Objectives

The goal of this assignment is to assess how well students understand statistics. Students will write a research brief on a criminal justice topic using the analysis results. A research brief is typically a short, concise document containing key information related to a specific topic.

Overview

For the final project, each student will write a research brief based on the provided topic and SPSS output. The topic for the final project this semester is ‘juvenile arrests’ and will be based on the variable ‘# of Times R Arrested (R has been Arrested)’ from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth – 1997 (NLSY97). The dependent variable and independent variables have been pre-selected and SPSS output based on the analysis will be provided.

First Step – each student will write a brief literature review on the topic (2-3 double spaced pages). Second Step* – each student will complete Appendix A (Excel Sheet) using the provided SPSS output. Third Step* – each student will write up the results using the provided SPSS output.

*Students will learn the skills necessary to complete the Second and Third Step during the semester. You will be instructed when to complete each portion of the Second and Third Step.

Literature Review (2-3 pages of double-spaced text)

Write a literature review based on the provided dependent variable using a minimum of 3 peer-reviewed articles (This portion of the paper is similar to papers in your other classes).

The literature review will be submitted as part of the final project (at the end of the semester) and not as a separate document.

Appendix A (Excel Sheet) Submissions

You will be instructed when to complete each step of Appendix A. Once a step of Appendix A is completed (see below), then you will submit Appendix A and receive feedback. Do not submit Appendix A until you have fully finished the step (you will only receive feedback once for each step). After you receive the feedback, incorporate the feedback (you do not need to resubmit Appendix A until the next step is completed).

Steps:

Complete the Level of Measurement column in Tables 1 and 2 of Appendix A.

Complete the Central Tendency & Dispersion columns in Table 1 and 2 of Appendix A.

o Provide all appropriate measures of central tendency (Mode, Median, Mean)

o Provide all appropriate measures of dispersion (Range, Standard Deviation)

o Use ‘n/a’ if a statistic is not appropriate (based on the variable’s level of measurement)

Complete Table 3 of Appendix A

Complete Table 4 of Appendix A

Research Brief Structure

Literature Review (2-3 pages of double-spaced text)

(See above for instructions)

Analysis Write-up (3-4 pages of double-spaced text)

An introduction of the dataset

6 paragraphs – 1 paragraph for each of the six selected variables used in the linear regression. Summarize the relevant statistics (e.g., frequencies, percentages) from Appendix A – Tables 1, 2, & 3 and interesting aspects of each of the variables within each of the paragraphs

o If you are using the dummy-variable version of a variable in the linear regression analysis, then the individual paragraph is based on the dummy variable. If the dummy variable required a regrouping of the variable, then also provide the frequencies and percentages for the original variable.

5 paragraphs describing the results of the linear regression analysis (1 per IV/DV pairing)

Conclusions (2-3 paragraphs)

Write a conclusion summarizing the key findings from your analysis and a discussion of how this information could be used by criminal justice professionals

Research Brief Formatting & Requirements

• 5-7 pages of double-spaced text (not including the title and reference pages)

o Do not include tables or graphs in the paper (tables/graphs will be in Appendix B)

o 12 point Times New Roman font and 1 inch margins

o Do not exceed 8 pages of text (the purpose of a research brief is to fully provide key information in a concise format)

• APA formatting

o In-text citations and references, including lecture notes

o Header and page number at the top of page

o Use headings to differentiate the ‘Literature Review’, ‘Analysis’, & ‘Conclusion’

o An abstract is not required (an abstract does not count towards minimum page count)

• Papers are expected to be proofread and well written

o Do not write in the first person

• Papers will be scanned for plagiarism/originality on D2L Turnitin

o Any student found plagiarizing will receive a ‘0’ on this assignment and the student will be reported to Academic Affairs

o Since all students are using the same datasets, originality statistics for Appendix A and B will be artificially high. These results can be ignored (focus on the results for the paper).

• Papers must be submitted by the due date listed on the syllabus

o Late papers will be accepted; however, 1% per hour will be deducted

Submit 2 documents by the due date and time to the ‘Final Project’ Dropbox

• Research Brief with Title Page and Reference Page (No SPSS Output)

• Appendix A

NLSY (1997) Citation

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 cohort. Produced by the National Opinion Research Center, the University of Chicago and distributed by the Center for Human Resource Research, The Ohio State University. Columbus, OH: 2012.