SYNTHESIS PAPER INSTRUCTIONS
The purposes of this assignment are to:
• Demonstrate proper use of current APA format in a term paper.
• Demonstrate proper use of one of the research methods studied in this course—specifically, the case study.
• Reflect on what you have learned in this course and write about it.
• Reflect on the course content as critiqued from a biblical, Christian perspective and write about it.
• Note: Thinking and reflecting on what you have learned will take a considerable amount of time. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time for this assignment.
Instructions: Using a case study approach, write a four to eight page research-based paper using yourself as the research subject by answering the assigned research questions:
• What have you learned about research at an introductory level?
• How do you evaluate or critique this from a biblical, Christian perspective?
Current APA format needs to be demonstrated in all aspects of this assignment.
Your paper must include a properly-formatted title page, four to eight pages of content with correct APA formatting throughout, including proper citations and levels of headings, and a reference page. The title page and references page are in addition to the assigned four to eight pages of content. Maintain consistency between your citations and reference page. Your paper must include at least four references to sufficiently support your paper. Required references include your Introduction to Research textbook and the Publication Manual, and at least two additional scholarly references, plus whatever other content-related sources you would like to include. Remember, use current APA format throughout (including your title page, running head, author note, appropriate vocabulary and sentence structure, introductory statement, in-text citations, page numbers, levels of headings throughout the document, a conclusion statement, and consistency between your in-text citations and references).
You may use your Discussion Board Forum posts and additional personal reflection. Your answer will be unlike anyone else’s, and that is what is expected. Be sure to consult your Publication Manual for proper formatting for your in-text citations and references for these other sources.
Your assignment will be checked for plagiarism.
Note: Some matching on the SafeAssign report is not unexpected. You will be citing sources that others may have used in other papers, so some matches might appear. Your instructor will be able to discern what is appropriate matching due to properly cited sources. This assignment is open-book/open-notes, open-Bible, open to discussion with friends, etc. Be sure to document your sources appropriately as in-text citations and as references when you use the textbook or other material from this course, personal interviews with friends, etc.
This assignment requires that you incorporate proper APA formatting throughout the document. Formatting errors will result in point deductions.
SYNTHESIS PAPER GRADING RUBRIC
Meets or exceeds all content requirements.
Personal reflection is present in the writing.
Content directly from the course is included.
A biblical, Christian critique is present in the writing.
The content and organization is suitable for a case study approach to research.
Proper use of APA formatting is demonstrated throughout the document. This includes:
• Properly-formatted title page;
• Introductory statement and conclusion;
• Appropriate levels of headings;
• References (minimum of both course textbooks and at least two additional scholarly sources, properly formatted);
• Body of the document with properly formatted in-text citations;
• Consistency between citations and references
Proper APA style is a big part of this assignment, so be sure to carefully consult your APA Publication Manual. To begin, I recommend that you make a level one heading based on the the content of the first question, and then go about answering that. You’ll most likely need to include other levels of headings, beneath each level one heading, to introduce the things you’re writing about. Then, use another level one heading based on the content of the second question, and continue from there.
You can include the assigned biblical perspective critique as a separate section (start with another level one heading if you do this) or you can incorporate it throughout your document (with appropriate subheadings). It’s your choice. If you include it throughout your document be sure to introduce it with appropriate headings.
As for the content of what you learned, whatever you learned in this course is the content to write about. Repeat: Write about what YOU learned; write about the content of THIS course. In addition to the content, as mentioned above and in the instructions for this assignment, I will look for APA formatting, such as everything that needs to be on the title page, running head, appropriate levels of headings, proper citations and references, and the other things listed in the assignment instructions. The APA formatting is an important part of the content of this assignment.
Classical works. When you list the Bible as a source in your assignment, you do need to cite the source properly in the body of what you write, but you do not need to a classical work, such as the Bible, in your references. See pages 174, 178, and 179 in your APA Publication Manual for details about classical works. Read especially carefully the details in section 6.18.
Citing yourself. Some have wondered how to cite and list as a reference the information from your DB posts while writing your Synthesis Paper. Here’s my suggestions: These pages numbers are from the APA Publication Manual. Notice page 211, and you’ll see section 7.09 about unpublished works. Look for item 60 about unpublished raw data, and perhaps that would fit what you are asking about. Another example is on page 215. Notice item 74 about messages posted to a discussion group. That could work as well for your DB posts.
Read instructions. As always, be sure to carefully read the instructions for the Synthesis Paper assignment. Be very careful to use proper APA formatting, levels of headings, and so on. For content, you will not be telling your life story; you will be telling the story of what you learned in PSYC 255 specifically. This is not a summary of the table of contents of the textbook; you are writing a case study about you and what you learned in the course. The instructions are specific as to what you need to write; stay on topic. Tell me what you learned in the course.
Take time to reflect. The Synthesis Paper assignment is a big assignment. This assignment is a venue for you to demonstrate that which you have learned in the course, from APA formatting, to conducting a case study, to learning research content, to biblical critique, and so on. It will take a lot of thinking time and writing time to complete this. Begin early!
Synthesis Paper Q and A
Over the years students have asked various questions about the Synthesis Paper assignment. Perhaps this information below might help clarify questions you have as well. This does not change the assignment in any way, it just helps clarify some things. So, here is some information that might help.
Levels of headings. For the Synthesis Paper, you need to decide what levels of headings you need in order to properly organize your document. The first heading should be a level one heading. But underneath that big topic (whatever the topic is that you’re writing about under your level one heading) you’ll probably need to use additional headings to organize what you’re writing about. Beneath the topic of your level one heading, use a level two heading. If you have sub-topics beneath the topic of that level two heading, then use level three for those sub-topics. So, this assignment becomes an opportunity for you to demonstrate what you have learned throughout the course about APA formatting, including levels of headings and many other features.
Writing in first or third person. Some students have wondered about using third person or first person when writing the Synthesis Paper assignment. Typically, a researcher (you) would not use first person writing in most instances in your research report. This Synthesis Paper is a rather unique assignment in that you are the subject of the case study as well as the researcher for the case study. For this assignment, the preferred person to use is third person. However, if you write in first person that will be acceptable.