CRJU 4430: Victimology Research Paper

For your research paper, you must write a 6-10 page research paper addressing an issue related to victims of crime.  The purpose of this assignment is for you to examine, summarize, and critique the current state of the research literature on an issue relevant to crime victims.  Instead of conducting a broad overview of a specific class of crime victims (i.e., rape victims), you should conduct an in-depth review of the literature on a more specific issue/question (i.e., What types of resistance strategies do rape victims use and are they effective?).

You may choose your own topic, but it is your responsibility to make sure your topic is appropriate for a Victimology class. As defined by Karmen (2013: 2):

Victimology is the scientific study of the physical, emotional, and financial harm people suffer because of illegal activities.  Victimologists…investigate the victims’ plight: the impact of the injuries and losses inflicted by offenders on people they target.  In addition, victimologists…[study] the public’s political, social, and economic reactions to the plight of victims…[and] how victims are handled by officials within the criminal justice system.”

Therefore, a paper addressing any of the above mentioned issues would be appropriate.  Importantly, the paper should stay focused on victims of crime, not offenders.  If you are having trouble coming up with a topic or if you are not sure your topic is appropriate, set up a time to meet with your professor.

Once you have decided on your topic, you should begin your library search.  If you are not sure how to get started and/or you have never used GALILEO, I recommend that you meet with a KSU Reference Librarian ( or take the time to go through an on-line tutorial (  In researching your topic, you must use at least 5 recent (published in the past 10 years) peer-reviewed journal articles that discuss a recent research study that addresses your topic/question.  While students may also utilize academic books, their primary source of information must be from recent, academic, peer-reviewed journals (a minimum of 5).  You may search government websites as well as the websites of victim’s rights or advocacy groups; however, with the exception of statistics provided from the UCR, NCVS, and NISMART, you must not rely on these sites as your main source of information.  Knowledge gained from such websites should be confirmed by knowledge gained from academic, peer-reviewed journals.

Your paper should include the following [see points earned for each part below]:

1)      A separate title page (this does not count as one of the 6-10 pages).  Your title page should include the title of your paper, your name, course information, and date (an abstract is not required). [5 points]

2)      A brief introduction (1-2 pages).  In the introduction, you should provide some general information about your topic and state the purpose of your paper.  For example, if you are reviewing the literature on rape victims’ resistance strategies, you should start your introduction by providing a general explanation/definition of rape and discussing some background information (statistics) about rape victims (i.e., recent NCVS data on the number of rapes that occurred in a given year, a statistical profile of rape victims, and the percent of victims who reported using verbal and/or physical resistance strategies).  Then, you should state the purpose of your paper.  For example: “In this paper, I discuss the different types of resistance strategies used by rape victims and examine the literature on the effectiveness of each strategy.” [10 points]

3)      The main body of your paper (4-8 pages).  In the main body of your paper, you need to discuss the current research that addresses your specific research topic/question.  That is, after reading at least 5 peer-reviewed research articles (each article should discuss the results of a study that was carried out by the authors of the article), you need to summarize the findings from those articles using your own words (provide the proper in-text citations for each article).  When paraphrasing using your own words, it is important that you do not plagiarize (copy phrases/sentences verbatim from another text without using quotation marks with the proper citation), but it is also important that you do not overuse quotes (you should use very few direct quotes in your paper). [60 points]

4)      A brief conclusion (1 page).  In your conclusion, you should summarize the main points discussed in your literature review.  You could also discuss why the research that you reviewed is important and/or what additional information is needed on this topic.            [10 points]

5)      A reference page (this does not count as one of the 6-10 pages).  Your reference page should include all of the sources that you cited in the text of your paper.  You need to list each source according to APA or ASA style guides. [5 points for proper style; failure to list your references will result in an F on the paper]

6)      Proper grammar and writing style.  See next page for writing style requirements.      [10 points]

Writing Style

  • All papers must be typed using Times New Roman 12 point font, double spaced, and use 1” margins.
  • The 6-10 page requirement applies to the text of your paper (introduction, body, and conclusion); it does not include the title, abstract, and/or reference page.
  • Use the ASA style ( or the APA style ( for your in-text citations and bibliography section.
  • Write clearly and revise your paper.
  • DO NOT PLAIGARIZE!!!  If you are not sure how to write a research paper and/or if you are not sure how to properly cite your sources, please set up an appointment with a tutor at the KSU Writing Center (  Also, please read the “Avoiding Plagiarism” chapter posted in the Research Paper folder on D2L.  You also can set up an appointment to meet with your professor.

 You must submit your paper as an MSWord document in the dropbox folder on D2L.  There is a plagiarism detection program embedded in D2L so your paper will be automatically checked for plagiarism.

There is a 10 point penalty for late submissions.  Late submissions will only be accepted up to 24 hours after the original deadline.