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Choosing and narrowing criminal justice topics for your research paper

As such a vast subject, students can have a hard time choosing the right criminal justice topic to write a research paper about. There are many avenues in which you can delve, which may leave you a bit overwhelmed when given the freedom to choose your own topic without being given one by your professor.

The trick to choosing and narrowing down your topic is a simple understanding of the groups that criminal justice as a topic is divided into. From there, you will need to identify with your particular category so that topics can be creatively thought of. Once that is done, you will need to find the exact topic that fits in well with a writing assignment.

Sound complicated? Well, it’s actually quite easy. Watch:

Pick your poison

The following categories define criminal justice topics. Simply choose the one you are most interested in—or the one that pertains to your career direction.

  • Social impact of crime
  • The psychology of crime
  • Forensics
  • The solutions to crime
  • Categories of crime

Narrowing it down

Once you’ve chosen your preferred category, write down 20 topics that fit your category. Make sure to write these out by hand and stick to the category without deviating to something else. Now take a long look at the list of 20 in front of you. You will need to choose three out of these 20. If you have seen three that you definitely like, don’t make your choice yet. First take a look at the prerequisites your research paper will demand for a topic to be successful.

Criteria for your choice

Make sure your topic has the following qualities:

  • Researchable: One of the most important things is to make sure that your topic has enough material out there to research thoroughly.
  • Interesting to you: You’ll write a better paper if you enjoy the topic you’ve chosen.
  • Interesting to others: Make sure you’re not the only one who will enjoy writing the topic. Your professor still needs to enjoy reading it too.
  • Contributory: Your topic has to be original. If it’s been done before, decide on another one.

Once you’ve narrowed your choice down to three finalists, you can choose the one you feel you would enjoy writing the most. You already know it’s original and researchable. Now your research paper is sure to be a success.


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