You will be required to write a term paper in this class. I have listed potential topics in the table
below. This paper is divided into three separate assignments, which are due before class (submit
Microsoft Word document online via ELMS by 9:50 a.m.):
(1) Clear presentation of thesis with a detailed outline (no more than two pages)
(2) First draft of your term paper for feedback (optional – no grade, not required)
(3) Final term paper (no more than 2,000 words, excluding references).
I strongly recommend that you write multiple drafts. You will not do well on the final paper
(25% of final grade) if it is a first draft. I will grade your final paper based on how well you have
done the following six requirements:
(1) Clearly present the thesis of your paper in the opening and concluding sections.
(2) Compare and contrast the major propositions of two theories from our discussions
this semester. Make sure you demonstrate a solid understanding of the core
components of each theory and accurately define important concepts. You may need
to read ahead in the course schedule if we have not already covered the theories you
choose in class lectures. Be sure to appropriately cite class readings.
(3) Provide the reader with a sense for how much each of your two theories is supported
empirically. For this, you should cite findings from prior research (minimum of ten),
including recent studies. You may find other relevant articles online (UMD library or
Google Scholar). Do not cite class lectures or the textbook; instead, cite the original
works that are included in the textbook (references at the bottom of each article).
(4) Make sure your paper has a clear organization and natural flow. It should include an
introduction section, transition sentences to connect major ideas, and a conclusion
section. It should also have few, if any, grammatical or spelling errors, and the use of
passive voice should be kept to a minimum.
(5) Use 12-point Times New Roman (double-spaced) and 1-inch margins. Follow APA
(American Psychological Association) or a similar style guide for in-text citations and
references/bibliography. I have no preference, but you should be consistent.
(6) Demonstrate an ability to apply the two theories you choose, by following the
instructions in the Term Paper Topic Options presented on the next page.
Many schools in the United States are interested in improving the safety and learning environment
they provide for their students. One strategy is to use strict discipline policies such as suspension or
expulsion in response to violent or otherwise disruptive behaviors. Another strategy is to increase
security measures by installing metal detectors and keeping a police officer present. Still, other
strategies may involve approaches that are very different from these, or they may include some
combination of multiple approaches. With the theories you choose in mind, describe at least three
features of a hypothetical strategy for improving the safety and learning environment of a school. I
understand you may not be familiar with school programs or policies. What is important is that you
demonstrate how the theories you choose could be applied to school crime and misbehavior.
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