ROBBERY The research essay marks your debut as a junior criminologist. You will select one particular type of criminal offence and choose whichever criminology theory you have studied that can best explain it. The research essay requires you to conduct research about the chosen theory and offence using different academic sources, and to analyse this research to explain the cause(s) of your chosen criminal offence. Refer back to your plan and also the further research you have conducted about your offence type since you submitted Assignment 2B: Essay Plan. Look specifically at ideas/theories concerning why the crime occurs (causation) with regard to a particular criminology theory that we have covered during the semester (e.g. strain theory, biological determinism). Step 3: Select a theory Select the crime causation theory that you think best explains why and how this offence occurs. Make sure you have some good notes and planning on how the theory can best be used to explain why and how the offence occurs. Step 4: Write the body and introduction of your essay In your essay, you are required to explain the links between your chosen offence and the crime causation theory that you have selected. Outline the reasons why you think that this is the best explanatory model and provide examples—hypothetical or documented—to support your argument. Back up your argument with research. Use clear topic sentences to introduce each paragraph. Many people find it easier to write the introduction after they have written the body of the essay. Remember, a good essay introduction includes a clear thesis statement. Step 5: Policy response In your conclusion, suggest one potential policy response that may help reduce or address the crime that you have researched. This suggestion should be broadly consistent with your theoretical analysis. For example, if you have chosen serial murder and explained it with reference to biological determinism, you may suggest brain imaging and compulsory treatment for young offenders suspected of being predisposed to violent crime. Notes Things to remember: • Take the time to plan properly. A 2000 word essay is a substantial piece of writing but, once you break it up into components pieces, it is less space than you might think. Paragraphs should generally be around 100–150 words, meaning that 15 or so decent sized paragraphs will likely make up the whole essay. • Back up your claims with research. This means not only making a claim, but also supporting that claim with evidence (i.e. references to scholarly sources). Good essays are well supported by research. Aim to include 1–2 references in each paragraph in the body of your essay. • Start writing early. A 2000 word essay takes time to put together and you may find that your approach/argument changes as you conduct your research. Leave sufficient time to make changes. • Use appropriate sources, particularly peer-reviewed research articles and books. You may use other sources to provide supporting information (e.g. the ABS or the Victorian Crime Statistics Agency for crime statistics). Include at least 10 references in your research essay. Remember that this is a research essay—we want to see how well you can find your own information. This means we want to see referencing beyond the resources that we have given to you (i.e. your course textbook and required readings). • Do not use non-scholarly sources e.g. random websites and Wikipedia. • Reference properly. The required referencing style is Swinburne Harvard, the same as your annotated bibliography and essay plan. Remember that material that is not referenced properly may breach your responsibilities regarding academic honesty. • Discuss your essay plan and any potential problems with your eLA. They can provide you with specific advice about your chosen topic and theory, and advise you on the best approaches to take.

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