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History Taking Prints Classifying Prints Dusting

Once the fingerprints are taken and labeled, forensic scientists use a classification system to identify them. The three basic fingerprint patterns are Whorl, Arch, and Loop. There are more complex classification systems that further break down the pattern to plain arches or tented arches. Loops may be radial or ulnar. Whorls also have smaller classifications. 
Arch
Loop
Whorl
ActivityStudy your fingerprints and classify them. Then create a database of the patterns in your class and compare them. Use the words below for your fields. Download the Appleworks database template or Microsoft Excel template.
  • Name
  • Birth Date
  • Arch
  • Loop
  • Whorl

Go to this Website for help with your classification:

Fingerprinting: A Lesson in Classification

Look at your prints through a microscope

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Linda C. Joseph and Linda D. Resch

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