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Research Methods for Criminal Justice: Finding Sources

CJ 221: Research Methods I for Criminal Justice

How to Read & Use Scholarly Articles

Don't want to read that entire 15-50 page scholarly article?  Use the link below to learn how to navigate scholarly journal articles.

Quantitative vs. Qualitative Research

Need help figuring out if research is Qualitative or Quantitative?  Check out these great resources below.  They'll guide you through deciding!

Search for qualitative or quantitative studies only

You can limit your search results to only quantitative or only qualitative studies by using them as search terms.  Simply add "quantitative" or "qualitative" as a search term to limit the types of studies you receive in your results list.

Criminal Justice Theories

Below are a list of criminal justice theories that can be used as search terms.  

By using these in your search you can limit your results to articles regarding specific theories.

  • Rational choice theory
  • Social disorganization theory
  • Strain theory
  • Social learning theory
  • Control theory
  • Labeling theory
  • Routine activities theory
  • Criminal propensity theory
  • Power-control theory
  • Neutralization theory
  • Differential association theory
  • Life-course criminology theory
  • Criminal behavior -- Genetic aspects OR Behavior genetics

Helpful Subject Terms

The subject terms listed below will be helpful in searching for research studies on criminal justice theories.  

Combine one of these terms with a criminal justice theory to find articles for your research questions.

  • crime
  • criminal
  • criminal behavior
  • criminology
  • criminology--philosophy
  • crimonological research
  • criminological theory
  • criminological models & modeling
  • criminal law
  • criminal behavior, prediction of

Topics to Consider

Below is a list of subjects that often relate to criminal justice.  Considering these terms can help you focus your search on a particular area of interest.

  • juvenile delinquency
  • drugs
  • probation - juvenile or adult
  • policing
  • unemployment
  • urban
  • poverty
  • race
  • terrorism
  • human trafficking

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