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Criminal Justice Research Guide

Article Quick Search

The "Article Quick Search" tab on the library home page allows you to begin your research by typing in general terms, then adding filters from the search results landing page. Article Quick Search gathers results from most of the library databases but not all of them. It is a good starting point, especially for getting background on possible topics for a paper.

EBSCO Discovery Service
Limit Your Results


Once you start to narrow your topic, finding the right keywords is important. Don't be afraid to let your topic change as you do more research. Note: when the narrator says "one search" what she really means is "Article Quick Search"

If you cannot access the above video, you can watch it here




Credo Reference offers a mindmap tool to help you with ideas for a research topic. The one for criminal Justice is at the left, but you can go to the Credo database and use your own keywords to get different mindmaps. The maps are interactive. Click a concept to see how the relationships change.

How to Narrow your Topic for Literature Review

Here are some ways to narrow your topic:

Theoretical approach:  Limit your topic to a particular approach to the issue.  For example, if your topic concerns cloning, examine the theories surrounding of the high rate of failures in animal cloning.

Aspect or sub-area:  Consider only one piece of the subject.  For example, if your topic is human cloning, investigate government regulation of cloning.

Time:  Limit the time span you examine.  For example, on a topic in genetics, contrast public attitudes in the 1950's versus the 1990's.

Population group:  Limit by age, sex, race, occupation, species or ethnic group.  For example, on a topic in genetics, examine specific traits as they affect women over 40 years of age.

Geographical location:  A geographic analysis can provide a useful means to examine an issue.   For example, if your topic concerns cloning, investigate cloning practices in Europe or the Middle East.

(From MIT Libraries)