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Discussion: Presentation of Research Results

Many criminal justice researchers are experts at analyzing data and performing research. Yet despite this expertise, presenting results orally or in writing can be a unique challenge. And the stakes can be high: If research results are not presented well, audience members and/or readers may not understand the importance of the research, or in extreme cases, they may dismiss the results as invalid.

Presenting research effectively hinges on knowing how to clearly communicate to diverse audiences what you did, how you did it, and what you found. Much of this information can be presented in visually interesting ways to grab and keep the attention of audiences and readers. In Week 3, you explored various graphs that visually present data and research. Now, you will add to your repertoire as you consider strategies for presenting data and research.

To prepare:

  • Recall the criminal justice research topic that you chose in Week 1.
  • Imagine an audience to whom you would present your findings (for example, criminal justice professionals, criminal justice scholars, community members, government officials, and policy makers).
  • With your topic and the audience in mind, consider how you might best represent and present the data and research about the topic.

Post a response to the following:

  • Imagine that you have been given the opportunity to present information and data on the research topic you chose in Week 1. Your audience is various criminal justice professionals along with community members who are not as well-versed in quantitative analysis.
  • First, describe an obstacle you could potentially encounter when presenting quantitative information to a wider audience that includes participants with varying levels of understanding of the criminal justice system and statistical data.
  • Next, briefly explain what information and/or statistics you would present to help the audience understand the importance of this topic. Be sure to include in your answer what you can do as the presenter to ensure that everyone in the audience has a thorough understanding of the topic.


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