Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Lamson Library

Today's hours:  
(more hours)

Emerging Technology in CJ: Week 3 / Research & Writing #1

Week 3: Writing/Research #1

Week 3: Writing/Research #1:

After competing this page, you should be able to:

  • Explain why the credibility of your information sources is essential
  • Explain what it means that “Authority is Constructed and Contextual”
  • Find the library website and its Criminal Justice subject guide “Guided Search”
  • Find the A-Z Database List on the library website
  • Explain what constitutes plagiarism and why it is unacceptable in any research endeavor
  • Identify appropriate information sources for college research
  • Explain the importance and the uses of a bibliography
  • Identify the correct citation style for the field of Criminal Justice
  • Correctly format an encyclopedia entry in APA format
  • Identify your semester-long research topic and identify the members of your research group
  • Complete Writing Assignment #1

Research/Writing Class Outline

1.  Library Home Page / Criminal Justice Subject Guide

2.  Video: "Research 101: Authority is Constructed and Contextual."

3.  What is a Bibliography?

4. How to Cite an Encyclopedia Entry

5.  In-Class Worksheet: "Authority is Constructed and Contextual" 

6.  Semester-Long Group Study Subjects

7.  Review "Writing Assignment #1."

8. Plagiarism

Library Home Page Overview

3/1 Library Home Page / Criminal Justice Subject Guide

Library Criminal Justice Subject Guide

To get to the Library Criminal Justice Subject Guide, Select "Criminal Justice" from the drop-down menu under Guided Search from the library home page.

Library Home Page

CJ Subject Guide

All of the resources covered this semester will be found on this course guide.  You'll be using these resources in all of your Criminal Justice classes.

3/2 Video: "Research 101: Authority is Constructed and Contextual."

Eisen, A. (2014, June 13). Research 101: Credibility is contextual [Video file]. Retrieved from

3/3 What is a Bibliography?

What is a Bibliography?

A bibliography is a list of the sources (books, articles, websites, etc.) that you used while writing the paper.  The bibliography provides many services.  It tells the reader where you found the information in your paper; the reader will decide how reliable your paper is based on the sources you use.  It is also a courtesy for anyone who reads your paper; it will tell the reader exactly where he or she can find the same source in order to find more information on the subject.

Which Style Guide is used for Criminal Justice?

The field of criminal justice generally uses the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association style guide for all written or published works.

This is the style you will use in all of your courses.  It is very important that you cite your sources in the correct APA format and that you use the proper parenthetic format when you refer to a source in your papers.

Why is the Bibliography Important?

The bibliography tells the reader a lot about your research.  A bibliography that contains reliable, accurate sources gives the reader confidence that your paper is worth reading and taking seriously.  On the other hand, a bibliography that contains citations to dubious websites or biased sources tells the reader he or she may not even want to read your paper.  The bibliography is the best way to let your readers know that you’ve written a credible, worthwhile paper.  It is a direct reflection of quality. 

Why are Professors So Picky about the Bibliography?

By looking at your bibliography, your professor can tell at a glance whether you did thoughtful, serious research.  A bibliography filled with unreliable websites tells the professor you didn’t put much effort into your research.  A bibliography filled with incorrect dates, inconsistent capitalization, and spelling errors tells your professor the work you put into the paper is very likely to be just as careless.

How Do You Read a Bibliography?

Being able to read a bibliography is even more important than being able to create one.  You need to be comfortable looking at a bibliographic citation and knowing what form of publication it’s referring to.  Is the citation to a book, a chapter in a book, a newspaper article, a journal article… etc.?  Equally important is knowing what each element of the citation refers to: page number, publication date, volume number, editor, author, etc. 

What are the Common Citation Formats?

In this course you will be learning the correct format for the most common citations you are likely to use:  a book, a chapter within a book, a magazine, a newspaper, a scholarly journal, and a website.  There are many other sources of information (e.g. a video you find online, or a recording), but these are the ones with which you should be very familiar.

What is Parenthetic Documentation?

Any statement you make in a paper that is not common knowledge must have a reference to where you found the information.  Not citing your sources is one aspect of plagiarism.  Plagiarism in any form is a severe academic offense with severe repercussions. 

Can I Use an Electronic Citation Maker?

Absolutely.  In fact, we encourage you to create an EasyBib account that will help you create and save your bibliographies electronically.  Since it is easy to look up the correct format, you won’t have to memorize the citation rules.  However, you should be aware that all electronic citation makers, such as EasyBib, are very likely to contain errors.  Don’t rely on EasyBib, or any other citation maker, to be correct all the time!  It is up to you to correct the format before handing in your papers.

3/8 Plagiarism

About Plagiarism

Broussard, M., & Oberlin, J. U. (2016). Goblin threat. Retrieved July 29, 2016, from

3/5 In-Class Worksheet: "Authority is Constructed and Contextual"

Who?  Why?  Process?

Authority Is Constructed and Contextual

Information resources reflect their creators’ expertise and credibility, and are evaluated based on the information need and the context in which the information will be used. Authority is constructed in that various communities may recognize different types of authority. It is contextual in that the information need may help to determine the level of authority required.

Association of College and Research Libraries. (2016, January 11). Framework for information literacy for higher education. Retrieved

3/4 How to Cite an Encyclopedia Entry

Last, F. M. (Year Published). Article title. In F. M. Last (Ed.), Encyclopedia Name. (Vol. Volume, pp. Page(s)). City, State: Publisher. Retrieved Month Date, Year, from URL

Note:  If the entry is not signed, the title of the entry becomes the main entry before the date.

3/6 Semester-Long Group Study Subjects

Group Research Topics

Canine Substance Detection
World of Forensic Science

Crime Mapping
Encyclopedia of Victimology and Crime Prevention

Cyber and Internet Offenses
Encyclopedia of Victimology and Crime Prevention

World of Forensic Science

World of Forensic Science

Gas Chromatography
World of Forensic Science

Infrared Detection Devices
World of Forensic Science

Metal Detectors
World of Forensic Science

World of Forensic Science           

Sobriety Testing Devices
World of Forensic Science

World of Forensic Science

Video Evidence
World of Forensic Science