Students will be required to explore and discuss regionally distinct yet similar youth cultural subgroups in a research paper. The purpose of this paper is to allow each student the opportunity to identify the historical, social, cultural and environmental aspects of one youth subgroup from a region outside of the United States and to then compare it to a similar subgroup from within the United States.
The paper should be at least 10 pages (excluding title page, images, abstract, and bibliography), double-spaced 12-point Arial font, and written in APA format. The paper shall analyze, compare, contrast and discuss the impacts of history, social institutions, environment, and economics on the development of the two youth cultural subgroups they are exploring. Students will submit a rough draft and have the opportunity to submit a revision. The paper will specifically provide the following components:
· Compare and contrast the political climate of each region.
· Describe the dominant culture in each country/region.
· Compare and contrast the particular characteristics of each youth subgroup, such as dress, hairstyles, pop culture influences, and social activities.
· Describe the patterns of behavior associated with each subgroup, within the context of the social dynamic in which they are situated.
· Discuss the theoretical perspectives that explain societal responses to youth in each situation and how it shapes what is treated as deviant and delinquent behaviors among them.
The components of a report are designed to prepare students to eventually produce professional reports, chronicling both basic research and applied investigations. The terminology varies according to the type professional report but essentially the problem-solving thought process is the same.
1. FRONT PAGE
The front page, aka title page, contains an abstract of the report. In many professional reports, the abstract is titled as the “Executive Summary” which gives you a good idea of what it should contain. For our purposes, it should have six parts, written as one or more sentences – purpose, key results, the most significant point of the discussion, and the major conclusion. Since the abstract is normally a single paragraph of 100-200 words, each part can be no more than three or four sentences. As a start, look at the topical sentence in each paragraph of your report.
The purpose of the abstract is to enable readers to decide whether they need to read the entire report. Thus, the abstract should include key words, especially when referring to theories, findings, or conclusions.
The introduction presents the background information for the report. The basic description of your subject is covered here. Previous, relevant research should be referenced and how it is related to the work described. A brief justification of the importance of the subject to criminal justice practice is a good idea just to keep the perspective up front that criminal justice applies the theories of criminology. Of critical importance is the presentation of a hypothesis that is suggested by a theoretical perspective and the nature of the subjects.
In this section you evaluate your subjects, interpreting their significance. You compare your subjects, highlighting their similarities and differences with strong examples, and make inferences regarding various relationships supporting your hypothesis. Your inferences, however, are not always unequivocal. Identify any ambiguities that may exist and thereby preclude you from a definitive inference. In this section, you look for logical explanations for problems in the findings.
In this section you generalize your results to the theory you started with and justify your conclusions. How well is your theory supported or damaged by an affirmation, or refutation, of the hypothesis? Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the theory based on the evidence of the affirmed/refuted hypothesis. You may also want to discuss what the implications are for addressing the problem being studied, the weaknesses of the research design, and any further research or experimental improvements.
5. REFERENCES & APPENDICES
The final section of the report contains the supporting documentation, information that is important but is not of immediate interest, such as the references, or is so voluminous that, wading through it, one would lose sight of the main points in the report. The latter are put in appendices.
Much ado is made about formatting references, and that indeed is important, but the more important aspects are that the reference has relevance to the report, and that each one is referred to in the report. Conversely, if you have used information from a published material, you must reference it. References that are duplicates or are of questionable value are puffery and to be strictly avoided. The particular format for the references or for the citations in the report will be the APA format.
Similarly, any material in an appendix must have value to the substance of the report and be referenced in the report. The exact nature of the appendices will vary with the exercise. Common materials placed in an appendix include: raw data; calculations (a sample is usually in the body of the report); and graphs, pictures, diagrams, and tables that supplement the examples in the body of the report.
USE OF IMAGES
Images and tables may be used to augment your paper. If you choose to do so, they must be mentioned in the text of your paper, properly labeled and captioned, and the sources of images appropriately cited, all according to APA format. Be sure to review the APA guidelines for incorporating images in your paper to avoid mistakes.
You are responsible for properly formatting your document so that images display properly in your paper. This includes reducing the size of images so that the file does not become larger than necessary. If you are not adept at embedding images within the text of a document, you may want to consider adding them in an appendix and reference them by figure number. This avoids many problems.
Be aware that images cannot be used towards the page count requirement for the project. For example, if you have a collection of images that occupy space in your document that when combined equals two pages, then your required page count would be twelve. Please keep this in mind when using images in your paper.
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