Research Paper Topic and Assessment Details
Date Due: 8 October
Length: 1500 words
The purpose of this assessment is to allow students to develop their abilities in critical thinking, research and
writing, by applying conceptual tools from the course to a particular criminal justice issue. The paper
requires you to review the research literature, to identify theoretical concepts, and to apply the findings of
the research literature to your arguments.
Choose ONE of the following topics for your essay.
Option 1: What are the current issues in regard to victims’ experiences of the court system? Critically
assess the issues surrounding court responses to victims’ involvement in court processes and suggest
alternative strategies to improve outcomes.
Option 2: Private prisons currently exist in a number of jurisdictions across Australia, though the
Queensland government has recently announced that they will be removed here. Critically examine the
issues surrounding the privatisation of prisons and examine possible ways of addressing the issues, based on
the research evidence.
These topics are relatively broad, so you might think about how you might like to narrow the topic down to
make the issue more readily discussed in a 1,500 word essay.
What sources & citation method should you use?
In this paper, you will need to go beyond the textbook and assigned readings. Your paper must show
evidence of wider reading, at least 6 sources beyond the required readings must be used. Appropriate
sources include journal articles, academic books and book chapters, and government reports. Newspaper or
magazine articles and internet webpages will not be considered appropriate sources, and should only be used
as examples. Publications that are available electronically, such as from the Trends and Issues series from
the Australian Institute of Criminology, the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, reports of the
Crime and Corruption Commission, or articles from journals available through the library’s electronic
holdings can be used.
Your paper must include proper citation and reference of appropriate sources (see the School of Social
Science Assignment Writing Guide). In-text citations much be used. Please use APA 6th Edition format
for referencing and formatting (page numbers, formatting of paragraphs etc).
For further information on APA 6th edition guidelines, see: https://web.library.uq.edu.au/files/38586/APA6th-edition-style-guide.pdf
Putting it together
Your paper should be 1,500 words, double-spaced and typed (in 12-point font), with each page numbered.
Follow APA 6th formatting requirements.
The word length does not include your reference list (but does include in-text citations).
Please ensure that you have proof read your paper; the spell checker in your word processing program may
overlook some errors.
For further requirements about the presentation of your paper, you should refer to the School’s assignment
Criteria & Marking:
Your paper will be marked out of 30, and evaluated on the following criteria (a full rubric is available on
Marking Criteria Mark
Focus and Structure
• Orientates the reader
• Addresses the question
• Stays on topic with a logical sequence of ideas /3
Social Science Skills
• Demonstration of a clear understanding of the issues associated with
the paper theme
• Uses appropriate research evidence to support argument
• Demonstrates evidence of analytical thinking and critical evaluation /18
Presentation, Style and Referencing
• Demonstrates use of applicable and appropriate references as well as
depth of reading
• Use of correct APA 6th referencing procedures and appropriate
• Grammar and spelling is readable and correct
Your paper is worth 30% of your final grade.
Read the criteria before beginning your paper!
What are the submission requirements?
You are responsible for keeping a copy of your paper, which you should keep until your grade has been
You are required to submit an electronic copy of your assignment via Turnitin on Blackboard.
Please note that written assignments must not be handed to your lecturer or tutor in class.
Your paper needs to be submitted electronically via Turnitin on Blackboard no later than 2pm (14:00) 8th
Assignments must be submitted no later than 2:00pm (14:00) on the due date. Assignments received after
this time will be deemed late and attract a penalty, unless an extension has been granted by the course
coordinator. Please read the ECP for more details about late penalties and extensions.
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