Application: Formulating Research Questions
Any research study begins with a question. A good research question in criminal justice should be socially important, scientifically relevant, and feasible given your resources (Bachman & Schutt, 2014). It must neither be too narrow, which will limit your ability to gather data, or too broad, which may generate too much data for you to incorporate.
Once you have developed a specific research question, you must select a research design to implement with your question. The design you choose depends on different factors such as what information you want, the aims of the study, the nature of the phenomenon, how reliable the information should be, and cost of design, just to name a few.
To prepare for this Application Assignment, select a topic in an area of interest in criminal justice and formulate a research question related to this topic. Your Instructor can assist you in topic selection. The research question you develop will be used for your Final Project that you submit in Week 11.
Reference: Bachman, R., & Schutt, R. K. (2014). The practice of research in criminology and criminal justice (5th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
The assignment (2–3 pages):
- Describe your area of interest in criminal justice and the specific topic within it that you wish to examine.
- Explain why this specific topic interests you and what insight you hope to gain by studying it.
- Describe the research question you formulated.
- Explain which type of research design would be most appropriate for your study and why.