How to Write a Reflection Paper in Criminal Justice: What Is the Peculiarity?

Writing guide
Posted on July 5, 2021

Sometimes students think that reflection writing is very simple because it lets a person use sentences in the first person singular. They confuse it with diaries that neglect formatting and academic requirements. Nevertheless, it is an academic assignment. Consequently, a person has to regard college requirements and take care of the chosen lexical units and grammar constructions.

A reflection paper in Criminal Justice aims at revealing a student’s point of view concerning some topic of the subject, its idea, problem, or approach. It is a mirror that reflects a person and his or her attitude towards crime, its seriousness, a criminal, or a verdict of the court.

People often argue and organize protests against court decisions. That is why a reflection paper in Criminal Justice is an academic assignment which value is indisputable. It helps to improve the law and avoid conflicts. Professors have a chance to see whether their students fit the chosen profession or not.

These are things that distinguish reflection writing among other academic papers.

  • A person presents thoughts using the first person singular (instead of the average 3rd person).
  • The main goal of the thesis statement is to explore (usually, it is a claim or an argument).
  • A structure is less fixed compared to others. It can be open and start with the final thought or idea.
  • The conclusion can be blurred and involve questions for the reader to ponder on and reflect.
  • It is subjective (a student’s viewpoint is very essential).

A student takes a fascinating idea and connects it with life experience. As a rule, it is a collective conclusion made by the college group. A person can argue or support the idea and speak about the lesson that a paper provides.

How to Write a Reflection Paper in Criminal Justice: Pre-Writing Tips

Despite the fact, that a reflection paper needs a personal viewpoint, this academic assignment demands facts and shreds of evidence. A student cannot take them from anywhere. Everyone should have a list of websites that can help to present a compelling paper that will sound convincing and smart.

Experts recommend turning to the following websites to find the required information.

  • US Department of Justice
  • Famous Trials
  • Death Penalty Information Center
  • Harvard Library
  • The Innocence Project
  • European Commission
  • Office on Drugs and Crime
  • Interregional Crime & Justice Research Institute
  • Center of Juvenile and Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Justice News

These websites deal with various topics. A person can find information about different trials and sentences for both adults and juvenile criminals. The above-mentioned sources also provide data about death penalty cases that provoked disputes. Students should search for literature that can assist in a concrete case. Moreover, each book, website, journal, newspaper, and magazine is to be reliable. It means that all information is to be verified.
It is better to avoid yellow press and blogs with a doubtful reputation. Bloggers try to become followers. To achieve that goal, a person posts unchecked data and photoshopped photos to attract more subscribers and get more likes, views, and comments. Consequently, a person should be picky when looking for trustworthy sources. Besides, a person can ask a college or professional writing services to give a sample paper in Criminal Justice. That will help a student learn more about peculiarities, structure, and formatting of the paper.

How to Write a Reflection Paper in Criminal Justice in 5 Steps

It takes much time to write an academic paper. The main reason for that is improper time management and lack of experience. The first factor demands a plan that will help to forget about the deadline and do everything slowly and qualitatively. The second factor concerns students who do not know how to start, what to write, and how to finish because they have never done it before.

Today it is not a problem to find guidelines about different types of academic writings. They describe a step-by-step process that also speaks about possible mistakes. Professionals usually need 5 steps to complete a supreme reflection paper.

Step 1. Concentrate on a Topic

Each paper discusses a topic. As a rule, a professor or a tutor assigns it in the form of a question. From time to time, a college wants to see what choice their students make and ask them to look for a topic. There are three possible ways to get a striking topic.

  • You can watch the news to see what problem interests contemporary society.
  • You can learn more about the college to find out what topics usually attract the attention of the college committee.
  • You can reflect on the topic that represents individual curiosity.

The last approach is advantageous for those who conduct research on a concrete theme and can introduce themselves as knowledgeable students. It is important to concentrate on a topic and avoid water. For example, ‘Are you for or against the death penalty?’ In this topic, a student should choose a side and explain the choice using facts. A person should find cases where capital punishment was or was not justified.

Step 2. Brainstorm to Create an Outline

A good paper needs a well-considered structure. A student can start with an open ending and then proceed to the writing of the case, its details, verdict, or other required things. In this case, the conclusion should impress with the opposite to the introduction idea. Such a writing approach is effective but demands professional skills and an excellent choice of lexical units and facts.

As a rule, students are not so risky and keep to the formal structure that includes an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. In both variants, an outline will present the structure. Thanks to that, a person will know what information he or she already knows and what details a student needs to find to improve the paper and stress on the main idea and convey the key message.

An outline usually includes sentences, word combinations, or simply words that give a hint. A person can also add some citations, quotes, proverbs, examples of criminal cases to support the thesis statement, and back up the provided information.

Step 3. Fill in the Gaps

Sometimes a person begins to write an assignment but soon finds out that a paper lacks data. A college usually sets the limit. A student has to present the demanded number of characters, pages, or words. If there is no enough data, it will be difficult to finish the paper and cope with the deadline. A student will distract and lose inspiration. As a result, it will take more time and affect the quality of the text and its formatting.

So, it is smarter to make sure that one possesses enough catchy and valuable information to get the highest grade.

Step 4. Start Writing

As soon as a person feels inspired and motivated, it will be necessary to start writing and do not stop. The best way is to delete all distractions so that nobody and nothing could steal attention and reduce productivity. Senior students recommend switching off mobile phones or, at least, applying a silent mode. The workplace is to be comfortable, quiet, with proper lighting and all the required things (pencils, paper, printer, laptop, etc.) at one’s fingertips. It is better to select a day when a person has no other plans and can plunge into writing.

Step 5. Proofread and Edit

When everything is ready it will be necessary to proofread the text several times and provide corrections. A person can miss punctuation marks, mistype words, and forget about details in the formatting. Experts suggest giving ready papers to professional editors or experienced students who can find and correct mistakes or point to problematic passages. Even inexperienced friends could help. They often see what things complicate reading or ask questions that a paper does not answer. Consequently, a student can rewrite something to improve the paper.

How to Structure a Reflection Paper in Criminal Justice

Commonly, a reflection paper must have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.
An introduction presents a problem or an idea. It stresses its importance in the thesis statement that a reader usually finds at the end of the first paragraph. Professional writers always make the beginning winning and catchy to hook the attention of the target audience. One can use a reflective question to involve the reader.

A body should include at least three paragraphs to guarantee a logical delivery of the message. Senior students speak about their experience in the first paragraph of the body and connect it with others or a concrete criminal case in the second one. The last paragraph tells about things a student has learned when dealing with reflection. One should use facts like in all academic assignments.

A conclusion is to be convincing and remarkable. A reflection paper lets a person leave a space for the reader’s consideration and reflection. It should answer the question given in the introductory part and ask another one to provoke further disputing.

How to Write a Reflection Paper in Criminal Justice: Post-Writing Tips

Academic papers are to be precise, convincing, and to the point. First of all, each sentence must cover one idea. An average reflection paper has up to 750 words. It is impossible to sound logical if a person uses repetitions and is not picky when selecting words for an essay, journal, response, or any other type of reflection paper.

Before handing in the paper, a person should think about apps and programs that help to improve the text.

Tools for Writing

One should choose things that are simple in use and provide great functions. For example, Google Docs has the interface of Microsoft Word and lets a student share the document online. One should just insert the email address of the professor or tutor and mark him or her as an editor.

Moreover, online programs let people work everywhere because online documents save changes even in offline mode. So, a person needs only a digital device and access to the Internet to create. It is not a problem to print a paper, download, or convert it if necessary. Furthermore, such tools show the number of words, characters, lines, pages, and paragraphs.

Apps for Grammar Correction

Various companies want to simplify the life of students, editors, journalists, and writers. They create apps with algorithms to search for mistakes, colloquialisms, and words that have better variants. Pro Writing Aids and Grammarly are perfect assistants of those who deal with writing and want to find and correct basic mistakes.

Readability and SEO Analyzers

Sometimes readers do not understand the message of the text because a writer has used complex sentences and made the text ‘hard’. Such apps like Hemingway Editor help to improve the readability. One can delete unnecessary adverbs and replace difficult words with easier analogs. Due to that, the text will become simpler and more readable.

SEO tools reflect the density of words, spam, percentage of water, stop words, etc. Students use them to avoid repetitions and vary sentences and lexical units.

Gliche and Plagiarism Finders

Some programs can find cliches that bother professors and tutors to death. Cliche Finder identifies such sentence patterns so that a person can alter them. Besides, such apps like Dupli Checker and Plagscan highlight copied extracts and give links to plagiarized sources.

Formatting Programs

Students should format academic papers depending on college rules. Educators ask students to use a specific page size, font, spacing, margins, and other formatting things. A reflection paper also involves the investigation of the problem and the presentation of the bibliography page. It is an ABC list of the applied sources. A person must format it in the demanded style (APA, MLA, Chicago, or Harvard). There are free online generators that consider every detail. Thanks to that, students introduce a perfect list of the used literature without mistakes.
You are to be persistent when dealing with academic writing. Take care of everything to manifest excellent writing.

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