Police ethics as a substantive issue in relation to the Clifford Olson case


The purpose of the research paper is to summarize and critically analyze a criminal justice issue related to this
course that you have chosen. This will involve:

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– You choosing a media article from a news organization in Canada or the United States (ex. Vancouver
Sun, Surrey Now- Leader, Indo Canadian Voice Newspaper, North Delta Reporter, Globe and Mail, New York Times, etc.). The article must represent a criminal justice issue that is discussed in this
course and written about in the course textbook.
– Summarize the news article in your own words. This may require you to locate previously related news articles on the issue, if the case was reported on previously.
– Identify what criminal justice substantive issue is represented by this news article (ex. wrongful convictions) and the component of the criminal justice system it represents (ex. courts and sentencing)
– Summarize the information provided in the course textbook on this issue, in your own words. How does
the author of the textbook, Dr. Griffiths present and discuss this criminal justice issue?
– Summarize two peer-reviewed, empirical primary research articles on this criminal justice issue
– Discuss your own person opinion on this criminal justice issue and why you feel the way you do about it
– Provide a discussion of the opposite perspective to yours on this criminal justice issue. In what way may other people feel about this issue and why would they feel differently than you?
– Provide a concluding paragraph

You should easily be able to identify a media/news story regarding a criminal justice issue. Be sure to identify what substantive issue it represents and what component of the criminal justice system it is from. For example, perhaps you read an article in the Vancouver Sun that discussed recent research showing that police officers are far more likely to issue a ticket to someone of minority status. This would represent the substantive issue of racial profiling and would be found within the policing component of the criminal justice system.

*(use section headings)*

A. INTRODUCTION (1/2 page)

An introduction describes the importance and purpose of the paper. Generally, it should start by describing/incorporating the media/news article you used to identify your chosen topic. As a result, you need to reference your media/news article. Within your introduction, you should identify the substantive issue represented by the media/news article (ex. wrongful convictions) and the component of the criminal justice system it reflects (ex. courts and sentencing). Your introduction should wrap up by describing the purpose of your research paper by outlining to your reader the issue(s) you are going to focus on within your broader topic area and how you are going structure of the remainder of the paper (i.e., a road map for how you are going to proceed in the body of your paper).


Locate all the parts of the course textbook that discuss your criminal justice topic (ex. wrongful convictions). You may want to start by looking at the topic index at the back of the textbook to identify the applicable page numbers. Review the way Dr. Griffith’s discusses this issue and provide a summary of this information in your own words. Be sure to comment on whether there are any parts of this issue that Dr. Griffith’s does not discuss that remain unanswered, in your opinion. Be sure to cite the textbook properly in APA format.


This section will constitute the bulk of your Research Paper. In this section, you will summarize and critically analyze the two primary research articles from peer-reviewed journals that you identified for this topic. Be sure to discuss the following for both of your studies:

– What was the purpose of study?
– Where did the study take place?
– Who or what did they measure/observe?
– What were the results?
– What implications do the results have towards the Canadian Criminal Justice System on this particular issue?

Note that you will need to ensure that you are selecting primary research articles from peer-reviewed academic journals. These types of articles are also termed scholarly articles. Primary research involves studies published in peer reviewed academic journals where data was collected (ex. via surveys, interviews, focus groups or analyzing existing data sets) and analyzed to examine a research question. In Moodle, a folder at the top of the website titled, ‘Research Paper Resources’ includes the following KPU Library videos that will assist you with ensuring that you are choosing the correct type of research article for this assignment:

– Welcome to the KPU Library – Doing Research: Scholarly Articles
– What are primary research articles?
– What is “original primary research” in Criminology?
– What is a Scholarly Peer-Reviewed Journal Article?
– All about Peer Review
– Peer Review in 3 minutes

Note that you will need to ensure that you are including in-text citations for your sources; this includes both your course textbook summary and the summary of your research articles. All citations should be in APA format. In Moodle, a folder at the top of the website titled, ‘Research Paper Resources’ includes the following KPU Library videos that will assist you with your in-text citations in APA format:

– Why do we cite our sources?
– Make sure you provide in-text citations in APA format!
– In-text citations
– APA Quick Guide

Note that KPU has extensive policies regarding plagiarism. KPU has a number of policies and resources for students relating to plagiarism and citations. Refer to the following link for KPU’s policy on academic dishonesty:https://www.kpu.ca/sites/default/files/Policies/ST2%20Student%20Academic%20Integrity%20Policy.pdf

Note that you will need to include a Reference Page at the end of your research paper. It should be in APA format. In Moodle, a folder at the top of the website titled, ‘Research Paper Resources’ includes the following KPU Library videos that will assist you with compiling a proper Reference Page in APA format:

– Make sure you have a Reference Page in APA format!


Discuss what your opinion is on the criminal justice topic you have chosen. Be sure to discuss both the specific incident/story involved in the media/news article you identified and also what your opinion is regarding the larger substantive criminal justice issue that it represents. Finish this section by attempting to summarize what an opposite perspective/opinion on this issue may be and why someone may feel that way. This provides you the opportunity to view this criminal justice issue through a critical lens by acknowledging multiple perspectives on the particular topic.

E. CONCLUSION (1/2 page)

In your concluding paragraph, you should restate what the purpose of the research paper was and how you proceeded to fulfill that purpose. A concluding paragraph would offer a generalized summary of the findings from your analyses as well as identify/highlight any remaining questions regarding the criminal justice issue you explored that were not answered by the research articles you reviewed. What are the questions that need to be answered in order for one to have an evidence-based opinion on the topic? Please note that your research articles may or may not answer these questions. That is fine either way. It is important to be able to identify key questions/issues on a topic that need to be clarified in order for the issue to be addressed (or the problem solved).

F. REFERENCE PAGE (separate page at the end of your paper)

At the end of your research paper, on a separate page, you will need to include a Reference Page that includes a reference to each source you discussed throughout your paper. You should have at least four references: the media/news article you chose, the course textbook and both of your primary research articles that you discussed. Additionally, if you cite any component of the video lectures or additional websites throughout your paper, each of these citations should have their own reference within the Reference Page.
The Reference Page needs to be in APA format and in alphabetical order.


– Must use full sentences (no point form)
– Must use proper grammar and punctuation (do not use contractions or overuse quotations)
– Include a Title Page
– Reference Page at the end
– Double spaced
– 12 point font
– 1 inch margins (or ‘normal margins’)
– 5 pages in length o Excluding the Title Page o Excluding the Reference Page

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