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Criminology Matrix: Timeline and What Makes a Good Theory


Here’s What Happened . . .


Understanding the various criminological theories and their interrelated concepts is a daunting task. From classicism to the Chicago school, key terms, theorists, and other important information can get lost in the shuffle.


Here’s What You Need To Do . . .

Create a PowerPoint presentation. Organize the information you have learned in this course and complete the following points:

  Demographic Information : Select 12 (APA 6 only requires numbers to be spelled out to nine, 10 and above are ok numerically) theories and arrange them in chronological order in a column. Be sure to select at least two to three theories from each criminological category (biological and psychological). Identify the year and period of time in which each theory originated. Identify the theorist or theorists associated with each theory. Examine the history and origination location of each theory. Empirical Foundation : Examine the foundational research that grounded each theory and any current research that supports the theory today. Theoretical Components : Identify each theory’s school of thought and the type of theory it is (biological and psychological). Examine the major premises of each theory. Examine the minor premises of each theory. Application : Examine where the theory has been used in practice or how it is being used in the criminal justice system today.

Explain what makes a good theory. Address the following questions for each theory:

  How does the theory address the problem of crime? How are cultural influences on crime integrated into the theory? What solutions for the individual, family, community, and society does the theory suggest?

Optional : Create any additional column headings with information you believe is important to understand each theory, its explanation of criminal behavior, and its application to the criminal justice system.


Note : Be sure to cite the sources of your information by stating the URLs from the web pages or from other sources.


Be sure to build in-text citations for the web pages and create references for the web pages that link back to your in-text citations.

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