Quantitative Methods in Criminology - CRCJ 3001
Methods used in conducting quantitative research. Topics include the research process, creating hypotheses, research design, sampling and statistical evaluation of data. Quantitative methods in criminology tend to focus on the distribution and causes of crime.
This guide will help you find some further resources to supplement your course reading and help you complete your assignments.
1. Choosing an Essay Topic is a good general guide to get you started on identifying a research problem for your course.
2. Dive deeper in a research topic with some background reading in the social and behavioral sciences. The following are 2 good titles:
- Wiley Handbook on the psychology of violence
- International Encyclopedia of the social and behavioral sciences
3. Take the time to build your search strategy once you have selected a topic and before you start your research. This means writing down your research question and identifying 2 or 3 concepts that are essential to answering the question.
4. The Library's main search engine, Omni, is a good place to start your research to see how much information there is on your topic. Remember that your goal is to find a manageable amount of information! If you find too much information, you may need to narrow your topic; if you find too little, you may need to broaden it. You will likely also need to search specialized databases in the social and behavioural sciences.
5. Track your research and manage your sources. Keeping track of what you learn from the sources that you use will help you both save time and create your bibliography as you work through your writing assignment(s). You can do this in various ways, including using citation management software which is easy to learn and will help you document your research.
There are a number of texts that discuss quantitative and other research methods in the library, including:
- Advancing quantitative methods in criminology and criminal justice (2012 print)
- The craft of research, 4th ed (2016 online/print)
- Data collection: key debates and methods in social research (2012 online/print)
- Encyclopedia of social measurement (online)
- Handbook of quantitative criminology (online)
- Research design: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (2018 print)
- Research methods in criminal justice and criminology (2014 print)
- The Sage handbook of criminological research methods (2012 online/print)
- Selecting the right analyses for your data: quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods (online)
In addition to the methodology texts mentioned on the previous page, there are many good websites that discuss how to actually analyze your quantitative date; for example:
- "Analyse This! Learning to analyse quantitative data", Learn Higher: Centre for Excellence in Teaching & Learning
- "QUANT: Quantitative Research", Research Rundowns
- "Quantitative Research", Wikipedia (look in particular at some of the references at the end)
If you pursue more advanced research in the future, you will want to look into software that helps you manage large amounts of data, both qualitative and quantitative in nature. See the library's pages on research data management for more information.
Quantitative research studies may be published in any scholarly journal, and on the next page you will find information on some of the other databases you can use to search for these; however, here is a short of list of some of the titles held by the Library that focus particularly on quantitative research in criminology. These are all available electronically. You can search within the journal or browse the tables of contents for each title directly.
Journal articles, books, and other materials providing help and/or information on quantitative research methodologies in criminology may be found by searching in the following databases:
- PsycINFO - for articles in psychology and behavioural sciences
- SAGE Research Methods - for articles on a wide variety of topics, including criminology
- Sociological Abstracts - for articles in sociology
- Criminal Justice Abstracts - for articles in criminology and law
- Gender Studies Database - for articles on sexual diversity issues, violence against women, etc
- PsycINFO allows you to search by methodology when using the Advanced Search. After entering your keywords, scroll down to choose one or more methodologies. For all other databases add "quantitative methods" or "quantitative research" as additional search terms.
- SAGE Research Methods includes resources (articles, books, and videos) about research methodologies, but also resources discussing results of research studies. Search for your desired methodology or general topic, then narrow your results by discipline (eg, Criminology and Criminal Justice).
- You may want to search other databases not listed here, depending on your exact topic. Browse Databases or check Subject Guides for related topics, as well as other Course Guides.
Style guides are available in both print and electronic format.
The main style guide for CRCJ 3001 is the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 6th ed. (BF76.7 .P83 2010 - copies at the Research Help Desk and Reserves), known as the APA style guide. APA has some information and quick answers available on their website, and a Google search will lead you to many other useful online resources for APA style.
The following books will help in using the the APA style guide:
- Concise rules of APA style BF76.7 .C66 2005 (Research Help Desk)
- Mastering APA style : student's workbook and training guide. 6th ed. BF76.8 .M37 2010 (Floor 5 and Research Help Desk)
You may also find Purdue University's online APA guide helpful.
Other recommended style guides to help you with your writing include:
- The Broadview guide to writing. 6th ed. LB2369 .B23 2017 (Reserves)
- A writer's reference. 7th ed. PE1408 .H2778 2011 (Research Help Desk)
See Citing Your Sources for further help with style guides.