Criminal Investigation (7th Edition)
James N. Gilbert  More Info


According to the book description of Criminal Investigation, “With interest in criminal investigation at an all time high, the newest edition of this popular text is particularly useful. One of the most comprehensive reviews of the investigative process available, it covers the fascinating history and future implications of field. A thorough discussion of cutting-edge investigative methods and technology employed to combat emerging crimes prepares readers to enter the next generation of criminal investigation. Using detailed crime scene examples, it links specific investigative techniques and laboratory techniques that are most effective for each particular crime. Relevant websites close each chapter to guide readers to the wealth of Internet resources. Full discussion of methods and technology such as Low Copy DNA, the expanding federal DNA database (CODIS), ballistic fingerprinting, face recognition systems and biometrics. Features a variety of jobs such as a criminal profiler, ATF Special Agent, Gang Investigator, etc. to provide insight into individual job duties and case incidents. Complete exploration of narcotics and dangerous drug investigation. Includes detailed crime laboratory techniques. Links investigative techniques with all major types of property and violent crime. Covers emerging types of criminal activity such as consumer fraud, identity theft, computer crime, stalking, cyberstalking, hate crimes, and the latest drug crimes.  Serves as excellent resource for those currently in law enforcement.”

A criminal justice degree assists in conducting police investigations.

Home | Schedule | Downloads | Exercises | Mid Term | Final | About the Instructor | Police Report Writing Books | Criminal Investigation Books | Forensic Science | Site map

Find a School

Department of Criminal Justice

CRJU 350 Principles and Concepts of

Criminal Investigations and Police Report Writing

California State University, Fullerton

Spring 2005


General Information:

Instructor:                     Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA

Day/Time:                     Tuesday and Thursday, 11:30 12:45 Hours

Location:                      UH304

Office Hours:                Tuesday and Thursday, 10:00 11:00 Hours

Office Location:            TBA

Office Telephone:         (909) 599-7530


Course Objectives:

This course will introduce the student to multiple aspects of criminal investigations and the investigative activity practiced by police, courts and correctional subsystems. It will examine the reporting procedures and requirements, crime scene management, technology, interviewing and interrogation skills, and other aspects of criminal investigations.  This class meets the classroom portion of upper-division writing requirement for Criminal Justice majors, or as an elective in the concentration curriculum.


Learning Goals:


As a result of this course the student will:


1.         increase their critical thinking skills,

2.         increase their writing skills and understand the differences between writing in the academic field and criminal justice field,

3.         gain an understanding of various investigative methods and components,

4.         expand their understanding of the criminal justice system and especially the importance of solid police investigations,

5.         increase their information literacy skills; and,

6.         increase their technology skills.


Required Readings:


(The following texts are available at the Titan Bookstore)


Gilbert, James M. (2004) Criminal Investigations, 6/E, ISBN: 0-13-112288-6, Prentice Hall


Biggs, Michael (2004), Just the Facts: Investigative Report Writing, 2/E, ISBN: 0-13-112383-1, Prentice Hall


Course Requirements:


The following responsibilities apply to all students:


1.                  Attend class and take notes.

2.                  Read and prepare to discuss the assigned reading by the dates identified in the course syllabus.

3.                  Complete ten exercises as defined by the instructor.

4.                  Complete a mid-term paper.

5.                  Complete the final examination.


Method of Evaluation:

Exercises                      50% (5% each)

Mid Term Paper           25%

Final                             20%

Participation                 5%      

Extra Credit                  5%

Semester Total 100% (105 with extra credit)



























Below 60

In accordance with University Policy Statement (UPS) 300.020 the +/- system of grading will be used in this course:













Additional Information:


Extra Credit One of the primary functions of criminal justice is accurate record keeping. For Extra Credit, students may download from the course website a Participation Log.  The Participation Log is designed like a police officers daily field activities report.  In order to gain extra credit, the student must keep the log, recording brief information about class such as Main Topic, their own participation and/or interesting or helpful comments made by their peers.  Additionally, the instructor will periodically review these logs to ensure daily log maintenance.  At the final examination, the students will submit the logs for review.


Attendance - Within the university setting, students are expected to attend class on a regular basis and participate in topic discussion to enhance the overall learning experience. As participation is directly related to attendance, students missing four (4) class sessions will not receive any credit for attendance/participation.  Attendance will be recorded by a class roster that will be passed among the students during each class.  It is the students responsibility to sign the roster.


Exercises Throughout the course the student will be expected to complete ten exercises that are associated with the class readings.  Specific information regarding the exercises is available at the course website. Late exercise will lose one grade level per week late.


Mid Term Paper The student will complete a 4-6 page analysis of a true crime novel.  At the course website, the 10 true crime novels are identified.  The student should select and obtain a copy of one of the novels.  Details concerning the expectations of the students analysis are available at the course website. Late papers will lose one grade level per week late.


Final Examination - The final examination will consist of two essay questions and will be cumulative.  Shortly after the Mid-Term, and as a means of preparing for the final, the instructor will provide the students with five essay questions, two of which will be the final examination.  Although this is not an open book test, students may use any notes they took during class or while studying for the final examination.  They must be the students notes refer to the syllabus section on ethical conduct for further information.    


Ethical Conduct - Students should be aware that there are severe consequences for violations of academic ethical conduct.  Primarily, we are concerned with cheating and plagiarism. Students who are determined to have cheated or committed plagiarism will face disciplinary action as identified within CSUF regulations.  For additional clarification of cheating and/or plagiarism, refer to the CSUF website or the instructor.


Website - The course has one companion website.  At that website the students will find hyperlinks to the readings, important course downloads (such as the syllabus, practice exercises, mid term instructions, final questions, participation log and other documents) and hyperlinks to other course related multimedia presentations (such as PowerPoint presentations, short videos, etc).


Blackboard - The course will make use of Blackboard as provided by the university.  At Blackboard, most website documents are available and grades will be posted shortly after review.  Additionally, many of the exercises require the student to post to the threaded discussion.

© 2013 High Priority Targeting, Inc.