Criminological Skills and Research for Beginners is a comprehensive and engaging guide to research methods in Criminology, and the skills required for academic success. Written specifically for undergraduate students and novice researchers, this book has been designed as a lively and accessible guide to planning, conducting and reporting research in the subject. It emphasises practical skills required in studying Criminology, the importance of criminological research, and places related methodology firmly in the context of students’ broader study of the discipline, before moving on to provide a detailed guide to the actual processes of research.
It is common for Criminology undergraduates to feel intimidated at the prospect of conducting their own research, and these students typically struggle to see the relevance of research methods to their own studies. This book speaks directly to the needs of such students, and includes contemporary examples and case studies that bring a topic that is often thought of as dry to life, providing a thorough and accessible practical guide that students can return to at each stage of their research, all the way through to their dissertation.
This book covers:
- an examination of the theoretical, political and ethical debates in criminological research;
- a complete guide to planning criminological research, assisting student researchers in identifying their research questions, choosing their research methods and critiquing the available literature;
- guidance on the practicalities and processes of collecting data;
- a discussion of the process of analysing data and writing up research.
New to the second edition is a brand new section on research skills in Criminology, including detailed coverage of writing skills, referencing, dissertations and research reports, presentation skills and revision. The book also offers additional coverage of the politics of criminological research and the presentation of official crime statistics.
Including an extensive glossary and an integrated companion website with extra examples, exercises and videos to further develop students’ understanding, this book is essential reading for any undergraduate on a Criminological Research Methods or Research Skills course, or for anyone in need of practical guidance on any or all of the various stages involved in conducting thorough and effective criminological research.
Table of Contents
Part I: Study Skills for Criminology Students
1. Writing Skills and Essay Writing
3. Revision Skills and Examination Techniques
4. Presentation Skills
Part II: The Importance of Criminological Research
5. The context of criminological research: power, knowledge, politics, and values
6. The significance of criminological research: understanding the philosophical roots of our claims to know about crime in society
7. The ethics of criminological research
Part III: Getting Going with Criminological Research
8. Planning: Where do research ideas come from? How do we ‘fine tune’ them?
9. Critiquing the literature and the process of writing your formal review
10. Theories, methods, and their relationships to theories of knowledge
11. Preparing for the practical challenges of real-world crime research
Part IV: Doing Criminological Research: Data Collection
12. Ethnographic approaches to research
13. Questionnaires and surveys
14. Using documentary and secondary data sources
Part V: Doing Criminological Research: Analysis and writing-up
15. Analysing the data: Quantitative analysis
16. Analysing the data: Qualitative analysis
17. Analysing the data: Documents, texts, and other data
18. Writing-up criminological research.
Laura Caulfield is Professor and Chair of the Institute for Community Research and Development at the University of Wolverhampton, UK.
Jane Hill was the Programme Director for the Criminology BA at Birmingham City University, UK, before her retirement in 2012.
"Criminological Skills and Research for Beginners is a valuable resource for engaging students with research, using practical exercises and examples, and providing sound advice to assist students beginning research. The first edition of the book was excellent, but this has been updated and improved here and now includes four new chapters dedicated to essential academic skills. A must for any aspiring criminological researcher."
– Dr Victoria Bell, Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Sociology, Teesside University
"Criminological Skills and Research for Beginners by Caulfield and Hill is much more than just another book on research methods. It takes what many students find to be a challenging undertaking and through a step by step approach unravels the complexity of the research process. By following this practical guide, students will deliver their research project. Yet, the book covers more that this and addresses the skills of writing, referencing and presenting to name a few. Overall this is a welcome addition to research methods and will enable students to approach research with confidence."
– Dr Ian Bridgeman, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, University of Bedfordshire
"This book is an essential read for all criminology students! It covers common issues that students struggle with like referencing and revision in an accessible and engaging way. Key research skills including negotiating ethics, collecting and analysing data and writing up research projects are outlined in an easy to understand format. Criminological Skills and Research for Beginners is an invaluable tool to get you through your degree!"
– Dr Mary Laing, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Northumbria University
"This is a great book for undergraduate students to develop their criminological and research skills. Filled with practical tips and tools that empower students to personalise their learning approach to achieve the best grades possible."
– Dr David Patton, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, University of Derby
"Written in a warm, friendly and accessible manner, this thorough, but concise book draws insightfully from real life examples to inspire beginner researchers to conduct their own studies. The authors bring research methods alive making a complex area clear, and understandable. Taking the reader through the different stages of conducting a research project, the authors provided an abundance of examples and activities to bring each section alive. This book is an essential contribution to the field of criminological research."
– Dr Eleanor Peters, Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Criminal Justice, Edge Hill University
"This text has clearly been written with the student researcher in mind by offering an accessible and well organised book. The book provides a logical journey for students by enabling them to apply the theories of social research to the practicalities of researching criminology. The book promises a guide but it delivers so much more by engaging students in real life research challenges. The application of real world criminological research, the breaking down of complex terminology and the inclusion of research tips will be beneficial to any undergraduate student embarking on research for the first time."
– Dr Suzanne Young, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Leeds Beckett University
Please visit our companion website for additional support materials.