Qualitative Methods of Research – CJUS 750

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 11/02/2020

Course Description

This course will suggest the kinds of phenomena for which qualitative approaches are most apt to be useful, and equip students with the skills necessary in order to successfully conduct sound and ethical studies. The epistemological bases for such approaches and the complementary aspects of qualitative approaches will be explored in great detail. Emphasis will be on a hands-on approach on how to do field research, case studies, interviews, etc.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


When it comes to qualitative research in policing, framing and context are pivotal when implementing policy changes. In policing today, policies and procedures today coming under more scrutiny, it is important for policy planners, analysts, researchers, and practitioners to understand and apply the same language when analyzing and presenting data. Evidence-based policing is becoming more mainstream in the criminal-justice field, and there is a growing need for many in the field to be able to accurately collect, analyze and report complex qualitative data/case studies. Today, stakeholders are holding the policing profession more accountable. In today’s climate, this level of accountability will require all skilled researchers and transformational leaders to explore and find ways to conduct a highly effective study, as well as infuse the results of these studies into practice, and shape policy.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Synthesize biblical principles of government and history with the current public policy arena.
  2. Synthesize a biblical model of statesmanship to the policy arena.
  3. Examine policy issues in light of biblical, constitutional, and political lenses.
  4. Create a comprehensive paradigm for addressing policy issues.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings, articles, and lecture presentations

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 (4)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be 500 words, cite 2 scholarly articles, and incorporate ideas and citations from all of the required readings and presentations for the assigned module/week in addition to Biblical integration. In addition to the thread, the student must reply to at least 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 250 words and include citations from at least 1 scholarly sources. Each thread and reply must follow current APA format.

Literature Review

This paper requires the student to conduct a scholarly literature review on the subject of evidence-based policing. Students will write a 5-page literature review analyzing various qualitative studies on this topic. Students will keep the context within the framework of evidence-based policing, and how it can be beneficial to the criminal justice field.

Annotated Bibliography

This paper requires the student to conduct an annotated bibliography. Students will write a 5-7-page annotated bibliography on the various approaches to qualitative inquiry. The student will describe how the different techniques can contribute to the criminal justice field.

Developing Research Questions

This paper is an effort to develop research questions based upon a review of research done in previous assignments. Students must develop 3–5 research questions and 5–10 open-ended interview questions.

Ethics Paper

Students will write a 5–10-page paper on a provided ethical scenario in which they will justify their actions in that dilemma. Students must cite the required reading and presentations in addition to additional scholarly research.

Observations Paper

Students will write a 2–3-page paper based upon a focused observation exercise in which they record their observations and apply thoughts and ideas from the required reading and presentations form the assigned module/week.

Coding Assignment

Students will write a 3–5-page paper in which they analyze the interview transcripts compiled in the “Developing Research Questions” assignment. Students will look for major and minor codes, looking for patterns, relationships, and further categorizations.

Data Analysis Paper

Students will write a 3–5-page paper analyzing the qualitative data of a published journal article. Students will also write a short autoethnography.

Conclusions Paper

Students will write a 5-page paper based upon their Observations paper. They will express themes, patterns, and descriptions; what to use as supporting evidence; and which interviewee words to include and which to leave out (if applicable). They will also decide on the logical order for the combined report, and discuss further implications for future research.