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Research Methods in Criminal Justice and Criminology

Research Methods in Criminal Justice and Criminology

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April 2018 | 568 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
“This is a great text. It is comprehensive and easy to understand. The illustrations will enable students to learn and remember the information. This is the first research methods text I have read that is actually fun to read.”
—Tina L. Freiburger, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Research Methods in Criminal Justice and Criminology connects key concepts to real field research and practices using contemporary examples and recurring case studies that demonstrate how concepts relate to students’ lives. Authors Callie M. Rennison and Timothy C. Hart introduce practical research strategies used in criminal justice to show students how a research question can become a policy that changes or influences criminal justice practices. The book’s student-driven approach addresses both the why and the how as it covers the research process and focuses on the practical application of data collection and analysis. By demonstrating the variety of ways research can be used and reinforcing the need to discern quality research, the book prepares students to become critical consumers and ethical producers of research.

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About the Authors
Chapter 1 Why Study Research Methods?
Why Are Research Methods Important?  
Typical Stages of Research  
Essential Role of Ethics in Research  
Researcher Case Studies and a Road Map  
Chapter Wrap-Up  
Chapter 2 Identifying a Topic, a Purpose, and a Research Question
Why Identify a Topic, a Purpose, and a Research Question?  
How to Identify a Research Topic  
How to Identify the Purpose/ Goal of Research  
Gathering More Information and Refining the Topic  
How to Construct the Research Question  
Common Pitfalls When Developing Topics, Purposes, and Research Questions  
Ethical Considerations When Developing Your Topic, Purpose, and Research Question  
IRB Expert—Sharon Devine, JD, PhD  
Chapter Wrap-Up  
Chapter 3 Conducting a Literature Review
Why Conduct a Literature Review?  
A Road Map: How to Conduct a Literature Review  
About Sources  
Finding Primary or Original Sources  
Writing the Literature Review  
Common Pitfalls of Literature Reviews  
Ethics and the Literature Review  
Literature Review Expert—Sean McCandless, PhD  
Chapter Wrap-Up  
Chapter 4 Concepts, Conceptualizations, Operationalizations, Measurements, Variables, and Data
Why Focus on Concepts, Conceptualizations, Operationalizations, Measurements, Variables, and Data?  
What Are Concepts?  
What Is Conceptualization?  
What Is Operationalization?  
What Are Variables?  
What Are Measures?  
What Are Data?  
Overview of the Road From Concepts to Variables  
Common Pitfalls in Concepts, Conceptualizations, Operationalizations, Measurements, Variables, and Data in Research Design  
Ethics Associated With Concepts, Conceptualizations, Operationalizations, Measurements, Variables, and Data  
Concepts, Conceptualizations, Operationalizations, Measurements, Variables, and Data Expert— Brenidy Rice  
Chapter Wrap-Up  
Chapter 5 Sampling
Why Is Sampling Important?  
What Is Sampling?  
Populations and Samples  
Census or a Sample?  
Unit of Analysis  
Ecological Fallacy  
Individualist Fallacy  
Choosing a Sampling Approach  
How Large Should My Sample Be?  
Common Pitfalls Related to Sampling  
Ethics Associated With Sampling  
Sampling Expert—Sam Gallaher, PhD  
Chapter Wrap-Up  
Chapter 6 Research Using Qualitative Data
Why Conduct Research Using Qualitative Data?  
What Is Research Using Qualitative Data?  
Considerations: Research Using Qualitative Data  
Approaches Used to Gather Qualitative Data  
Recording Qualitative Data  
Organizing and Analyzing Qualitative Data  
Common Pitfalls in Research Using Qualitative Data  
Ethics Associated With Research Using Qualitative Data  
Qualitative Data Research Expert—Carol Peeples  
Chapter Wrap-Up  
Chapter 7 Survey Research
Why Conduct Survey Research?  
What Are Surveys?  
General Steps in Survey Research  
Surveys Across Research Purposes  
How Are Surveys Distributed?  
Designing Your Own Survey  
Survey Administration  
Easy-to-Use Survey Software  
Common Pitfalls in Survey Research  
Ethical Considerations in Survey Research  
Surveying Expert—Bridget Kelly, MA  
Chapter Wrap-Up  
Chapter 8 Experimental Research
Why Conduct Experimental Research?  
What Is Experimental Research?  
True Experiments  
Beyond True Experiments  
Pre-Experimental Research  
Quasi-Experimental Research  
Natural Experiments  
Common Pitfalls in Experimental Research  
Ethics and Experimental Research  
Experimental Research Expert—Chris Keating, PhD  
Chapter Wrap-Up  
Chapter 9 Research Using Secondary Data
Why Conduct Research Using Secondary Data?  
What Are Secondary Data?  
Frequently Used Secondary Data  
Disadvantages of Using Secondary Data  
Reporting Findings From Secondary Data Analysis  
Common Pitfalls in Secondary Data Analysis  
Ethics Associated With Secondary Data Analysis  
Secondary Data Expert— Jenna Truman, PhD  
Chapter Wrap-Up  
Chapter 10 GIS and Crime Mapping
Why Conduct Research Using GIS and Crime Mapping Techniques?  
What Is GIS?  
What Is Crime Mapping and Analysis?  
Crime Analysis in Academic Research  
Reporting Findings From GIS and Crime Mapping Studies  
Common Pitfalls in GIS and Crime Mapping Analysis  
Ethical Considerations in GIS and Crime Mapping Research  
GIS and Crime Mapping Expert— Henri Buccine-Schraeder, MA  
Chapter Wrap-Up  
Chapter 11 Evaluation Research
Why Use Evaluation Research?  
What Is Evaluation Research?  
Types of Evaluation Research  
Distinctive Purposes of Evaluation and Basic Research  
Characteristics of Effective Evaluations  
Common Pitfalls in Evaluation Research  
Ethics Associated With Evaluation Research  
Evaluation Research Expert— Michael Shively, PhD  
Chapter Wrap-Up  
Chapter 12 Analysis and Findings
Why Analysis?  
How Should Data Be Analyzed?  
Analysis of Quantitative Data  
Qualitative Data Analysis  
Data Analysis Software  
Alternative Analytic Approaches  
Reporting Findings From Your Research  
Common Pitfalls in Data Analysis and Developing Findings  
Ethics Associated With Analyzing Your Data and Developing Your Findings  
Analysis and Findings Expert— Sue Burton  
Chapter Wrap-Up  
Chapter 13 Making Your Research Relevant
Why Conduct Policy-Relevant Research?  
What Is Policy-Relevant Research?  
What Is Policy?  
Who Are Policy Makers?  
The Policy Process  
Challenges of Getting Research to Policy Makers  
Maximizing Chances of Producing Policy-Relevant Research  
Common Pitfalls in Producing Policy-Relevant Research  
Ethics and Conducting Policy Relevant Research  
Policy Expert—Katie TePas  
Chapter Wrap-Up  
Chapter 14 Research Methods as a Career
Why Research Methods as a Career?  
Where Do I Get Started?  
Career Search Documents  
Public- Versus Private-Sector Jobs  
Where to Look for a Career  
Interviewing Well  
Pitfalls and Career Searches  
Ethics and Career Searches  
Research Methods as a Career Expert—Nora Scanlon, MA  
Chapter Wrap-Up  


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“This is a great text. It is comprehensive and easy to understand. The illustrations will enable students to learn and remember the information. This is the first research methods text I have read that is actually fun to read.”

Tina L. Freiburger
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

“An excellent and well-organized introduction for students to the techniques, strategies, designs, and skills necessary to conduct criminal justice and criminological research for shaping public policy. Students will benefit immensely from the concepts and examples referenced throughout the book by being able to understand how research methods are applied to public safety initiatives. Students will obtain a fresh perspective on the value of the scientific method and how it’s being applied to investigate public safety phenomena. The chapters I reviewed for the Rennison textbook do an amazing and parsimonious job of explaining to both novices and experts that the narrative of crime research is a fundamental component in understanding how crime research has developed historically and how continues to evolve with the growth of technology, software, statistical techniques, big data, and cloud computing power.”

Sriram Chintakrindi
California State University, Stanislaus

“This text is easy to read and understand. The examples given provide all students with the understanding of how these concepts touch their lives each day.” 

Deborah Laufersweiler-Dwyer
Claflin University

“A solid book that covers all the key issues that would need to be covered in any introductory research methods course…this book uses a unique approach that will really engage students in a way most other books fail to do”

Kevin M. Beaver
Florida State University

“This book makes more use of contemporary research than other criminal justice research methods texts…”

Eileen Ahlin
Penn State Harrisburg

“…This is an informative, reader-friendly, and practice-oriented text designed for lower-level undergraduate students who are new to research methodology. It is loaded with contemporary pedagogies to meet the needs of learners of various backgrounds.”

Qiang Xu
Indiana University South Bend

This book was one of the best CJ research methods book I have ever encountered.

Dr Hannarae Lee
Social Science Dept, Marywood University
February 27, 2018

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ISBN: 9781506347813