For the purposes of this assignment, assume that the named individual did
indeed commit the crime). The article should also mention the suspect’s age and where
the crime was committed.
 You may use ONLY ONE of the following theories:
Merton’s Anomie
Agnew’s General Strain
Sutherland’s Differential Association
Hirschi’s Social Bond
Gottfredson & Hirschi’s General Theory
 If you have taken this class before, you may NOT use the same theory as used
for the prior paper.
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Paper Grading Criteria
Papers will be graded on both content and quality of writing
Summary of the Crime (5 points):
Briefly describe the crime reported in the newspaper/magazine article. Remember, I do
not have the article that explains the crime, you must explain it in a manner that makes
sense. Keep a copy of the article. You will be graded on how well you have
summarized the information that is relevant to explaining the crime with your chosen
theory, and how well you have explained the crime. Should include date of the crime,
suspect’s name, age, and city/state where crime occurred.
If the suspect is a minor, and the name is not revealed, you may make up a name.
2. Explanation of the Theory (25 points):
Explain ONE of the above theories. You should explain the theory as if you are
teaching it to someone who has never heard of this theory before. You will be graded
on how well it appears that you understand the theory from your explanation, (did you
explain all the major points? Is your explanation correct? Are the stages of the theory
explained in the correct causal order?) In order to explain the theory you will need to
read more than the textbook summary of the theory. You are strongly encouraged to
read the original publication of the theory where available (this is noted on the
PowerPoint slides, and in the textbook), and use this as one of your sources. You must
consult (and cite) information about the theory from three (3) scholarly publications to
explain theory.
3. Use of three (3) Scholarly Publications (6 points):
You must read and cite at least three scholarly publications to explain the theory you
have chosen (you may read and/or cite more if you wish). For the purpose of this
paper, scholarly publications include any/all of the following:
a) The original book (or a revised edition of the book) in which the theory was first
explained (e.g. Shaw & McKay’s Social Disorganization theory was first
explained in the book Juvenile delinquency and urban areas (1942). A revised
edition of the book was printed in 1969:
Shaw, C.R. & McKay, H.D. (1969). Juvenile delinquency and urban areas.
Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
b) Edited books containing reprints of the original article explaining the theory (e.g.
Merton’s Anomie theory was first explained in a 1938 article “Social Structure
and Anomie” which has been reprinted in the book:
Carter, G.L. (1994). Empirical approaches to sociology: Classic and
contemporary readings. New York, NY: Macmillan.
c) Scholarly journals consisting of articles discussing and/or testing the theory
(If you do not know what a “Scholarly Journal” is go to Paper Help on BB).
Research articles that are testing your chosen theory will explain the theory at
the beginning of the article, you may use this information to construct your
explanation of the theory.
CJUS 320 3
 Textbooks (including the required text for this course) are not considered scholarly
publications for this assignment.
 Internet searches through Google or Yahoo etc. will not return acceptable
Wikipedia” is NOT a scholarly source. is NOT a scholarly source
You will have to search through the Library website for “Articles or Journals” or in some
cases “Books”. Recommended data bases to search include “Criminal Justice
Abstracts” “EBSCO host” , “Emerald Library”, and “Sage Journals Online.”
4. Citations for information in the text of the paper (5 points):
Sources (for your information about the crime and the explanation of the theory) must
be referenced in the text of your paper using APA, 6th ed. reference citation and
quotations formatting.
For example:
If you paraphrase you must still cite your source e.g. (Brown, Esbensen & Geis,
2010). Or Brown, Esbensen & Geis (2010) state….
(See the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association for more
detailed examples).
Remember, changing only one or two of the words does not mean you no longer
have to use a citation. It is still, for all intended purposes, not your writing or
If you use a direct quote ( “…” ), what is written in the quotation marks must appear
EXACTLY as it does in the original source, and you must include the page number of the
original source in your citation e.g. (Brown, Esbensen & Geis, 2010, p. 3).
(See the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association for more
If you are not familiar with citing information (references) in the text of your paper visit
Paper Help on BB.
Plagiarism includes using another person’s text, paper, words, or ideas as your own
without providing due credit. This applies whether you are using books, articles, the
internet, magazines, newspapers, videos, or any other informational source.
If you are unclear as to what constitutes plagiarism you are strongly advised to educate
yourself. See Paper Help on BB.
Plagiarism will result in an F on the paper.
Also note that an explanation of the theory comprised of only quotation marks
and citations (a majority of the words are not your own) is not an original work.
You cannot cut & paste your paper together using quotations. Turning in such a
paper will result in you receiving an F on the paper.
CJUS 320 4
5. Use/application of the Theory to Explain the Crime (24 points):
Explain why the crime was committed from the point of view of the theorist(s). Use the
situational and individual characteristics of the crime you have selected to illustrate
each aspect/principle of the theory. If there are few details about the offender
provided in the account of the crime, you may infer plausible hypothetical details to
assist in your explanation. For example:
Agnew would explain that John Doe committed this crime because was
experiencing strain caused by the removal of positively valued stimuli, one
of the possible sources of strain. Specifically, John had a good relationship with
his children, his children were the positively valued stimuli. When he and his
wife were divorced, his wife got custody of the children and he was only
permitted to see them on weekends, (the positively valued stimuli were
removed). This was a source of strain that led to his experiencing a negative
affective state. Agnew argues that individuals experiencing strain are likely to
feel negative emotions such as anger, frustration, disappointment, depression, or
fear. John could potentially have been feeling many of these emotions. He may
have been angry with his wife for taking the children, angry with the judge who
awarded primary custody to his wife, frustrated with the situation, disappointed
and depressed that his marriage failed, and disappointed and depressed about
how infrequently he was permitted to spend time with his children… etc.)
You will be graded on how well you have used situational and individual characteristics
of the crime as examples to illustrate how the theorist would explain why the crime was
6. References (10 points):
Papers must include a list of ONLY the publications cited (not a bibliography),
beginning on a new page, in APA 6th ed. format. The list should include the
newspaper/magazine article that provides the account of the crime, as well as all
scholarly publications that were cited to explain the theory. Pay close attention to all
APA format details including use of capitals, italics, periods, parentheses etc.
References should be listed in alphabetical order (by the last name of the first
author of the publication. DO NOT CHANGE THE ORDER OF THE AUTHORS.
See the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA), Sixth
Edition for more examples. It is available in the library for reference use and you may
buy the APA manual at most bookstores. See Paper Help on BB, for a limited guide
7. Writing & Format (25 points)
(includes Tone, Spelling, Grammar, Punctuation, Length of the paper, Organization)
Use a FORMAL tone or 3rd person perspective when writing. Write from an objective
perspective. Do not use “I,” “you,” “we,” or “us” statements.
You must proofread your paper for spelling, grammar, and punctuation. This
involves writing your paper, re-reading sentences as you go, and re-reading the paper
CJUS 320 5
several times once completed. If you are not confident in your writing skills I strongly
suggest you seek assistance from the Writing Center or SBS Writing Lab, or have
someone else proofread your paper before turning it in.
Papers must be typed (12 point font), double-spaced, with ONE INCH MARGINS.
Papers are to be five pages (not including the title page and reference page), page
numbers should be on the top right corner of each page after the title page.
Points will be deducted for papers under and over the page limit.
*Do NOT include an abstract.
Type papers using MS Word or similar application.
The title of your paper should be name of the theory that you are using to explain
the crime, e.g. General Strain Theory, or Differential Association Theory etc.
CJUS 320 6
Paper Submission Instructions
Only ONE document can be submitted to turnitin. The title page, paper, and
reference page must all be in a single document.
Due Tuesday, June 7, 2016 by 10:30 am to No late papers will be
Do not wait until the last minute, it takes time to create an account and submit your
paper. Submit to
Turn-it-in systematically scans papers to check for plagiarism and unoriginal work.
Create a Turn-it-in account at
Click on the “New Users Click Here” button, and follow the instructions for new students.
You will need:
Class ID: 12457869 password: enroll
If you have problems you can also find instructions at
Please enter the title of your paper on Turnitin as the name of the theory that you
are using to explain the crime, e.g. Anomie, General Strain, Differential
Association, Social Bond or General Theory.
1. Do not copy and paste your paper into the box, this method does not preserve
the formatting and you are graded on your formatting.
Upload the paper file from your computer. (Papers should be MS Word
documents (.doc)– not text (.txt) or notepad files). When you upload your file, a
preview pane will display the text of the document, at the top of the pane it will
say “Is this the paper you want to submit?”, but the text will appear unformatted.
Do not freak out – your formatting is preserved, you just cannot see it. When the
professor opens the paper it will appear exactly as it did when you submitted it
(font, paragraphs, spacing, margins etc.). So if it is the correct file, press the
“yes, submit” button.
2. If you paper is submitted properly, a box will appear. At the top “Turnitin Digital
Receipt” will be displayed (the paper will still appear unformatted in the pane
3. You will also receive an email confirmation from Turnitin that your paper was
submitted – SAVE THIS EMAIL. If you do not receive an email confirmation then
your assignment was not properly uploaded to Turnitin. Very rarely is there a
problem with submissions, but in the event that there is, you must provide the
professor with the confirmation email from Turnitin to prove you submitted on
time; without this email, no corrective actions can be taken.