Auburn University Victims and the Criminal Justice Discussion

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Answer ONE of these questions in your discussion post:

Are the rights afforded to crime victims enough? What more should society do to assist crime victims? Justify your answer. 

Describe the advantages and/or disadvantages of victim impact statements. Should victim impact statements be allowed during the sentencing phase of a criminal trial? Justify your answer. 

  • Discussions should ideally be at least 600 words and follow the guidelines listed below. They will be graded on quality and not quantity.
  • Peer Reply

Respond to AT LEAST two of your classmates. All response posts should be at least 200 words each, and be non-repetitive, substantive sentences. They should contribute to forwarding the discussion. Replies may include paraphrased citations/references as well. Replies should also include new information. Just liking and agreeing with other students’ initial posts (and/or just repeating in your reply what you stated in your initial post or repeating the same information from your first response again in the second reply) is not likely to be satisfactory.

Given that this course discusses practical and policy-relevant controversial issues, you will present an argument to answer the question. Support your argument with relevant information (at least two references) from the lecture/textbook and course materials as primary sources.  In addition you may include outside material, such as current events, websites, etc. (no wikipedia or the like) as secondary sources. Please do not include personal anecdotes. Please remain in the third (and not first) person for proper APA. I want your posts to be substantive. 

Further, this is a 400-level class where we are reading, writing, and thinking about research in a concrete manner. When asked to support your positions, please cite correctly to avoid plagiarizing and to receive full credit. This means not including direct, or long direct quotes which is not proper APA. Proper citations are paraphrased information with a reference to author at the end of the sentence or paragraph. Paraphrasing information into your own words indicates comprehension and understanding of concepts, and direct quotes do not. Please see the grading rubric as well.


Overall tone for discussion boards should remain formal, although some informal tone is fine in replies. Remember, accuracy is important. Emoticons and acronyms should be avoided and no creative spelling should be used.

Do not post anything that may be considered racist, sexist, homophobic, or otherwise offensive.

Conduct a thorough spell check and grammar check before posting.  Deductions will be made for errors.

Do not disclose that you or someone you know has been a victim.  While the content of this course certainly affects people (perhaps you or someone you know), this is an academic setting, and it is important to distinguish between anecdotes and trends based on research. Personal anecdotes, as well as personal opinions not backed up by empirical evidence cannot, and will not, be graded.

Be relevant to the discussion at hand

Offer new thoughts or information rather than simply affirming the original post

  • Try to move the discussion forward, rather than stopping it.  One way to do this is to regularly ask questions in your post for others to comment on.
  • Late initial posts and responses will be docked by 10% of the grade otherwise earned, daily.

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