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*Criminal Justice Research Guide: Research Tips

This guide will provide students with an overview of the sources that are available for Criminal Justice Research

Citing Sources

Formatting your citations? 

Citation format help is available for all citation formats used at Campbell: ACS, AMA, APA, Chicago, IEEE, MLA, and Turabian

If you're working on a major research project: RefWorks can you gather citations and create bibliographies!

When we cite and why we cite: the Using Information Ethically tutorial.

Wiggins Library for Research and Study


 

Your Library Card
View your current library loans (e.g. print books, technology) items and renew them online. 

Library and Overnight Study Hours 
View library hours, including overnight study area availability.

Room Reservations
Reserve a room in the library for group study, or reserve the Makerspace. 

Printing & Scanning
Learn about printing in the library, including:

  • adding money to print
  • printing from your personal laptop
  • scanning documents as a PDF
  • printing a poster
  • laminating items 

Library Tutorials Collection

Browse our Library Tutorials Collection for guidance on the following concepts:

  • Search Strategies
  • Research
  • Evaluating Sources
  • Citations
  • Using the Library

 

Research Tips

Peer-reviewed articles are:

  • written by subject experts in the field
  • reviewed by other subject experts 
  • published in peer-reviewed (or "academic") journals
  • trusted and valued in academic communities

Peer-Review Basics:

 

Peer-Review Advanced: 

Your research will uncover several types of sources: books, and two different types of articles broken down below. There are always exceptions, but this list will give you a sense of what to expect before you start looking!

Books

  • Target Audience: Mostly written for people interested in a subject but not necessarily experts.
  • Content: Long exploration of a topic with CONTEXT and THEORY. They might explain a topic top to bottom, or cover several perspectives.
  • Use: Context, theory, background, and sometimes an opportunity to find other sources using their footnotes/endnotes. 

 

Scholarly/Academic Journal Articles

  • Target Audience: Written by active researchers in a field for other active researchers in that field.
  • Content: Usually NARROW and SPECIFIC but thorough. May contain the results of a study or experiment. May contain ideas for future research.
  • Use: Up to date information on the topic. Focus on the conclusions and what the authors learned while doing their study. 
     

"Popular" Articles from Websites and Magazines

  • Target Audience: Usually everyone: People interested in the topic for any reason.
  • Content: EXPLANATORY INFORMATION about some aspect of a topic. Watch out for oversimplification and especially slant/bias, depending on the source.
  • Use: Getting up to speed on a topic. Getting the current "coverage" on a topic. Discovering angles you didn't know about.

 

What is Background Research?

Research that:

  • gives you a broad idea about what your research topic is about
  • provides information about specific terms used in the topic
  • provides information about key people, places, and dates relevant to your topic

This information can help you effectively search for information on your topic.

This is a link to the Background Research tutorial video available at https://library.campbell.edu/tutorials/background-research/

 

There are many different sources for Background Research:

Encyclopedias

General Encyclopedias

  • These are designed for general readers and contain information on a variety of topics (e.g. Encyclopedia Britannica, World Book)

Subject Encyclopedias

  • These focus on one field or topic, such as religion, psychology, or African American history (e.g. Encyclopedia of Psychology)
Books on the topic
  • books can provide a good overview of the topic, and their lists of sources can point you to resources that you can use
Podcasts
  • There are many good podcasts that can give overviews on a variety of topics (e.g. Stuff You Should Know)

Wikipedia
  • This online encyclopedia can be a good way of getting on overview of your topic.  Very useful for information on popular culture.  Looking at the history of the entries is also a good way of seeing the conflicts that are related to the issue

Useful Resources to Find Background Information

Ask A Librarian

Librarians are good resources for help with research, locating information, and citations. There are plenty of ways to get in touch!

Ask a librarian for help via:

  • Consultation appointment
  • 24/7 chat
  • Online video room
  • email or phone

library.campbell.edu/ask

Meet Your Librarian