Criminology Dissertation Ideas and Writing Prompts

Criminology covers a wide range of topics, so it isn't always easy to decide on one subject on which to write a dissertation. It mostly covers the science of crime and criminal behavior, though, but that doesn't narrow it down much. If you are having trouble coming up with a topic, check out the following ideas and ways to write them that will develop a well-researched and thought-out paper.

Idea: How does poverty influence possible criminal behavior?

You can discuss how experts think poverty is a motivator for people to commit crimes, and how the majority of people incarcerated come from poverty. This is a great topic because there is a lot of information on it, but also because you can present a problem and a possible solution.


If you want to discuss this topic you should definitely define poverty and then list the statistics for those incarcerated that fall into that definition. Another thing you will want to write about is why poverty is suspected as a motivator for committing crimes. Quote psychologists and criminologists and give at least two reasons why poverty is a reason for committing crime for some people.

Idea: Race and crime

There have been many studies that have shown that crime is not color-blind and neither are arrests. More minorities commit crimes than majority races, but why is that? And are the arrests always fair or is there a problem with racial profiling? These are various topics you can discuss in regards to race and crime.


Always mention the stats of race and those incarcerated. It would also be interesting to note the types of crimes people are arrested for. For instance, white males are more likely to be serial killers than other races, so that would be an interesting note.

Idea: The effects of incarceration on a generation

This is a broad topic because you can talk about how those incarcerated are effected, how their kids are effected, and how the older generations are effected by so many people under them being locked up. Incarceration is a problem for all of society and some believe it doesn't really deter people. There are many things you can discuss under this topic so be sure to narrow it down before you begin the writing process.


You should always mention the incarceration rates and the statistics and age groups of those incarcerated. No matter what you narrow your topic down to, these will be very important things to discuss.