Term Paper Guidelines





I.    Academic Quality
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 and the matter brought to the attention of University officials.  Plagiarism is stealing another person's work, words and ideas and passing them off as your own.   The paper is to be submitted to the course instructor in a form as detailed in the course syllabus.  The paper may be used only for one course.  Paper topics must be course related.  They could be graded utilizing the following criteria, though each professor establishes their own grading policy:

 Area 1 Literature Review

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

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

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 should be double-spaced.   

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.

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.

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, etc., following the citation of the year, in the following manner in the body of the paper:

   Smith (1978a)
   Jones (1979b)

Remember to note a, b, etc., in the list of references next to Smith and Jones as well.

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.  

Include the citation for court cases in the body of your paper with the name of the case in italics followed by the year the case was handed down, ie., Gregg v. Georgia (1976).  Include the complete citation on your reference page, again with the name of the case in italics followed by the complete citation information.

Complete citation information for U.S. Supreme Court decisions include the case name, vol #, book,  page #, and year decided, such as, Gregg v. Georgia  428 U.S. 153 (1976).

Complete citation information for a standard Trial Court decision would include the case name, vol #, book, page#, court, and year decided, such as, Peete v. Rose, 381 F. Supp 1167 (W.D. Tenn. 1974)

Complete citation information for a standard State Supreme Court decision would include vol #, state, page #, regional rep, page #, and year decided, such as, State v. Metzger, 211 Neb. 593, 319 N.W. 2d 459 (1982).  Some states have fewer items noted however, just vol #, book, page #, State, and year decided, such as Commonwealth v. Wright, 190 A.2d 709 (Pa. 1963).

If you are citing what another author has said about the case, cite as follows:

     Krantz (1986:96) notes that in the case of Gregg v. Georgia (1976) that the defendant….

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, put in italics, and indented.  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
which hold 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, 1993:25).


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 as the last page of the manuscript:


Abbott, John (2000, January 15) "Juveniles Out of Control," The Sun, https://thesun.com/783975j839, retrieved February 4, 2021. (This is the proper citation format for items on the web with an author and original web posting dates)

Eskridge, Chris (nd) Crime, Deviance and Justice powerpoints, https://www.unl.eskridge/CJ 496index.html, retrieved February 8, 2021.  (This is the proper citation format for items drawn from a powerpoint on the web and for which there are no original web posting dates but there is an author)

“Terrorism Today” (nd) https://cnn.78437423, retrieved February 10, 2021. (This is the proper citation format for items on the web for which there are no original web posting dates and with no authors noted)

Franks, John B. (1978) Controlling Juvenile Delinquency.  New York:  McGraw-Hill. (This is the proper citation format for a book which has one author)

Hall, John 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)

Jones, John B., Ann M. Jones and Peter Z. Brown (1988) Controlling Juvenile Delinquency.  New York:  McGraw-Hill. (This is the proper citation format for a book with three or more authors)

Kelp, Charles R. (ed.) (1988) Treatment of Delinquency: New Methods and Approaches.  New York:  McGraw-Hill.  (This is the proper citation format for an edited collection of chapters or articles)

Tittle, Samuel A. (1988) "Juveniles in Jeopardy," in James B. Jones (ed.) Juvenile Delinquency Today.  New York:  McGraw-Hill. (This is the proper citation format for a chapter or article in an edited collection)

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)

Williams, Ron B., and Florence 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.