Criminological Analysis Paper

Criminological Analysis Paper

Criminological Analysis Paper

The analysis paper constitutes twenty percent (20%) of your final grade. Therefore, you should begin planning and preparing well in advance of the due date.


As part of your overall class evaluation, you are required to identify a crime related news story and use that as the basis for the analysis and application of a selected theory of crime causation; that is, Classical/Neo Classical, Biological, Psychological/Psychiatric, Social Structure, Social Process and Development, or Social Conflict (see Part II: Criminological Theories, Chapters 3-9).


Select something that you are interested in, as that makes for a robust and interesting paper!


  1. Use a search engine of your choice to locate a crime news story.
    1. Although there are no restrictions on the type nor timeframe of the crime story, chose something that provides details about the offender(s). If, for example, you select a crime that gained national attention, e.g., Las Vegas mass murder, the case of Aaron Hernandez, or the Columbine High School massacre, it is much easier to find important details about possible motivations, state-of-mind, social circumstances, methods, etc.
  2. Select a theory of crime causation (see Chapters 3-9) that you believe best explains underlying reasons/causes for the offender’s behavior; that is, from the positivist or deterministic perspectives (e.g., biological, psychological, social structure, social process, or conflict).
    1. Do not use the Classical or choice perspective!
  3. In one page or less, provide a summary of the crime story.
  4. In one to two pages, provide an overview of the selected theory. This summary should identify the individual and/or individuals who are/were responsible for the original theory and reference subsequent studies.
    1. You must demonstrate a familiarity with the chosen theory’s history and evolution.
  5. In one to two pages, provide an analysis of the selected theory and how that explains the offender’s behavior.
    1. The analysis should integrate components or aspects of the selected theory to explain aspects of the perpetrator’s behavior or action.
  6. In .5 to one page, describe the significance of criminological theory as it relates generally to explaining crime in a modern world and its connection to public policy; provide examples.
    1. Explanations should include specific examples of how criminological examination contributes to public policy. For example, Choice Theory suggests that people are independent agents who under all circumstances can structure choices without influence from internal or external forces. For that reason, drug education programs like D.A.R.E., were based on the notion that the would-be drug user or those who are most susceptible, can resist the temptation to use illicit drugs and make prosocial choices if provided with an adequate amount of information highlighting the dangerousness and social impact of illicit drug use and abuse.
    2. For further clarification, refer to Chapter 3 of Miller J. Mitchell’s 21st Century Criminology: A Reference Handbook (2009), by Tod R. Clear and Natasha A. Frost; Criminology and Public Policy

General Guidelines

  • Title page (not part of the five-page requirement)
  • Introduction (an abstract is NOT required)
  • Five pages of original work (direct quotes do NOT add to the final page count). Be advised that pages beyond 5.5 are not reviewed.
  • A References or Bibliography section that includes at least 10 reliable sources (Wikipedia is NOT a reliable source)
  • Use citations that substantiate all statements of fact
  • Formatted in a way that meets minimum collegiate-level expectations, e.g., APA or MLA
    • ONLY 12 font
    • ONLY Times New Roman
    • ONLY double-space, no additional spaces before or after sentences or between paragraphs (FYI: I read everything in a formatting view)
    • 1-inch margins
    • NO running headings & do not insert spaces into the heading or footer


Hard copies are not required; however, electronic copies are mandatory. That is, I will not review any paper that is not submitted through the course Blackboard site or in some extraordinary situations emailed. I will activate a link within the course Blackboard site prior to the paper’s due date as to provide for unlimited upload attempts.


  • PDF copies are NOT acceptable
  • Links to a shared file, e.g., Google Docs are NOT acceptable
  • Only MS Word or another editable format that complies with those formatting requirements listed above is acceptable
  • If an uploaded file is blank, the paper is deemed late if re-submitted after the stated deadline and subject to a 50% deduction
  • If an uploaded file is not retrievable; that is, I can not download the file on a COD issued machine, the paper is deemed late and subject to a 5% initial assessment and then 5% per day penalty
  • Cited literature, references, graphics, tables, lists, etc., are not part of the five-page requirement.


I will not review documents that are submitted only in pdf. That is, you are welcome to provide both, but I must have the ability to view all formatting settings within the provided document.

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