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CRJ 418/518: Criminal Justice Research Methods

Research Guide for CRJ 418/518

Writing Your Research Proposal

Your Research Proposal should include each of the following sections:

Project Title​

Project Summary: a brief overview of the research design, goals, and merit

Biographical Sketch: your biography and relevant experience

Project Description: a clear statement of the work and its merit

Relevant Literature and Theoretical Frameworks: Bring together theories and results from a number of studies to describe the "big picture" of your area of research and provide the context for your study. This should be a compelling narrative about the research trails you followed, how they build up to your study, and why your research study is original and important.

  1. Go to Start Finding SourcesSearch Databases, and Browse Journals to find journal articles for your research area.
  2. Go to Analyze Your Sources to analyze your journal articles and Select Your Sources to evaluate and select sources for your project description
  3. Go to Use Your Sources to use your sources to build your hypothesis, arguments, and justifications for your proposed research study.

Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts:

  1. Intellectual Merit: What is the potential to advance knowledge and understanding within the Criminology & Criminal Justice field, or even across different fields?
  2. Broader Impacts: What is the potential to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of specific, desired outcomes?

Research Methods: includes a Research Timeline with deliverables and respective dates. Depending on your project, it may also include information about populations and sites, participant recruitment, secondary analysis of datasets, protocol for protecting participants, survey/interview protocol, or an informed consent document.

  • Go to Use Your Sources to use your sources to build your research study design.
  • Go to Find Datasets if you are using datasets as part of your research design.

Data Management Plan: includes protocol covering data collection, storage, and sharing.

Proposal Budget: project costs and justification for each of your project costs

Research Timeline: include deliverables and their expected dates

References Cited: Go to Cite & Write in ASA Style to format your References Cited list in American Sociological Association (ASA) format.

Appendices (if applicable): if applicable, include additional study components like survey instruments, interview instruments, and/or informed consent documents

For more writing help, contact the Writing Center and make an online appointment to meet with one of their consultants.

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