Assignment – Research-based Assignment

Assessment Item 1 requires students to conceptualise and articulate a research question and associated hypothesis/es, identify appropriate theoretical frameworks, provide a concise, focused literature review and identify gaps in the literature and the relevance of the topic for policy and practice.


The proposal must relate to ONE of the three research areas identified below. After selecting a research area, students will need to perform a literature review in this area from which they will develop specific research questions and/or hypotheses.


The three research areas are:


1. Sexual violence and abuse

2. ‘What works’ to reduce crime or offending

3. Offender-based research and crime patterns


NB: Your lecture recordings will mention terrorism as a possible topic area. This is not an option for Trimester 3, so please disregard any mentions of terrorism as an option for you.






The goal of this piece of assessment is to:


  • Review the literature in your chosen area of research;
  • Formulate a research question that you will then be able to design a project to answer in Assessment 2;
  • Make sure that your review of literature justifies your research question – in other words, make sure you have established why you would want to ask this question.


Beginning this assessment piece


First, think of an area of criminology that you remember being interesting to you in one of your previous courses, that might fit into one of the three research areas for this piece of assessment.


Then, read the “Essential reading” document, even if you already read it when it was included in the Announcements.


Look for 5 or 6 journal articles that have been published in the last 2 years on that topic (important to use your library skills here – and if you’ve managed to make it this far without any, see the Griffith Library website for help!). These articles will give you an idea of where research in that area is at right now, and might even suggest an area where further research is required.


Write a research question – and then rewrite it – and rewrite it again, to make sure it asks exactly what you mean to ask about the world.


Go back to the library website, and start researching your research question more specifically. Fill in the areas of research that inform your question, and rewrite it if you need to. Make sure you reread the “Essential reading” document more than once during this process, and when you are happy with your research question, ask yourself these questions about it:


Are you using terms that are recognisable within the field?

Are you using terms that are specific to what you mean?

Is your question open to different outcomes, or is it limited to an expected outcome?

Does your question allow for a complex answer (ie, not a yes/no result)?

Does your question suggest how your study will increase knowledge of the phenomena you are researching – why your question is important or significant?

Have you considered what data and methods you might be able to use to answer your question?


Now check your research question with your tutor! You can implement any changes you need to as you go.

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