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Department of Law, Police Science

& Criminal Justice Administration

524 West 59th Street
Haaren Hall RM 422
New York, NY 10019
(212) 237-8032 Office
(212) 237-8383 Fax

CJBS 250-07 - Research Methods & Statistics in Criminal Justice

Code: 1082
Fall 2017
Classroom: TBA
Class time: Tuesday & Thursday, 08:00 09:15 AM
Instructor: Morgan F. Courgnaud
Office: TBA
Office Hours: Before class, after class, and by appointment.
Phone: TBA
E-mail address:

Course description:
This course will present the research process, types of studies, appropriate descriptive
statistical techniques and guidelines for formulating research questions and testable hypotheses.
It will also review how to decide on an appropriate population for study, how variables are
constructed, and how data are collected and organized, and discuss sampling methods and
sample size. A variety of research methods will be covered, including experimental,
quasiexperimental and survey methods, as well as other forms of data collection and the use of
existing databases. Students will also be exposed to qualitative methodologies including
ethnography, observation, content-analysis, and interviewing techniques.

Learning outcomes:

Identify the principles of scientific inquiry;

Critically and ethically evaluate different types of research;
Clearly identify and define variables;
Understand the difference between probability and non-probability sampling and its
implications on generalization;
Evaluate different research designs and their level of validity;
Conduct, analyze and interpret basic statistical procedures to describe variables of

Course Prerequisites: ENG 101, CJBS 101 or CRJ 101, and MAT 108 or MAT 141 or MAT
241 or MAT 242 or STA 250


In order to accomplish course goals, students will be required to submit a research

proposal and complete a midterm and final exam. For the paper, students will be
required to write a research proposal on a topic of their choice.

The paper is due on the last day of class and must be submitted to for a
similarity assessment. The proposal must be at least 6 pages, typed in Times New
Roman, 12-point font, double-spaced, with one-inch margins. Any references should be
cited using APA format. Citation guidelines are available at the library and on the
internet. Additional discussion on paper format and potential topics will be provided in

Each exam will consist of 25 multiple-choice questions on research methods derived

from the textbook. The exams are not cumulative. A review sheet, designed to assist the
student in studying the various research methods concepts, will be presented in class.


This course will use Blackboard Online in addition to the textbook. Students are required
to retrieve various course materials from the site.

Students are expected to attend class. Attendance is taken and missing class will reflect
negatively on the students final grade. Every student is expected to arrive on time.
Arriving late or leaving early without proper notification is disruptive and unacceptable.

Students are expected to come to class prepared. This requires reading the assigned
material prior to each class. All electronic devices must be turned off or silenced before
class begins. Making phone calls, texting, emailing, checking messages, or browsing the
internet is strictly prohibited while class is in session and will negatively affect the
students participation grade.

*The instructor reserves the right to make changes to the course format*
Required Text:

Maxfield, M. G. & Babbie, E.R. (2015). Research Methods for Criminal Justice & Criminology,
7th Edition. Cengage Publishing. ISBN: 9781285067841


Research Paper 30%

Midterm/Final Exam 50%
Attendance/Participation 20%

Course Calendar:

Date Topic Readings

8/29 Syllabus, Course Format, Blackboard Online Syllabus

8/31 Crime, Criminal Justice, and Scientific Inquiry Ch 1

9/5 Foundations of Criminal Justice Research Ch 2

9/7 Ethics and Criminal Justice Research Ch 3

9/12, 9/14 General Issues in Research Design Ch 4

9/19 Concepts, Operationalization, and Measurement Ch 5

9/21 No Class

9/26 Concepts, Operationalization, and Measurement (Pt. 2) Ch 5

9/28 Measuring Crime Ch 6

10/3, 10/5 Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Design Ch 7

10/10 Midterm Exam Ch 1-7

10/12, 10/17 Sampling Ch 8

10/19 Survey research Ch 9

10/24, 10/26 Qualitative Interviewing Ch 10

10/31, 11/2 Field Observation Ch 11

11/7 Agency Records, Content Analysis and Secondary Data Ch 12

11/9 Evaluation Research and Problem Analysis Ch 13

11/14, 11/16, 11/28 Descriptive Statistics Handout

11/21 No Class (courses follow Friday schedule)

11/23 No Class (college closed)

11/30, 12/5, 12/7 Inferential Statistics Handout

12/12 Interpreting Data Ch 14


12/14 Final Exam/Paper Due (via e-mail) Ch 8-14

Research Proposal (Final Paper)

The course will culminate in a research proposal due at the end of the semester. Each
student will submit and e-mail a research proposal of five (5) to seven (7) pages.

Students must choose a topic, and have the topic approved by the Instructor by the end of
week four (4), and prepare a research proposal to study a particular criminal justice issue.

Research proposals must include the following sections:

1) Introduction;
2) Review of relevant literature;
3) Discussion of potential data sources;
4) Plan for sampling and collecting the data;
5) Plan to analyze the data, and;
6) Discussion of the policy implications of this research proposal.

College Policies for Undergraduate Courses (Undergraduate Bulletin, 2016-2017)

Students should familiarize themselves with the Undergraduate Bulletin, now wholly
online on the college website. In particular, students should be aware of the following:

o Incomplete Grade Policy

o Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Policies (see below).

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable academic accommodations if

determined eligible by the Office of Accessibility Services (OAS). Prior to granting disability
accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a students
eligibility from the OAS which is located at L66 in the new building (212-237-8031). It is the
students responsibility to initiate contact with the office and to follow the established procedures
for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity

Plagiarism is the presentation of someone elses ideas, words, or artistic, scientific, or

technical work as ones own creation. Using the ideas or work of another is permissible
only when the original author is identified. Paraphrasing and summarizing, as well as
direct quotations require citations to the original source.

Plagiarism may be intentional or unintentional. Lack of dishonest intent does not

necessarily absolve a student of responsibility for plagiarism. It is the students
responsibility to recognize the difference between statements that are common
knowledge (which do not require documentation) and restatements of the ideas of others.
Paraphrasing, summarizing and direct quotation are acceptable forms of restatement, as

long as the source is cited.

Students who are unsure how and when to provide documentation are advised to consult
with their instructors. The college library has free guides designed to help students with
any concern (see Undergraduate Bulletin, Academic Standards & Policies. The college
subscribe to plagiarism detection software (

Writing Center
Room 1.68, New Building: (212) 237-8569

The Writing Center provides tutoring and writing consultation to all undergraduate and
graduate students enrolled in the College. Trained tutors work with students on
conceptual and sentence level skills, rules of grammar and style.

The Writing Center emphasizes formulating a thesis, organizing and developing ideas,
documenting American Psychological Association (APA) style, documenting Modern
Language Association (MLA) style, evaluating evidence, and revising a paper.

State-of-the-art computers, grammar/writing software and a small specialized library of

books on writing are available. Students may be referred to the Writing Center by
members of the faculty or arrange tutoring sessions themselves.

Throughout the year, the Writing Center offers numerous writing-oriented workshops,
some specific to writing in the individual disciplines, as well as intensive CUNY
Assessment Test in Writing (CATW) preparation. All are conducted by faculty and staff
and are open to all students.