Advanced Research Design – CJUS 740

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

The overall purpose of this class is to familiarize the student with the language and major issues confronting criminal justice research and researchers. As such, students will learn the basic rudiments of social science inquiry with special focus on how one conceptualizes a problem, uses theory to structure research questions, designs a method to examine the problem and answer the questions of interest, and implements that research approach. This is the first of a required multi-course sequence. The mastery of SPSS will be required in this class. Students will demonstrate competency through the design of a brief research project.


CJUS 700


This course is designed to help criminal justice doctoral candidates learn and master research design and analysis, along with gaining an understanding of writing for publication.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

    1. Assess the correlation between the importance of working in the criminal justice field (as practitioner) and the importance of research within the criminal justice field (as researcher).
    2. Justify the importance of the basics of social science inquiry on how one conceptualizes an existing problem.
    3. Analyze theories to structure one quantitative research question and one qualitative research question.
    4. Design a method to examine the research question and answer the questions of interest, using SPSS for quantitative analysis.
    5. Demonstrate competency through the design of a brief research project using SPSS.
    6. Discuss the role that research plays with the relationship to Christian Worldview and what we observe.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (5)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be at least 500–700 words, include at least 2 citations and the Bible, follow current APA format, and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 200–300 words and use at least 2 scholarly resources.

Dissertation Conceptual Draft Paper

Research Topic Submission

This section is the opening 1–2 paragraphs of the student’s dissertation, which will be titled “Background” or something of that nature, in his/her dissertation. This paper section must contain a title page, body of the paper, and a reference page. This section is the opening paragraph or two of your dissertation, titled “Background” or something of that nature, in your dissertation. It tells the reader what your study is about, why it is important, and who will benefit from the study. It also contains a basic or general history of the problem (those historical details will be included in a different section). This paper section should contain a title page, body of the paper, and a reference page. At least 2 references (all peer-reviewed) should be included in this draft. All references (here and future parts) should be no more than five (5) years old.

Problem Statement/Research Questions

The next section of the paper involves an expansion of the first paragraph on why the student’s chosen dissertation issue is a problem related to criminal justice. This section will be titled “Problem Statement,” will be at least 4 paragraphs, and include at least 4 additional peer-reviewed references. At the conclusion of the problem statement, a new section, titled “Research Question(s)” will be added. In this brief section, the student will post his or her 1–3 central research question(s), which the student will seek to answer in his or her dissertation.

Draft Purpose Statement

The next section of the paper gives the purpose of the study. It explains what the student wants to accomplish and what his/her motivation for this study. The statement also includes the significance of the research. This section will be about 1–2 paragraphs on the purpose of the research. This entire section will be at least 4 paragraphs and include at least 4 additional peer-reviewed references.

Conceptual Draft Of Chapter 1

Now that the above is completed, the student must reread the chapter thoroughly and make corrections. Only 11 references have been required so far, but at least 9 more must be added at this point. Chapter 1 should be 8-10 pages, with at least twenty (20) peer-reviewed references dated with in 5 years.

Conceptual Draft Of Chapter 2

This chapter of the paper is the longest and usually the most difficult for students. Only two prescribed sections are included in chapter 2 as this presents the student’s research into what has been written about the topic. Chapter 2 will begin with an introduction and the student’s strategies to finding literature. The student must give a percentage ratio of his/her sources since 85% of the references in any dissertation must come from peer-reviewed research and 15% may come from other sources. After those two sections, the literature review is written. This literature review must be at least 30 pages. At the end of this section, you should have at least twenty (20) additional references though in this class (for a total of at least 50 pages, including chapter 1). A summary paragraph should be included at the end, with a transition to chapter 3.

Conceptual Draft Of Chapter 3

In this chapter, the student will begin to think about methodology. Does the student want a qualitative or quantitative paper? Exploratory or explanatory study? While all of this information will be included in Chapter 1 eventually, it is time to frame the study’s methodology. Using the text, the student will outline how he/she will complete his/her study and what methods will be used. There are no specific required sections other than the introduction and summary. Other dissertations must be researched so the student can find what he/she wants to do and how to set it up. This chapter must be 5-7 pages, and include at least 50 peer-reviewed references total that are dated within the last 5 years. Your final product in CJUS 740 should be at least 55 pages.

CITI Training Certificate

In this course, the student will need to register for and complete CITI training.

Draft of Liberty IRB Materials

The student will complete a draft of an IRB application based on what is written in his/her proposal. This draft is not to be submitted to the IRB. The chair will let the student know when he/she may submit the application to the IRB.

Article/Data Analysis Exercise

For this assignment, the student will choose 1 peer-review journal article from his/her references that assess a crime program or method. The student will write a 2-page review of the article in current APA format.