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Final Paper Assignment: Research Proposal Includes Revised Introduction, Method Section, and Brief Discussion

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Final Paper Assignment: Research Proposal Includes Revised Introduction, Method Section, and Brief Discussion

Final Paper Assignment: Research Proposal

Includes Revised Introduction, Method Section, and Brief Discussion

The purpose of this assignment is to give you opportunities to a) revise the first version of your literature review and b) practice designing a research study.  The instructions for this paper are presented in three sections:

  • The first section describes the introduction, which will include your revised literature review and a statement of your hypothesis.
  • The second section guides you through writing the methods section in which you will described a proposed study to test your hypothesis.
  • The third section includes a brief discussion of possible results of your study.

What to include in your assignment submission:

  • Title page
  • Abstract
  • Introduction with revised literature review and statement of your hypothesis
  • Method section
  • Discussion
  • Reference page

Formatting guidelines:

  • Use APA style guidelines
    • Typed, 12-pt Times New Roman font, double-spacing, and 1-inch margins all around)
    • Correct APA style formatting (e.g., headings, titles, citations, references, etc.)
    • Be sure to look through your notes, handouts, and sample proposals for information and examples of correct APA style.
  • Papers should be 8-10 full pages long (body only – title page, abstract, and reference page not included in page count).
  • Refer to the Literature Review First Version Handout for more information on writing/formatting

 

Instructions for revising your introduction (section 1)

You have received the first version of your literature review assignment, complete with comments, suggestions, and edits.  You must now revise your literature review and incorporate the comments and suggestions into your final version literature review.  A portion of your grade on this paper will depend on how well you are able to revise your original submission (i.e., incorporate all comments and suggestions), as well as the final product in general. You are given another chance to demonstrate your knowledge of APA writing style and your ability to write a coherent paper using a mix of your own ideas and previous research. 

 

You must use at least 10 different, peer-reviewed/empirical sources in your paper.  Remember that for every source cited in your literature review, there must be a corresponding entry in the reference section (and vice versa).

Your introduction should end with a statement of your hypothesis. Remember that a hypothesis is a prediction about the association or effect you expect to find in your study. It is an educated guess because it is based on previous research, training, observation, and a review of the relevant research literature. Be specific with the directionality of your prediction: Say how the variables are related.

Proposing the study (section 2)

You will use the hypothesis in your introduction to determine what type of study you will design.  If your hypothesis predicts merely a relationship between two variables, you will be designing a correlational study.  If your hypothesis predicts that one variable causes or affects another variable (and you can ethically and practically manipulate that first variable), then you will be designing an experiment.

 

If you are proposing a correlational study…

Using your specific prediction from your literature review you will be designing a correlational study to test your prediction.  Remember, in a correlational study all you are doing is measuring your variables….there will be no conditions or manipulations!  For example, say your lit review topic was pet attachment and how it relates to your romantic relationship and you specifically predicted that couples who are more closely matched in their attachment to their pet enjoy higher relationship satisfaction.  The two variables to measure for this correlational method will be pet attachment and relationship satisfaction.  All you will need to do is give all your participant couples a measure (survey) of pet attachment and a measure (survey) of their relationship satisfaction.  That’s it!  So the method section will be just a description of what you will be doing.

In your paper, address the following, in this order, in APA style:

  • Include a complete Method section.
    • Participants
      • How many?
      • What are your expected demographics?
      • To what population is the prediction being generalized?
      • How is the sample being recruited? Incentives for participation?
    • Design
      • You will be designing a correlational State explicitly.
      • What is your predictor variable? What is your criterion variable (the variable being predicted)? 
      • How will you operationally define these two variables?
        • In your operational definitions, you should use an established measure if one exists (use the library database or other databases to find measures already in use) or you can come up with your own original way to assess/measure the variables. If you use measures in existence, BE SURE to cite your source!  Remember that your operational definition refers to how you will be measuring the variables.
      • Procedure
        • Start at participant recruitment and finish when participants leave the study.
        • Include enough detail that someone else can replicate your study.
        • You must also include a statement describing the measures you have taken to ensure that your study is in compliance with APA guidelines for ethical research.
      • Measures (for each measure, you must include the following)
        • Name of measure, abbreviation, and citation (if published scale; if you’re making up the scale, then no citation necessary)
        • What does the measure assess?
        • How many items or questions?
        • Are there subscales? If so, what are they?
        • What is the response set? Open-ended or Likert?  Open-ended is like short answer or essay style, while Likert is choosing a provided response (ex: 1 = strongly disagree; 7 = strongly agree).
        • Include 1 or 2 sample items or questions.
        • If you are creating your own measure, attach a completed example of your measure (items/questions and answer choices) with your paper.
      • Give a brief discussion section.
        • Restate hypothesis.
        • Assume you collect and analyze the data for this study and find a correlation coefficient of + or – .72, confirming your hypothesis.  What does this mean?  (Remember that you won’t actually be collecting data.  Just pretend as if you did.)
          • Since this is a correlational study, you cannot make causal claims.

 

If you are proposing an experiment…

Using your specific prediction from your literature review you will be designing an experimental study to test your prediction.  Remember, in an experiment you have at least two conditions (groups) and you manipulate your independent variable between these groups.  For example, say your lit review topic was does watching violent cartoons affect a child’s behavior and you specifically predicted that children who watch violent cartoons will exhibit more aggressive behavior than those who do not.  The variable to manipulate is type of cartoon (violent or non-violent) and the dependent variable (the variable you are interested in and are measuring) is the child’s behavior after watching TV.  All you will need to do is manipulate your independent variable and then measure your dependent variable.  That’s it! 

 

In your paper, address the following, in this order, in APA style:

  • Include a complete Method section.
    • Participants
      • How many?
      • To what population is the prediction being generalized?
      • How is the sample being recruited?
      • What are your expected demographics?
      • Incentives for participation?
    • Design
      • You will be designing a experimental State explicitly.
      • What are your independent and dependent variables?
      • What are the operational definitions for these variables?
        • For IV: How are you manipulating the variable? Describe the different groups or conditions.
        • For DV: How are you measuring this variable? Be specific.
      • Procedure
        • Start at participant recruitment and finish when participants leave the study.
        • Include enough detail that someone else can replicate your study.
        • You must also include a statement describing the measures you have taken to ensure that your study is in compliance with APA guidelines for ethical research.
      • Measures (for each measure, you must include the following)
        • Name of measure, abbreviation, and citation (if published scale; if you’re making up the scale, then no citation necessary)
        • What does the measure assess?
        • How many items or questions?
        • Are there subscales? If so, what are they?
        • What is the response set? Open-ended or Likert?  Open-ended is like short answer or essay style, while Likert is choosing a provided response (ex: 1 = strongly disagree; 7 = strongly agree).
        • Include 1 or 2 sample items or questions.
        • If you are creating your own measure, attach a completed example of your measure (items/questions and answer choices) with your paper.

 

Give a brief discussion (section 3)

  • Restate hypothesis.
  • Assume you collect and analyze the data for this study and find a significant difference between your groups. Describe what type of analysis you would have used (t-test or ANOVA depending on the number of groups). Which groups differed? What does this mean?  (Remember that you won’t actually be collecting data.  Just pretend as if you did.)

 

Other parts to the paper

Don’t forget to include the following pages to your paper:

  • Title page
  • Abstract
  • Reference page

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