The study of criminology focuses on the behavior of criminals and the nature and causes of crime. Because of this, there are a wide variety of angles that may interest you when choosing a focus for a research paper. There are a number of psychological, social and legal issues you may want to consider.
Criminology Career Topics
Focus your research on what a career in criminology entails. You could explain the type of schooling, background and work experience one needs in order to become a criminologist. You may also want to interview or shadow people in this career to get a better idea of what a typical day, week or month is like for them.
Criminal Minds and Motives
If you would like your research to be based on some of the more psychological aspects involved in criminology, you may want to study the motives behind why crimes are committed. More specifically, are certain people born to kill based on their DNA? Does someone's upbringing correlate with his criminal inclinations? If so, is there a way to prevent these people from committing crimes?
Media and Crime Reports
In a world where the news can be viewed any time of day from a variety of media outlets, one has to question how crimes are reported to the public. To do a research paper on this, there are a variety of focuses you can take in your approach. You could examine if there is a bias toward certain races or social classes. Does the media's reporting have an effect on creating fair trials? Study significant cases that had a lot of media coverage and then compare the results with similar cases that had less media involvement.
Television and Media
How have criminology television shows and movies, as well as reality shows devoted to real life crimes and court cases, blurred the line between reality and entertainment? If this is something that you find interesting, you may want to research the effect of these portrayals on professional criminologists or society as a whole. Do jurors have unrealistic expectations of what a trial entails and what evidence will be presented?