Principles of Forensic Report Writing explores the psychology of report writing, including the motivations of readers and writers, communicative and performative concerns, and the cognitive science that applies to the process.
The book addresses foundational principles rather than mechanics and how these feed back to the assessment process. Emphasis is placed throughout on the problem of applying general research, nomothetic tests, and generally useful actuarials to specific cases.
The Functions of Forensic Reports
Organization of the Report
Converting the Legal Issue Into a Psychological Question
Laying the Groundwork for an Opinion
Citing Different Kinds of Evidence
How to Present Your Opinion
Critical Thinking in Forensic Analysis
Legal and Ethical Pitfalls
Culturally Competent Report Writing
Writing an Effective Report
Appendix: Two Sample Reports
About the Authors
About the Authors:
Michael Karson, PhD, JD, ABPP (Clinical), practiced clinical and forensic psychology for 25 years before entering academia in 2003. He has written almost 2,000 reports of individual psychological evaluations and has reviewed tens of thousands of other clinicians' reports as a consultant to the child welfare system. He teaches assessment and report writing in the forensic psychology master's program and in the clinical psychology doctoral program at the University of Denver's Graduate School of Professional Psychology. He is the author of four other books on assessment, child abuse, and psychotherapy.
Lavita Nadkarni, PhD, is a professor and the director of forensic studies at the University of Denver's Graduate School of Professional Psychology. She has written thousands of forensic reports since graduating with her master's degree in forensic psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 1985. In addition to supervising doctoral students on their forensic evaluations, she continues to be actively engaged in forensic practice. She is the editor of Psychotherapy Bulletin and is one of the coeditors of the Handbook of Multicultural Counseling Competencies.