Let’s continue figuring out your research question. Â This is going to be the most important part of the course, but also the most difficult! Â
Please read this week’s chapter to help you understand research in criminal, so that you can get an idea of what is expected.Â
Also,Â keep the following in mind:
-Â do not beÂ too general with your research questions. Â You must be very explicit and specific with your research question. Â If your interest is “political corruption in law enforcement” that is too broad. Â You must be specific about which branch. Â And, you must be very specific about what your definition of “corruption” is. Â This is calledÂ operationalism. Â
– Many of you are not asking research questions. Â Instead, you are simply asking for general information about a criminal justice topic. Â Asking, ‘how many people get arrested” is not a research question.Â Â Your research question must be about something that necessitates a study.
Remember: your question has to be specific because only then can you actually study it. Â There are many reasons why things happen. Â But there are a few narrow reasons veryÂ particularÂ things happen. Â
For instance: suppose your dog dies and you want to know why. Â You can’t ask, “Why do dogs die” and expect a specific answer to why your dog dies. Â Because there are many reasons why dogs die. Â They get old, they get sick, and they get injured and then die. Â So your question can’t be, “why do dogs die?” Â A more appropriate would be, “why did my dog die.” Â
Or perhaps you know why your dog died, but you want to know if your dog’s death could have been avoided. Â So your question can’t be, “why did my dog die.” Â Because you know why. Â But, if you want to know more about these types of deaths by dogs you can ask, “How do dogs contract [symptom] that leads to their death?” Â Or, if your dog died from a rare occurrence you can ask, “How many dogs die of [rare occurrence]?”
Is this making sense? Â
You must be very specific and very, very detailed with your question.
Don’t get discouraged! Â This class is all about understanding research and how to conduct it. Â We will getÂ through it together!
Please discuss freely with the guest speaker. Â
1) What your research interest is; and
2) What research question is most appropriate for this interest?
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