Research Journal Sample

Susie Student
English Honors 9
10 December 2007

Research Journal  #5

1. Topic: Juvenile Courts, as it relates to juvenile offenders in Sacramento.

2. Source: Secondary; book.

3. Works Cited
Bergman, Paul, and Sara J. Bergman-Barrett. The Criminal Law Handbook. 9th ed. Wolo, 2007.

4. Explain why you chose this source and how you found it:

I chose this source because out of the textual information I found, this source had the most useful and in depth facts. By reading the text it gave me an idea of the juvenile courts, and the differences between an adult court case and a minor.  Thus, such information would be helpful for my paper to help readers differentiate a minor trial and an adult trial. I found this source by going to Borders Bookstore and searching for books on law, especially topics related to or about juvenile offenders.


5. List three or more important/facts/points/quotes you acquired from this particular source:


D. In late 1975 New Jersey started a program called Straight Scared. The purpose of this was to frighten juveniles by confronting them with adult prison mates who cursed at minors, telling them the horrors of prison. The program was discontinued when it had little effect on minor crime rate. (Bergman 536)

E. When a minor is tried as an adult rather than a juvenile, it may benefit them. In most juvenile courts jury trials are not available. Thus, when minors are in adult courts they can request for a jury trial. Based on the minor’s age and seriousness of an offense, the jury may be more sympathetic than a judge. (Bergman 535)

F. Juvenile court proceedings are civil and a finding that a minor committed an offense usually carry less social stigma than an adult criminal record. (Bergman 535)

G. Juvenile courts do not have jury trials. Only about 10 states allow jury trials. The states that do may be confined to specific types of cases such as minors who have prior records and are facing serious charges. States that do not allow jury trials are California, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Massachusetts and Michigan allow juveniles a right to jury trials. Colorado, Illinois, and Arkansas provide jury trials to juveniles only in limited types of cases. (Bergman 534)


6. How did this source help in your research process?

This source helped my research project because before reading this text I didn’t have any prior knowledge to a typical juvenile court case. This source explained that only some states provide a jury trial for juveniles; and how adult cases, are in some situations better for juveniles, because a jury might lessen their punishment. Such information would help me when further writing my paper for it explains the type of court for a juvenile/minor. It also provided specific information on which states are in favor for a jury, and which are against it.


7. Explain where you will go next for information and why:

The next areas of research I plan to check for information are documents or analysis about the juvenile crime rate in Sacramento. I feel that should be my next biggest step because I found little information of juvenile offenders in the area. I plan to find specific analysis information on juvenile crimes in Sacramento that would help me dig deeper.

8.  Do a SOAPS for this source:

   Subject - General information about Criminal Law - This is a handbook!  I will need to get more specific information next time.

   Occasion - This handbook was written in 2001 for anyone who wants to know more about the topic of criminal law.

   Audience - all English speaking/reading people interested in Criminal law.

  Purpose - to give basic information (it is a HANDBOOK!) about Criminal Law.

  Speaker - Paul Bergman has been a Profesor of Law at UCLA since 1970.  He has written several books about American law including  Deposition Questioning: Strategies and Techniques (with Professors Binder and Moore, 2001); Trial Advocacy: Inferences, Arguments, Techniques (with Professors Albert Moore and David Binder, 1996); Lawyers As Counselors (2nd ed., with Binder and Price, 2004) and Trial Advocacy in a Nutshell (4th ed., 2007).