Instructions: watch any one-hour real crime show (The First 48, Dateline, etc.). Take notes. I would recommend using YouTube or some other online source (or DVR) so you can rewind and watch sections more than once if necessary. After you become familiar with the crime and the investigation, write an investigative summary. Please follow the format of the example. Reference the appropriate chapter in the text for tips on effective report writing. Note: you may supply missing facts to ensure completeness. You will not be graded on the actual facts used, only on completeness, organization, and readability.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Since I can't see your textbook reference, it's hard to tailor a response to your exact curriculum, but here are some general tips that may help you do this fun assignment.

As you're watching, take careful notes on the facts of the case. Include the details of the crime, all the evidence, all the suspects, and all the steps taken to investigate with the information at hand. Leave nothing out—even leads that don't go anywhere are part of the investigation and should be included in a summary.

To make sure you don't miss any important details, you may benefit from referring to the classic list of reporter's questions:

  • Who: Who was the victim of this crime? Who was the perpetrator?
  • What: What, exactly, happened?
  • Where: Where did this happen?
  • Why: Why did this happen? Is there an established motive?
  • When: When did this happen? When was it discovered? When did the investigation take place?
  • How: How did this happen? How do we know?

Most importantly, don't forget to stay objective in your writing. Since they're designed for entertainment, investigation shows often take one specific perspective on a case in order to draw in the viewers.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial