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CJ 325: Research Methods (Tolle): Searching Exercise

Searching Exercise

During our session, we focused on developing the topic of recidivism, your hypotheses surrounding this topic, and keywords you'd start searching. What I'd like you to do now with a partner is explore both of your hypotheses and start locating information sources based on the process we went through in class:

  1. Write down both of your hypotheses. If at this point you don't have one, select a topic as a group (e.g. Parole, Community-Oriented Policing, or Victim Assistance).

  2. Write down potential keywords and other questions that come to mind when you think about your hypotheses. 

  3. Based on your keywords, use these to either search within Criminal Justice Abstracts to locate a scholarly article or use Statistical Insight or Google to locate statistics. If you're working with both of your hypotheses, you'll need two sources. Make sure the sources are relevant. 

Based on your source(s), respond to the following questions:

  1. Why did you select this source? What information is it providing you that is pertinent to exploring your hypothesis? 

  2. Based on the abstract, describe the source in one sentence. If there is no abstract, skim through some of the source to get an idea of its focus. 

  3. If you were to continue searching, how has this source influenced your thinking on your topic? Write down some new keywords and questions related to your hypothesis that are drawn from your source.

  4. Write down at least one challenge you encountered while searching for sources related to your hypotheses.