Criminal Justice First-Year Student Scholarly Writing Expectations

616587_634240041694802500-1Criminal justice college writing is a process and takes time to polish and master.

Steps to Help You Organize and Improve the Writing Process

Understand the assignment directions and expectations. Is the paper a position, argumentative, or analytical paper? Always consider your audience. Who is going to read and possibly benefit from your paper?

Narrow the focus and topic. You don’t want to write a historical overview, but demonstrate command of the content and analyze the scholarly literature on a specific area of your topic. Once the topic is decided upon, start with the scholarly literature and discover what research articles (peer-reviewed) you discover using the college or university library academic databases. Start making a plan of important points you want to include in your paper.


What is the Thesis Statement? The thesis statement is a concise summary on the topic of the paper. 41rXrNelYGL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_ (2)

Many students like to organize their thoughts by creating an outline of key topics to help make your argument or position.

Writing as a Process

  • Generate ideas
  • Finding literature
  • Select a topic
  • Get organized
  • Writing the product
  • Revising (evaluating)
  • Editing

Writing Mechanics  

  1. Use APA Style 6th
  2. Papers need to be written in the third (3rd) person. Avoiding using “I” or “we”.
  3. No slang, use a scholarly voice.
  4. Do not start a sentence with numerals.
  5. The paragraph length as a general rule should be at least three (3) sentence in length but should not be the full length of one page. A paragraph should have only one theme.
  6. Do not end a sentence with a preposition.

How to write a good essay

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About the Author

Mark Bond

Mark Bond has worked in law enforcement and has been a firearms instructor for more than 33 years. His law enforcement experience includes the military, local, state and federal levels as a police officer and criminal investigator. Mark obtained a BS and MS in criminal justice, and M.Ed in educational leadership with Summa Cum Laude honors. As a lifelong learner, he is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in education (EdD) with a concentration in college teaching and learning. Mark is currently an assistant professor of criminal justice at a university and adjunct professor of administration of justice studies at a community college.

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