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Exploring a Research Topic
In the development phase, do a preliminary search to familiarize yourself with your topic. Use the five Ws to focus your research:
- Who: demographic focus (gender, age, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status)
- What: aspects, details
- Where: geographic location
- When: either present day or a particular time period in the past
- Why/How/So What!: importance, impact (societal, individual)
Keep in Mind:
- You don't have to answer all of the questions. Some might not apply
or be helpful.
- Your research question might evolve and change as you review
Death Penalty Information Center
This non-profit center promotes informed discussion of the death penalty by preparing in-depth reports, conducting briefings for journalists, and serving as a resource to those working on this issue.
Department of Justice - Topics
DOJ initiatives and programs addressing a variety of issues, including elder justice, environmental justice, hate crimes, human trafficking, organized crime, tribal justice, and voting.
National Institute of Justice
The National Institute of Justice provides objective and independent knowledge and tools to inform the decision-making of the criminal and juvenile justice communities. Their library includes publications, videos, the NIJ Journal, and datasets.
Office for Victims of Crime
Part of the Department of Justice, OVC assists crime victims and provides leadership in changing attitudes, policies, and practices to promote justice and healing for all victims of crime. See the Library & Multimedia link to search publications or browse by topic.
Credo Reference This link opens in a new window
A collection of over 500 specialized reference works covering every major subject.
Encyclopedia of Criminological Theory
Call Number: eBook
Publication Date: 2010
Provides essays on cutting-edge research as well as concise, to-the-point definitions of key concepts, ideas, schools, and figures. Topics include contexts and concepts in criminological theory, the social construction of crime, policy implications of theory, diversity and intercultural contexts, conflict theory, rational choice theories, conservative criminology, feminist theory, and more.