Term Paper Guidelines





I.    Grading Criteria
All term papers must comply with academic standards of quality and excellence.  Papers are to be each student's own original work.  Students who plagiarize will receive no points for the paper.  Plagiarism is stealing another person's work, words and ideas and passing them off as your own.   The original copy of the paper is to be submitted to the course instructor.  The paper may be used only for one course.  Paper topics must be course related.  They could be scored in accordance with the following criteria, though each professor establishes his/her own grading policy

 Area 1 Literature Review (20%)

  a) Depth and Comprehensiveness--Were a sufficient number of relevant sources utilized to provide a thorough exploration of the topic?
  b) Appropriateness of References--Were scholarly materials used?

 Area 2 Analysis (60%)

  a) Adequate Description of Major Themes And Findings--Does the descriptive or narrative portion of the paper contain sufficient detail?  Are basic structures and processed discussed?
  b) Synthesis of Subject Matter--Does the paper reflect an understanding of various aspects of the topic and how they relate to one another?
  c) Quality of Criticism--Are major criticisms and/or weaknesses thoroughly reviewed?  Are there sufficient examinations of adequacy and/or effectiveness?
  d) Potential Solutions--Are alternatives explored in terms of costs and benefits, advantages and disadvantages?

 Area 3 Form and Style (20%)

  a) Organization--Is the paper organized in an orderly fashion with topic headings?
  b) Style--Is the writing style coherent?  A good reference book on style is Strunk & White, Elements of Style.
  c) Grammar--Are words used and spelled correctly, are paragraphs used, and are all sentences complete?  Are contractions avoided?
  d) References and Citations--Are references properly cited and acknowledged in the body and at the end of the paper?

Papers must be typed or word-processed and must be double-spaced.  If your word-processor permits right-justification, please do not use it; leave the right edge of the text "jagged".

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II.    Preparation of Term Papers in the APA Style 

The following suggestions concerning the structure, organization and  composition of term papers using the citation of style of the American Psychological Association are intended to make your task easier.  They are not given with the intention of being pedantic.  They are given to save you time, energy, and irritation.

Record all references when they are first read.  Record the information in the following manner:

  Gibbons, D.C. (1968) Society, Crime, and Criminal Careers.  Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.

  Jeffery, C.R. (1965) "Criminal Behavior and Learning Theory," Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology, and Police Science, July, Vol 52(1): 293-300. 

The instructor may require that an outline be submitted prior to the paper's due date.  Even if an outline is not required, it may prove to be beneficial to construct an outline before writing the paper itself.

Generally speaking, an outline consists of major and minor topic headings, organized with regard to the specific topic being researched.  Topic headings usually include an introduction, historical background and/or literature review, main body of the text, critique (including the presentation of pro and con positions), proposed solutions, conclusions, and summary, followed by a complete listing of all references referred to or cited in the text.

The title should be centered on a separate page and should be followed by your name, the course number, day and time of the class meeting, and the name of the instructor, in the following manner:

 Biological Theories of Criminality
     John Doe
     Criminal Justice 480
     Monday, 6:00 - 9:00 PM
     Dr. Harper

The first heading should be centered on the page in the following manner:

                                                         Genetic Studies of Criminality

Note that the first heading is typed in capitals and lower case and is not underlined.  Underlining is reserved for material that is intended to be italicized in the text.  Sub-headings, which represent a topic under the main heading, are placed even with the margin and italicized in the following manner:

Study of family histories and genealogies

 Should it be necessary to use an even finer breakdown of topic material (i.e., fourth or fifth headings), it is recommended that a system of numbering or lettering be used.

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III.  References and Citation


The APA style permits the reference to a particular work in the paper by merely citing the year of the publication following the author's name, in the following manner:

  As reported by Smith (1978) in a recent report on delinquency control...

Once the author's name and published work is in the list of references, they may be referred to over and over again with no further identification than the name and the year of publication. If the author had two or more works in a given year, merely list them as a,b,c,d...n, following the citation of the year, in the following manner:

  Smith (1978a)
  Jones (1979b)

The list of references should begin on a page following the final page of the paper and should be alphabetized.  Nothing should appear in the list of references that is neither cited nor quoted in the text.

Cite only primary sources.  If an author of one source refers to some original article or quotes from it, this should be noted in the paper by indicating that the original article was cited or quoted.  This can be done as follows:

  Jones (1968), as noted by Smith (1978), claims that delinquency control...

In the references list, citations should then be entered for both Jones and Smith.  

Federal Court Cases are cited by case name, followed by description of the book in which the case is found, description of the court that decided the case, and the year it was decided.  e.g. 

case name   vol #  book  page #  year decided
Gregg v. Georgia  428  U.S.  153   (1976).

case name             vol #             book               page #                 court  year decided
Peete v. Rose         381            F. Supp            1167                    (W.D. Tenn 1974).
Peete v. Rose, 381 F. Supp 1167 (W.D. Tenn. 1974)

State Supreme Court Cases are cited by case name, followed by state reporter  volume and page, followed by regional reporter volume and page, followed by year.
Some states have state reports, so the citation is:

case name          vol #       state report        page #        vol #        regional rep       page       year
State v. Metzger          211      Neb.           593              319           N.W. 2d         459    (1982).
State v. Metzger, 211 Neb. 593, 319 N.W. 2d 459 (1982).

Others do not, so the citation form is:

case name          vol #                    book              page #         State Sup Ct  year
Commonwealth v. Wright  190        A.2d              709                     (Pa. 1963).
Commonwealth v. Wright, 190 A.2d 709 (Pa. 1963).

If you have not read the actual case, but have read and are reporting what another author has said about the case, cite to your primary source as follows:

Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U.S. 153 (1976) as cited in Krantz (1986:96).

If an author is quoted verbatim, copyright laws require that this be indicated by either quotation marks around the passage in the text, as noted in the following two examples:

  As noted by one author, "Delinquency control is accomplished by means of a combination of approaches" (Smith, 1973:25).

  According to Smith (1975:25) "Delinquency control is accomplished by means of a combination of approaches".

In the examples given above, the authors' names, year of publication, and the specific page references are all given.  Page citation is absolutely required whenever a direct quotation is made.  It sometimes becomes desirable to give a page reference when referring to an author's conclusions or ideas in a general way, but this is not required.

Quotations longer than three (3) lines are indicated as such by setting them off in the body of the text, indented, and according to APA style (sect. 332), indented block quotations are to be double-spaced.  No quotation marks are used. For example:

  As Smith has noted in a recent book on delinquency control:

New approaches to the control of delinquent behavior have emerged within the past two decades which gold some promise.  One of these approaches represents an extension of principles derived from laboratory based experiments in behavior modification and makes use of a technique called contingency contracting (Smith, 1973:25).


As stated above, the list of references listed in alphabetical order should include only those items quoted or cited in the text.  They should be cited in full, and in the following manner:


Carhes, Sam P. (1978) Controlling Juvenile Delinquency.  New York:  McGraw-Hill.   (This is the proper citation format for a book citation by a single author.)

Smith, James B., and Ann M. Jones (1978) Controlling Juvenile Delinquency.  New York:  McGraw-Hill.   (This is the proper citation format for a book which has two authors.)

Smith, J.B., A.M. Jones and Y.Z. Brown (1988) Controlling Juvenile Delinquency.  New York:  McGraw-Hill.  (This is the proper citation format for a book with multiple authors.)

Taylor, C.R. (Ed.) (1988) Controlling Juvenile Delinquency: New Methods and Approaches.  New York:  McGraw-Hill.   (This is the proper citation format for an edited collection of papers or anthology.)

Tittle, Y.A. (1988) "Juveniles in Jeopardy", in J.B. Smith (Ed.) Controlling Juvenile Delinquency.  New York:  McGraw-Hill.  (This is the proper citation format for a chapter or article in an edited collection of papers or anthology.)

Tyler, William R. (1985) "Police and Delinquency," Journal of Criminal Justice, March, Vol 13(3): 1-14.  (This is the proper citation format for a journal article with one author.)

Tyler, William R. (1988) "an Experimental Study in Delinquency Control," Crime and Delinquency. February, Vol 56(2): 255-260.  (This is the proper citation format for a journal article with one author.)

Williams, Ron B., and T. Bradshaw (1988) "An Experimental Study in Delinquency Control," Crime and Delinquency, February, Vol 56(2): 255-260.   (This is the proper citation format for a journal article which has two authors.)

The complete first name can be written or only the initials can be noted.  Decide one way or the other and adhere to that format throughout the reference listing.  Also note that when listing the same person as a single author two or more times, list the author's earliest work first.

Variations on any of the above can be found in the official publications of the APA, including the American Psychologist, Psychological Bulletin, and Psychological Review.

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