CRJ 111 & 245

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Library Resources for Criminal Justice

APA Paper Format:

I. Title page

II. Abstract

III. Main Body

IV. References

Use BCC Library’s guide and template:  



Use Purdue’s OWL:


I. Title page: Needs to have a running header, page numbers, and the title of your paper

II. Abstract: This is a summary of your research, what you’re covering in your paper.

III. Main Body - Starts with a thesis statement


from the Purdue OWL:

Tips for Writing Your Thesis Statement

1. Determine what kind of paper you are writing:

  • An analytical paper breaks down an issue or an idea into its component parts, evaluates the issue or idea, and presents this breakdown and evaluation to the audience.
  • An expository (explanatory) paper explains something to the audience.
  • An argumentative paper makes a claim about a topic and justifies this claim with specific evidence. The claim could be an opinion, a policy proposal, an evaluation, a cause-and-effect statement, or an interpretation. The goal of the argumentative paper is to convince the audience that the claim is true based on the evidence provided.

If you are writing a text that does not fall under these three categories (e.g., a narrative), a thesis statement somewhere in the first paragraph could still be helpful to your reader.


2. Your thesis statement should be specific—it should cover only what you will discuss in your paper and should be supported with specific evidence.

3. The thesis statement usually appears at the end of the first paragraph of a paper.

4. Your topic may change as you write, so you may need to revise your thesis statement to reflect exactly what you have discussed in the paper.

  • With your topic, develop a “thesis” or what you want to say.


From the Pudue OWL

  • The thesis statement or main claim must be debatable


An argumentative or persuasive piece of writing must begin with a debatable thesis or claim. In other words, the thesis must be something that people could reasonably have differing opinions on. If your thesis is something that is generally agreed upon or accepted as fact then there is no reason to try to persuade people.


Example of a non-debatable thesis statement:

Pollution is bad for the environment.

  • This thesis statement is not debatable. First, the word pollution means that something is bad or negative in some way. Further, all studies agree that pollution is a problem; they simply disagree on the impact it will have or the scope of the problem. No one could reasonably argue that pollution is good.


Example of a debatable thesis statement:

At least 25 percent of the federal budget should be spent on limiting pollution.

  • Make statements to support your thesis.  Back up your point of view with facts.

Assume your reader doesn’t know ANYTHING.

Search databases for facts – from research.  Print or save your articles. Research takes TIME!



I. Introduction

II. First statement

1. Fact supporting statement & citation information

2. Fact supporting statement & citation information

3. Fact supporting statement & citation information


III. Second statement

1. Fact supporting statement & citation information

2. Fact supporting statement & citation information

3. Fact supporting statement & citation information

(continue, depending on how long your paper should be!)

IV. Conclusion …restating your thesis, based on your facts.

V. Works cited


IV. References: Keep track of where you are getting your information in order to cite it


  • Find the “cite” button either in the online catalog, or included in the online article
  • Start a Word document to copy/paste citations
  • Save or print the articles you find


Citing Your Sources

“A writer must document all information and ideas taken from others, whether quoting or paraphrasing that source” (APA Style Guide, K. Pitcher).

  • Use quotes for short passages
  • Use block quote for long passages
  • Use parentheses and include author, publication date, and pages



When giving a fact, give credit


  • Most databases have a “cite” button you can copy and paste - review for accuracy
  • Common knowledge can be found in 3 or more sources (ie: a date of birth).
  • Plagiarism is repeating an idea expressed by someone else and claiming it as your own.  It can be verbatim, changing a word or two, even paraphrasing or summarizing.
    • Don’t copy and paste and not give credit
    • Don’t copy and move words around and not give credit
    • Don’t substitute synonyms and not give credit
    • Don’t summarize in your own words and not give credit
  • SUNY Broome has an Academic Honesty policy.  You can receive a failing grade or worse if you are found to be plagiarizing.
  • Example of a References page:


Getting Started With Research


1. Pick a topic:

Get an overview.  Encyclopedias are good places to start

In Print:

Encyclopedia of crime & justice / Joshua Dressler  Ref HV6017 .E52 2002   

Encyclopedia of American crime / Carl Sifakis.  Ref HV6789 .S54 2001. 

Crime : an encyclopedia / Oliver Cyriax.  HV6017 .C97 1993. 

Encyclopedia of women and crime / Rafter, Nicole Hahn  Ref HV6046 .E56 2000. 

Encyclopedia of murder & violent crime /Hickey, Eric W. Ref HV6515 .E5323 2003. 

Encyclopedia of white-collar & corporate crime /Salinger, Lawrence M. Ref HV6768 .E63 2005. 

Encyclopedia of race and crime /Greene, Helen Taylor  Ref HV6789 .E43 2009. 

Encyclopedia of gangs /Kontos, Louis. Ref HV6439.U5 E53 2008. 




Encyclopedia of Crime & Justice, 2002 → General Reference→ Gale Virtual Reference Library

​Enter search term to get suggestions or search for Encyclopedia of Crime & Justice and  browse the Table of Contents



2. Find a book on your topic:  Three ways to find a book

  1. Print books in this building
  2. Print books from another library
  3. eBooks, or electronic books our library subscribes to


Print books: Use the books/media tab, home page search box.  Find books we own, and books we can borrow from other libraries.


Interlibrary loan: click GetIt! in the result list


eBooks: Click "ebooks" under the books and media tab.  Click the link to open the ebook and view it on your computer. 


3. Find research articles in our databases.

  • From the home page, a general search:

  • Or “Discovery Search” (more results, but less reliable for full text)
  • Or ”Search for articles by topic area”  and try more specialized collections


  • Some webpages may be okay-evaluate!  REMEMBER: Anyone can put up a webpage.
    • Look to see if the author's name and credentials are available
    • Look to see if the author has a list of references
    • Look to see when the site or page was last updated
    • Look to see if there is a bias
    • Look for sites that have edu or gov in the URL