• What to focus on when writing a criminal justice essay

    Have an essay to write on criminal justice and not quite sure where to start? The subject is quite a broad one so you will need to narrow down your options. Have a look at the tips below to help you find what to focus on. Look closer to this site if you need more help.

    The criminal justice system - This is the first aspect that you should look at and define. The criminal justice system is split into various components which are established by the government which work collectively to manage and control crime, as well as enforcing laws and punishment for violations. The 3 main parts are the police, the court and corrections. 

    Comparisons of the system -Depending on the country you are studying, there may be certain differences between the systems. The differences could be in the structure or the processes. Make sure that these are clearly explained where relevant within your writing or highlighted if you are doing a comparison essay.

    Choosing a topic - This is potentially the most important part of your essay work and you may have to take some time to choose the right topic. Try to pick something which you find interesting as this will shine through in your writing. As the topic is so broad, you can make an essay effective by narrowing it down. Here are some ideas to give you some motivation. The list is not exhaustive and can be used as a guide to inspire you to choose your own topic:

    How crime is linked to other factors- these could include age, gender, employment, education, race and peers

    Types of crime and its prevention

    Sentencing- how this varies in different places, the degree and severity according to crime committed

    How effective are correctional facilities

    Criminology - the discipline and public policy

    Finding your sources- For a more effective essay, make sure that you conduct extensive online research to support your topic. You will undoubtedly encounter multiple interesting pieces of evidence, however ensure that you do not use all of these. Be selective and utilise only the sources which are directly relevant to your topic as this will help to consolidate your arguments.

    Structure As with any essay, an appropriate structure will help to organise your thoughts and make understanding easier for the reader. Begin with an introduction explaining your main topic in a few sentences, your main body with a separate paragraph for each argument, and a conclusion summarising your main points.

    Citations Ensure that all of your sourced are clearly cited as plagiarism is punishable in most institutions and double check that they are cited both in the text and in a final bibliography. 

    With the correct planning and detailed research, you should be well on your way to excellent essay writing. Just remember the advice above to ensure you get the best possible result. 


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