Why Writing Works

Disciplinary Approaches to Composing Texts

Research in Justice Administration

by Dr. BC Franson

Finding credible sources

To determine if a source is credible, students should be able to see what education or work experience the writer has and what evidence the writer is citing.

Primary scholarly journals

Within the field of sociology, one of the key publication journals is the American Sociological Review. This journal is supported by the top sociological organization in the US, the American Sociological Association. Scholarly work accepted to this journal often establishes new trends in the field including research techniques, reviews a broad range of topics, and maintains the scholarly integrity of the discipline. Other important journals include Contemporary Sociology, Contexts, and Sociological Methodology (see the American Sociological Association).

For SMSU students, journal titles in the subject area 'Law, Politics and Government' can be found here:

This will link you to a search of the journal titles in the subject area 'Social Sciences' for the SMSU library:

To find these lists:

  1. Start at the library homepage
  2. Under 'Search Tools', click the tab for Journals A-Z
  3. Don’t type anything in the search box.  Just click the hot-linked 0-9 (or any letter of the hot linked alphabet)
  4. Click the dropdown from the search box that reads 'Please select a subject category' and choose the subject area that applies to your area of study

Keep in mind there will be overlap in titles between subject headings.  Also, this doesn't filter to scholarly or trade; it just gives you titles in the topic area.  The filters for scholarly and trade are used within the databases when searching at the article level, not the title level.  

Trade journals

All professions in our field have their own trade publication – corrections, law enforcement, law. In many of the trade publication the articles could also be considered scholarly and it is usually not necessary in our field for the writing to be peer reviewed. Trade journals update industry changes: changes in the law, changes in procedure, changes to policies etc.  They are useful to keep the professional’s work legal and efficient.

Non-scholarly writing

The field of Justice Administration doesn't put much weight on non-scholarly writing. It may be a place to start with ideas but it would be best to find a scholarly source or a trade journal. 

Open Internet resources

The Internet is a good starting point for ideas and it can help you discover where to find out more information about a topic. 

Government agencies

Government agencies play a big role in Justice Administration. The Department of Justice has many useful publications that all rely on. 

Justice Administration: Disciplinary Perspective

Writing in Justice Administration

Reading in Justice Administration

Documentation in Justice Administration