Web Exercises

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1. Go to the National Science Foundation’s Law and Social Sciences Program website at www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5422. What are the components that this program looks for in a proposed piece of research? Write a detailed outline for a research proposal to study a subject of your choice to be submitted to the National Science Foundation for funding.

2. Using the Web, find five different examples of criminological research projects that have been completed. Briefly describe each. How does each differ in its approach to reporting the research results? To whom do you think the author(s) of each is “reporting” (i.e., who is the “audience”)? How do you think the predicted audience has helped shape the author’s approach to reporting the results? Be sure to note the websites at which you located each of your five examples.

3. Conduct a broad search of peer-reviewed journal articles. Of the articles that you review, select the one that you feel is the best written and easiest for a reader to understand. Select another that you feel is badly written and/or poorly describes the research. In a short report, explain the criteria you used to select the two articles. What lessons can you learn from them that can impact your own scholarly writing?

4. Access the National Institute of Justice’s website. Find two final reports and review their abstracts, executive summaries and table of contents. What are the key elements of a final report? How is the final report organized? What information is highlighted in the abstract and executive summary?

5. Review the following article on plagiarism: http://chronicle.com/article/Plagiarism-in-Grant-Proposals/136161/. Also review these federal guidelines on plagiarism: http://ori.hhs.gov/avoiding-plagiarism-self-plagiarism-and-other-questionable-writing-practices-guide-ethical-writing. What are the key points of the article and guidelines? What constitutes plagiarism? How can researchers and students avoid plagiarism in their own work?

6. Access your university library system and obtain three peer-reviewed journal articles. Read the articles and outline their structure using reverse outlining. What are the major headers in your three outlines? What similarities and differences do you see across articles? What information is lacking and how might the information be better presented to readers? How many authors are there, and do the authors acknowledge the contributions of any other persons?