How to Write a Criminal Justice Research Paper

Updated: June 14, 2023

Struggling to craft a criminal justice research paper? Don’t panic; many students encounter challenges with this assignment since it needs in-depth research to develop a practical analysis.

This article discusses all you need to know about a criminal justice paper and a few tips to guide you in the writing process.

What Is a Criminal Justice Research Paper

It is an academic paper that comprises a comprehensive analysis of crime and the justice system. Criminal justice is a diverse subject discipline that revolves around criminal courts, the police, and the justice organization. While it is a controversial subject, it is a vital study that impacts the daily decision-making relating to crime and corrections. Developing concrete arguments allows you to have an in-depth understanding of the programs and policies.

That is why criminal justice provides an excellent platform for students to compose persuasive papers. Some significant fields are criminology, forensic science, investigations, and specific laws, among others.

How to Start a Criminal Justice Research Paper

Select and review your topic and identify the primary goal of the analysis. Since criminal justice entails solving numerous problems, ensure you understand the reason for your arguments. Does the essay prompt require you to solve a mystery, share intelligence in the form of opinions or suggestions, or present a specific solution? It is vital to evaluate your topic to know the expectations and the direction of the analysis.

Topic Reflection

Will the research add value to your readers? You need to identify the study’s purpose in a broader aspect, even though you only want good grades. Make sure your thesis will eventually offer a specific solution and impact society positively. Therefore, it is vital to reflect on the significant goals you want to achieve.

Brainstorming Session

After identifying the purpose, proceed to brainstorm major points relating to the essay question. Proceed to note down all the ideas to help you in the analysis stage. For instance, if your theme is about prison systems, think about all the problems facing the system. Brainstorming is a crucial step since it allows you to think freely and generate new ideas.

Consult Experts

Since it is a diverse subject, the analysis you may want to undertake might be in the library archives. Therefore, seek guidance from your lecturer or experts in the field, such as lawyers, judges, and other experts. The ideas you get from professionals will help you develop strong and informative arguments.

Extensive Research

Ensure you carry out thorough analysis and research on the subject matter. Explore all the possible sources, primary and secondary, to get factual and accurate information regarding the topic. Be specific when sourcing information, since relevance is paramount.

How to Structure a Criminal Justice Research Paper

Each thesis must have a proper structure that students have to follow when composing an academic paper. The components are not standard in a criminal justice paper though it comprises an introduction, body, and conclusion. The body entails a literature review, arguments, and findings. You can also include a recommendation section with proposals or solutions regarding the problem statement.

Introduce the thesis by including background information of the issue, the topic question, and the objectives. Don’t forget to add a thesis statement that guides the readers to know more about your analysis. Proceed to the body paragraphs and compose a literature review that dissects the theme by presenting past investigations. Discuss your findings and present arguments from other scholars while incorporating your perspective.

This essay structure also includes a methodology that presents various data collection techniques and research participants. Present the findings of your analysis from all the relevant sources.

While discussing the subject matter, you should incorporate the interpretation and implications of the study. Finally, write a conclusive paragraph with a recommendation section that summarizes the particular issue and thesis statement.

How to End a Criminal Justice Research Paper

The conclusion is a critical section in all academic assignments. It determines whether your analysis will achieve its objectives or not.  Therefore, ensure you indicate why your study is important and how it will impact society.

Are there any implications or recommendations? Be clear and concise when paraphrasing the thesis statement and the major points.

It is imperative to refresh the audience regarding the criminal problem and your standpoint by composing a strong conclusion paragraph. You need to produce an insightful impression that leaves the readers with reflective questions.

Criminal Justice Research Paper Outline

Creating an outline helps you articulate your thoughts and plan your writing. It is vital to incorporate an outline before embarking on the writing process.

Below is a sample outline that you can use to develop your thesis:


  • Hook sentence
  • Thesis statement
  • Background information

Body Paragraphs

  • Literature review
  • Arguments
  • Supporting evidence
  • Methodology
  • Findings


  • Summarize main ideas
  • Rewrite thesis statement
  • Significance of the study
  • Recommendations

Criminal Justice Research Paper Introduction

You need to introduce your criminal justice thesis with a hook sentence that grabs the audience to keep them reading.

Explore the topic thoroughly, investigate the issue and present the findings. In this section, make sure you write a clear thesis statement and background information. It allows the audience to know the direction of your thesis with ease. After careful planning and scheduling, you can start writing the introduction while adhering to the standard formatting requirements.

Criminal Justice Research Paper Body

The body is the primary section of an academic thesis. In a criminal justice assignment, the body paragraph starts with a literature review highlighting past studies relating to the topic question and arguments from various scholars. You also need to know the methods you will use for analysis and present data from different sources.

Ensure each paragraph flows logically without vague phrases to avoid misleading your audience. Incorporate each argument in a different paragraph with supporting evidence to prove your thesis’s accuracy and validity. Finally, present your findings and compose a conclusive statement about your standpoint.

Criminal Justice Research Paper Conclusion

The last section is the conclusion and recommendation, which wraps up the study in a powerful way. You need to show the importance of your analysis and how the criminal issue affects society. Rewrite the thesis statement while summarizing the important ideas in your essay.

Finally, conduct a thorough edit to ensure your thesis is flawless and original. Include proper formatting as per the academic standards. Ensure you know how to write a criminal justice research paper in APA format, since it is usually the required style.

Criminal Justice Research Paper Help

Writing a criminal justice research paper is a complex task that calls for a deep understanding of laws, legal codes, court precedents, and specific case knowledge. Conducting thorough research, scrutinizing cases, and formulating cogent arguments often demand substantial time and intellectual effort. Given the detailed and time-consuming nature of such papers, students may find it beneficial to seek assistance from professionals.

Ordering a paper from experienced writers with expertise in criminal justice can help students create a well-researched, detailed, and analytical research paper that meets academic standards and successfully addresses the nuances of the subject.

George Lynch
George Lynch
Literature, Psychology, Religion
Experience: 3+ years
I’ve been enjoying academic writing since day one in college. Today, having a full-time job, I’m still looking forward to writing essays and research papers online for others.
Read more
You Might Also Like:
Back to blog
Show more