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JST204 Research Skills Guide: Plan

Your Assessment Task

It is important to break down the requirements of your assessment task before you start searching for information so that you can plan your approach.

Assessment 4 requires you to write a 1500 - 2000 word research essay on the following question:  

Compare and contrast the three models of youth crime prevention as discussed in the textbook (See chapter 12): 

  • Coercive Approaches
  • Developmental Approaches
  • Accommodating Approaches

In your answer you should research widely, going beyond the textbook, and:

  • Describe these three approaches;
  • Provide one or more examples of youth crime prevention strategies that draw on each model;
  • Identify the relative strengths and weaknesses of each approach; 
  • Consider what some of the criticisms or problems with them might be;
  • Consider the professional roles related to these approaches;
  • Evaluate how effective these approaches may be.

Let's first undergo a topic analysis, then we'll look at some search strategies to help find the information you need.

Topic Analysis

Let's start thinking about what terms you will use when searching for information. To do this:

  • Identify the key concepts of your topic (watch the topic analysis video for assistance); and then
  • Brainstorm as many synonyms and similar terms/phrases as you can.

This is a useful exercise because the language used to describe your topic may vary from source to source, and you don't want to miss out on a good source because it uses a different term to the one you are searching on.

Let's start with your assessment task where you've been asked to analyse models of youth crime prevention:

Keyword Synonym / Similar term or phrase
Youth juvenile, teen, teenager, adolescent, young person
Youth crime juvenile delinquency, youth offending, adolescent criminality

Remember to refer to chapter 12, Youth Crime Prevention, from your text book. This chapter maps out and highlights the nature of and differences among coercive, developmental, and accommodating approaches to dealing with young people, and will be particularly helpful for this assessment. 

Combining the terminology in your assessment question with your brainstormed keywords will allow you to search for a broader set of results. Tips on combining your search terms can be found on the next page of this guide (Search Strategies).

This is an excerpt of your assessment question - please refer to your subject outline for a full outline of your assessment task.

Find additional keywords

Tip: Online dictionaries and thesauri can help you identify synonyms.

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