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Welcome to the CRIM 1101 (Meyers) research guide

Welcome to the CRIM 1101 research guide for Jeffrey Meyers' students

Students in Jeffrey Meyers' CRIM 1101 classes will have a library research workshop in the Richmond library's computer lab in summer 2022. 

You will be using resources on this guide during the workshop, and it will remain available until the end of the semester.

By the end of the workshop, you will have found at least one academic article on the topic you've selected from your textbook, and cited it in APA format. 


Before our workshop starts, please answer this question: 

Which of these items is a peer-reviewed journal article?

Article 1: 4 votes (14.29%)
Article 2: 12 votes (42.86%)
Article 3: 4 votes (14.29%)
all: 6 votes (21.43%)
none: 0 votes (0%)
don't know: 2 votes (7.14%)
Total Votes: 28

Prior to the workshop, you will have completed a 15-minute tutorial to learn how to:

During the workshop you will learn to:

  • take a broad topic and develop a more focused research topic using your textbook 
  • use the library's Summon search tool to locate the full-text of a journal article when you know its citation
  • use one relevant article to find similar ones in library databases 
  • plan an effective search for peer-reviewed articles in Summon
  • cite peer-reviewed articles in APA format

You will receive a printed copy of these handouts during the workshop, but they're also available here:

CRIM 1101 graphic outline

Peer-reviewed articles

What is a peer-reviewed journal?

Peer-reviewed journals are often called scholarly or academic journals. They are different from popular magazines. Articles in peer-reviewed journals:

  • are written by experts for other experts
  • usually report on research
  • always cite their sources: there will be many in-text citations and a list of references or works cited
  • most importantly: have been rigorously critiqued and reviewed by experts for quality before being published. This is called peer-review.

VIDEO: Understanding Peer Review (2:35)

Describes the peer-review process and why such articles are important for university assignments. Accompanies Module 2 in the KPU Library's Doing Research Tutorial.

  • Video (YouTube)
  • Video (Kaltura)
  • Video transcript (text file)
  • Research databases usually include an option to filter results to "peer reviewed" or "scholarly" journal articles. This is very handy, but this filter is NOT 100% reliable. And often peer-reviewed journals will include some articles -- such as short book reviews or letters to the editor -- that have NOT been peer-reviewed. 

    VIDEO: Scholarly Journal Articles (04:37)

    Distinguishes the different types of materials that you will find in scholarly journals, and demonstrates how to spot the scholarly (peer-reviewed) articles.

  • Video (YouTube)
  • Video (Kaltura)
  • Video transcript (text file)
  • Always double-check that the article has the features of a peer-reviewed article such as an abstract and extensive in-text citations. If the article is under 5 pages, it probably isn't a peer-reviewed article. 

    Here's a handy interactive visual tool that shows what to look for:

    Still not sure? Ask yourself the questions in this PDF:

    Summon searches for scholarly articles

    Start with a Summon Search

    Use the KPU Library's search tool called Summon to search (almost) the entire KPU Library collection, all at once. Summon is the big search box on the library's homepage, but I've plugged in a quick search box below.


    screenshot of basic Summon search showing key features

    Developing your topic

    VIDEO: Picking your topic IS research (3:10)

    You will almost always need to tweak and focus your original research topic. You will likely have to do this several times as you explore the published research to craft a topic appropriate to the length of your essay.

    North Carolina State University Libraries. (n.d.). Picking your topic IS research [Video]. Youtube.

  • Video transcript (Word file)
  • VIDEO: Developing a Research Question (6:25)

    This video walks you through five steps for narrowing a broad topic to a more-focused research question which will guide your research and writing.

    Laurier Library. (2017, December 20). Developing a research question [Video]. Youtube.

  • Video transcript (Word file)
  • WORKSHEET: Research Question Worksheet: practice applying the video's tips to your topic

    Use background info sources to help choose and narrow your topic

    Explore current or controversial topics
    Learn more in these scholarly encyclopedias

    Credo Logo

    Use this box to search hundreds of full-text dictionaries, encyclopedias, and more related to Criminology and Law. This is just part of the full Credo Reference database.


    Planning your search

    VIDEO: From Question to Keywords (1:41)

    Short video helps you pick the keywords in your research question that will get the best results in a library research database.

    Credit: Lloyd Sealy Library at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY).

    Practice it yourself!

    APA citation

    Citing your sources properly shows that you have done your research and consulted appropriate sources for your topic. It also acknowledges that all research builds on work that has come before. You are giving credit to sources that have influenced or informed your work. If you do not do this, you are essentially stealing another person's ideas, which is called plagiarism.

    Whenever you use another person's ideas (even if you put this into your own words), you must give them credit. You do this by CITING the source you used in two places:

    1. First, you give a brief in-text citation right in (or after) the sentence where you mention the idea or words.

    2. Then, you provide a detailed reference at the end of your document so that whoever reads it will be able to locate the exact source you used. 
      • note: the exact formatting of a reference will depend on the type of information source you are citing, but every reference should tell the reader:
        • WHO created the work,
        • WHEN it was created,
        • WHAT the work is called, and
        • WHERE it can be found. 

    Library guide to APA citations for journal articles

    Video tutorial on APA references for journal articles

    Video credit: Western Sydney University Library. (2020). APA style, 7th edition: Referencing an online journal article [Videorecording].

    Examples of APA references for journal articles

    3 APA citations for journals articles: 1) standard, 2) no DOI but freely-available online, 3) no DOI and not freely-available online

    Most library research databases have built-in citation generators. These are handy tools to create a rough citation, but you ALWAYS need to double-check them. Here is an example from Summon: