GENERAL PLAN For the final project, develop a policy presentation showing how theory drives the need for research and how research findings can influence social policies. You will choose one theory to use for this project and review current peer-reviewed research on the theory in question. Focus on a specific crime or issue the theory has examined, such as gender, juvenile crimes, race, violent crimes, social class, poverty, property crimes, homicide, and so on. Then, devise two social policies that would be influenced by the theory related to criminal justice programs or organizations. For example, prevention, new programs, refocusing programs, and so forth. Parts 1 and 2: Abstract and Annotated Bibliography In Week 8, you will submit an abstract, which discusses the theory and social issue chosen, and an annotated bibliography on three articles used for the presentation. They will be submitted in two separate documents. Abstracts summarize a research project. Some researchers create the abstract at the beginning of the project, while others wait until the end. This abstract will help you and your mentor see the preliminary thoughts on the project. It is expected that the abstract will change as the project is completed. The abstract should be 150 to 300 words in length. It should include the chosen theory, the issue of focus, and thoughts on the policies you are considering, based on the research you review and the theory you choose. Make sure there is a clear thesis statement included in the abstract, which represents a simple statement of what your project is about. An annotated bibliography can be a helpful way to remind you about key information in the reviewed articles that you want to include in your project. The information should not be only direct quotes, but also thoughts and points that you plan to discuss. The annotated bibliography also serves as the starting point for your references page. There are many different formats that can be used for an annotated bibliography. One method you could follow for this assignment is to provide the APA citation information for your article and then bullet points for key information that you include in the final project under the references. Instead of bullet points, you might find it more helpful to write in paragraph formatting. Either way is acceptable. Part 3: Presentation In the final week of the course, you will showcase your research findings and suggestions for social policies in a final audio and visual presentation (such as with PowerPoint). The presentation allows you to discuss your understanding of the research-theory-policy connection by sharing your findings on a theory, an issue, and two policy suggestions. The presentation will include 14 to 20 slides, with a 30- to 45-minute audio recording of the information. The slides will present the information you found and the audio will allow you to express your understanding of the research-theory-policy connection. Note: There are many factors that will impact the length of your presentation, such as being nervous, which tends to make people speak faster, or elaborating, which tends to extend the time. Use the time guideline as a gauge, and not an exact length. Some experts recommend two minutes per slide, but that suggestion is not supported by everyone. The most important factor is making sure your understanding, knowledge, and insights are shown and discussed in the presentation. Your presentation will include the following: Title: The title slide should include an original title for your project and your name on one slide. Choose an appropriate, professional background design for your presentation. Using pictures/graphics is appropriate, but information should dominate the presence on the slides. Agenda: Provide a brief overview, with bullet points, of how you structured your presentation. The agenda tells the audience what they will experience in the presentation. It gives the audience a “what’s in store” overview. The agenda should be on one slide. Introduction: The introduction should be one slide that draws the audience into your project by briefly discussing its significance, or why it is important. Discussing relevant statistics or current events can be helpful to provide a general framework, with more specific information coming. Adding an appropriate picture or graphic can be helpful. This is similar to an introduction paragraph you would write for a paper. Theory Discussion: Choose ONE criminological theory that interests you. Review course materials on that theory, as well as other documents. Understand the context of when the theory originated, its key points or propositions, and current research (from the last five years) that exists. Make sure you feel comfortable with the main points of the theory. Use three to five slides to showcase your understanding of the theory. Discuss its origins (time period and what is going on), its founder (who developed the theory and why), and its main points (what the theory proposes). Criminal Activity or Issue: While you are reviewing articles on the theory you chose, keep focus on the crimes or criminal activities the articles use to test the theory. This will help you determine the issue or activity on which you will focus. The issue/action must be something that the theory has examined. It will be helpful if you can locate three to four articles that have used the theory and the same or similar activity or issue. Provide four to six slides to discuss the research you found. Discuss the authors’ goal, how they gathered data, and what they found with their research. Use your own words to discuss this information, so that it is clear that you understand key content that you are presenting. Social Policy Suggestions: After reviewing and thinking about the theory and the criminal activity or issue, consider what the theory would say about policies that would incorporate research findings that support the theory. Every theory has a viewpoint, or a way to view situations. From the viewpoint of the theory (not personal opinions), present TWO policies that would be developed by or supported by your chosen theory on that issue. Use two to four slides to discuss a relevant policy (whether you develop it or it currently exists) and how the theory would support it. This means that you need to use specific propositions/points from the theory to discuss the policies. Conclusion: The conclusion should be one slide that summarizes the aspects you want the audience to remember. Sometimes it is helpful to review the abstract and introduction again. References: All references should be listed on this slide in APA style. A minimum of five sources is required. The majority, if not all, of the sources should come from peer-reviewed journals, as that is where research on theories is published. References may fit on one slide, but using two slides is acceptable, if needed. Note: You do not need to provide accompanying audio for the references slide(s). Once you have developed the slides, prepare an audio recording of the presentation using the video tools in Moodle. Your audio recording should discuss the information on all slides (except for the references slide), providing elaboration and discussion and/or examples for the bulleted information. You will need to do more than just read the information off the slides. Add further insights that you found relevant to the brief points in the visual presentation. The audio presentation should be in your voice, not a transcription or program that reads the visual information. Make sure to speak clearly and with a consistent speed. It is always helpful to practice before recording. WRITING AND RESEARCH RESOURCES The following links provide online writing and research aids to help you with your paper assignments. OWL (Online Writing Lab) at Purdue University Writer’s Handbook, the Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin–Madison APA Guidelines Information Literacy for TESU Students (an online guide from the New Jersey State Library to assist you in starting your research, searching databases for articles, citing sources, using ILLiad to request books or articles, etc.)
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