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The SAGE Guide to Writing in Criminal Justice
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The SAGE Guide to Writing in Criminal Justice

First Edition


March 2019 | 136 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
The SAGE Guide to Writing in Criminal Justice provides students studying crime with a “how-to” manual for effective writing in institutions of higher learning, professional settings, public and private agencies, and beyond. It is an easy, accessible resource for anyone hoping to learn the nuts and bolts of writing for criminal justice audiences.”
—Christina Mancini, Virginia Commonwealth University, Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

The SAGE Guide to Writing in Criminal Justice equips students with transferable writing skills that can be applied across the field of criminal justice—both academically and professionally. Authors Steven Hougland and Jennifer M. Allen interweave professional and applied writing, academic writing, and information literacy, with the result being a stronger, more confident report writer and student in criminal justice. Students are also exposed to a number of best practices for academic and professional writing, such as research papers, resumes and cover letters, and report writing. The perfect companion for any introductory criminal justice course, this brief text focuses on key topics that will benefit students in their classes and in the field.  

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Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
Chapter 1: The Basics of Writing
Basic Grammar Rules

 
Critical Thinking Skills, Academic Writing, and Professional Writing

 
Writing for Criminal Justice Professions

 
Policing Reports

 
Corrections Reports

 
Probation/Parole Reports

 
Court Reports

 
 
Chapter 2: What Is Information Literacy?
Information Literacy

 
Digital Literacy, Computer Literacy, and Technology Literacy Skills

 
 
Chapter 3: Writing in Criminal Justice
Basic Writing Tools

 
Field Notes

 
Point of View

 
Writing the Narrative

 
Writing Styles

 
Examples of Poorly Written Incident Reports

 
The SAGE Way

 
Eliminate Slang and Jargon

 
Eliminate Emotion

 
Answer the Interrogatives

 
Editing

 
 
Chapter 4: Other Documents: Memos, Letters, Emails, Cover Letters, and Resumes
Writing Business-Related Documents

 
Memos

 
Letters

 
Emails

 
Cover Letters and Resumes

 
 
Chapter 5: Academic Paper Formats: What Is APA Formatting?
Research, Publication, and the APA Style Rules

 
APA Formatting and Ethical and Legal Standards

 
Modern Language Association and the Chicago Manual of Style

 
 
Chapter 6: The Academic Research Paper
The Research Writing Process

 
Conducting Research

 
Locating Sources

 
Google Scholar

 
Use Country Codes

 
Use Databases

 
Evaluating Sources

 
How to Read a Scholarly Article

 
Writing a Literature Review

 
Writing the Essay

 
Working and Annotated Bibliographies

 
 
Appendix: Sample Student Essay
 
References

“The SAGE Guide to Writing in Criminal Justice provides students studying crime with a “how-to” manual for effective writing in institutions of higher learning, professional settings, public and private agencies, and beyond. It is an easy, accessible resource for anyone hoping to learn the nuts and bolts of writing for criminal justice audiences.”

Christina Mancini
Virginia Commonwealth University

“This is my new textbook for my ‘Professional Writing in Criminal Justice’ course!...This is the book that I have been looking for, and I am SO glad to see if come to fruition!  Kudos to the authors!”

Milton C. Hill, Ph.D.
Stephen F. Austin State University

“It’s a good guide for students who want to improve their writing and refresh some of the lessons learned in writing classes.”

Jeanne Subjack
Southern Utah University

“This is an applied text to build skills in writing. Period. And that is great!”

Nicole Hendrix
Radford University

“Inexpensive. A valuable tool for students and a time saving addition to every course. A resource students can use throughout their academic tenure.”

Stephen J. Koonz, M.A., L.M.S.W.
Dept. of Sociology; SUNY Oneonta

“A nice point of reference for students who wish/need to improve their writing abilities, and who want to be better prepared for the after-University.”

Anita Lavorgna
University of Southampton

“This brief writing guide provides criminal justice students straightforward descriptions of basic report writing as well as college paper writing.  The text provides helpful examples and puts into context the importance of writing well.”

Elizabeth B. Perkins, PhD
Morehead State University
Key features

KEY FEATURES: 

  • Effective writing strategies for report writing guide students through the legal requirements and best practices for creating and completing reports commonly found in the criminal justice system. 

  • Writing assignments and exercises provide students with opportunities to apply course material.

  • Examples of resumes and cover letters offer students real-world tips to help prepare them for the workforce. 

  • A discussion on plagiarism clearly defines the concept to students as well as offers advice on how plagiarism can be avoided. 

  • An entire chapter devoted to information literacy explains to students how to better identify, obtain, and evaluate information. 

  • Two chapters on formatting and writing an academic paper guide students through the writing process and help them develop a well-researched academic paper.  
 

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