Determinants of Alcohol Consumption Amoung University Students
Communicating Research in Psychology
MSc Proposal: Guidelines & Advice
Weighting: 50%(=10 credits) of PRP4010
Deadline: Submit by 9am, Friday 24/1/2014
You must submit one electronic copy to: Blackboard > PRP4010 CRIPS > Assignments > complete declaration > choose ‘Proposal’ assignment link which includes your dissertation supervisor’s name. Submissions will be anonymous, but note that graders will see the file name of the document that you submit, and thus to guarantee anonymity, do not include your name in the file name.
The 4000-word proposal should take the form of a literature review. Unless otherwise specified by your dissertation supervisor , the proposal should only include the following five elements:
1. Title page specifying title of literature review, banner id., and name of supervisor (not included in word count).
2. Abstract (aim for ~150 words). See guidance notes.
3. Literature review relevant to your area of research, as discussed with your dissertation supervisor (aim for ~3850 words). See guidance notes.
4. Reference list (not included in word count).
5. APA formatting and style, inclusive of (but not limited to) appropriate language use, left-justified running head, page numbers, double-line spacing, appropriate in-text citations & corresponding reference list entries, and suitable section headers. For further information on APA style & formatting (e.g. how-to-guides, examples) go to the CRIPS Blackboard site.
In combination, the abstract and literature review should not be in excess of 4000 words. Should you exceed this limit, even by one word, a penalty will be applied and this will typically take the form of a reduction of one grade on the categorical marking scheme: e.g. B B-. Extreme word limit violations will incur a heavier penalty. There is not a lower word limit for this assignment, but in order to ensure parity across students, you should aim to write not less than 3500 words in total. Note that although a lower word limit penalty will not be applied, your grader might feel that a short review lacks scope, and you may therefore be downgraded in accordance with the ‘breadth and depth’ marking criteria (see attached marking guidelines).
What’s the difference between an ‘Introduction’ and a ‘Literature Review’?
The introduction to a research dissertation, or an empirical article, is structured in a formulaic manner: It starts with a broad opening statement which contextualises the theme of the research; it then reviews the most relevant previous research in the field, which elucidates what is already known (empirically and theoretically), and importantly, identifies what is yet untested/unclear/contentious; the goal of reviewin g relevant literature (within the introduction) is to forge a justification for the direction of predictions/hypotheses, and the way that it/they were tested. The ultimate goal of an introduction is to make clear the importance and requirement for the current research. In addition, the introduction needs to be tackled in such a way as to provide an implicit nudge to prepare the reader for the actual outcome of the study. Thus, the literature reviewed within the introduction is cherry-picked so that it logically and coherently relates to the main findings of the research. Most often, an introduction will be written after data is collected – this does not mean altering hypotheses post hoc, but instead, facilitates the generation of a well-balanced justification for the study, whilst setting-up an interpretation of the data (in the discussion section) that naturally makes sense in the context of previous findings reviewed in the introduction.
A literature review on the other hand, should ultimately lead to the creation of hypotheses, as it will consolidate what is known, and what is yet to be investigated, within a specified area of research. The generation of good research hypotheses should always start with a good review of the literature, and indeed, the literature review is an essential part of the research process. In addition to this, writing a literature review will undoubtedly help you to understand the research area better, and allow you to demonstrate your knowledge about the research area. The literature review will also provide a service to others interested in the field, as it will consolidate the ongoing conversation between researchers who publish within the research area, without those readers having to do the legwork. Essentially, a literature review will consider the major, peer-reviewed, works published within your narrow research area. It will provide a review of those sources, and this review should be considered as a snapshot of the major concepts present within those sources (rather than an exhaustive account of each source). Crucially, the literature review will elucidate the relationship between those sources, by synthesising the literature. This synthesis will group different sources based on whether they contradict or support one another, and it will detect patterns to help explain opposition within the literature. Furthermore, the literature review will analyse the content of grouped sources in terms of the questions that they raise, and it will explore how the sources offer important insights into the research area. The literature review will also critically evaluate whether the reviewed studies are thorough, or whether there are any gaps in particular areas, themes, methodologies, or if there needs to be fusion between differing strands of the literature, and so on. Once written, the literature review will have achieved the following: Selected and reviewed key and subsidiary (relevant) sources related to the research topic; established links between sources with regard to their similarities and differences; emphasised the scientific insights provided by previous groups of studies (i.e. presented the current state of play); identified a gap(s) in the literature that requires attention; suggested possible future directions.
Key words for success & what they mean
Synthesise: Synthesis becomes possible on completion of a comprehensive literature search, and after you have read a substantial number of published articles (in entirety). On reading a body of literature, a number of themes will begin to emerge – these themes might be, for example, with regard to the way that data is interpreted, with regard to the implications outlined, or in the way that data is collected (methodology). It will become evident that some works oppose one another, and others support one another, and that the emphasis of some research is very different to the emphasis of others. Grouping, or relating, empirical works together based on similarity of outcomes/interpretation/methodology, is an excellent way to synthesise literature. As synthesiser, you are impartial to the arguments presented within the literature, and instead you review the major concepts from within groups of papers, with the purpose of documenting bodies of evidence and forging associations or dissociations between them.
One way of systematically revealing relationships amongst different works is to construct a synthesis matrix. A synthesis matrix can readily be produced once you have identified themes from within the literature that you wish to explore, and once you have selected key readings to include in the review – an excellent example of a synthesis matrix can be found within the ‘useful resources’ links.
Analyse: Once you have grouped together articles that will be included in the review, it is important to explore the insights that they offer. Much like a statistical analysis, the analysis of the reviewed literature will summarise the way in which each body of evidence significantly contributes to the field of research – the analysis will essentially, identify the current state of play within the literature.
Critically evaluate: You will have spent a great deal of time understanding the relationship between different sources, and you will have identified the ways in which those articles have advanced our understanding. However, scientific discovery is never complete, and the more you engage with the literature (and the more familiar you become with your supervisor’s work), the more evident it will become that there are questions unanswered by your literature review, or that there remain as many opposing as supporting studies with regard to a particular theory, or that a specific methodology has not been applied to an otherwise well-investigated issue. Establishing what has yet to be done within the narrow research topic, will depend on a critical evaluation of what has been achieved – were research questions answered thoroughly? Were all possible methodologies accounted for? Were conflicts within the literature adequately resolved? And so on.
You will find an excellent resource here:
– Literature review: Synthesizing multiple sources
– Writing a literature review and using a synthesis matrix
– Literature review overview for graduate students (movie tutorial – 10 minutes long)
Marking guidelines & supervisor’s guidance
Do please review the marking guidelines before starting to write. Additionally, your supervisor is your expert source of support, and if they want you to tackle the literature review in a different way than this document suggests, then you should heed their advice – please remember that supervisors will be grading their own students’ literature reviews, and therefore, listen to their advice.
Our research team has recently developed an attentional-control training programme (a “computer game”) for use on hand-held mobile devices. Various kinds of addiction-related stimuli (alcohol, drugs, smoking, unhealthy food) can be used in the programme. Training using the programme on mobile devices should help people overcome their attentional bias for addiction-related stimuli and, hence, control their addictive behaviour. Various research projects could be conducted to evaluate the computer games, for example, with people who are trying to (a) quit smoking, (b) control their diet, or (c) reduce their alcohol consumption. The results of these studies could have important implications for consumer and public-health issues.
Although many university students drink heavily, others drink moderately or not at all. How can we account for these different patterns of drinking? One possibility is that the different groups differ in self-regulation, or “the capacity to plan, guide, and monitor one’s behaviour flexibly in the face of changing circumstances”. Self-regulation is believed to be an important variable related to alcohol consumption in that, in general, self-regulation has been found to be negatively related to the amount of alcohol that people habitually drink. In this study, the relationship between university students’ self-regulation—and probably also a variety of other variables—and their drinking behaviour will be studied.
Delivering a high-quality product at a reasonable price is not enough anymore.
That’s why we have developed 5 beneficial guarantees that will make your experience with our service enjoyable, easy, and safe.
You have to be 100% sure of the quality of your product to give a money-back guarantee. This describes us perfectly. Make sure that this guarantee is totally transparent.Read more
Each paper is composed from scratch, according to your instructions. It is then checked by our plagiarism-detection software. There is no gap where plagiarism could squeeze in.Read more
Thanks to our free revisions, there is no way for you to be unsatisfied. We will work on your paper until you are completely happy with the result.Read more
Your email is safe, as we store it according to international data protection rules. Your bank details are secure, as we use only reliable payment systems.Read more
By sending us your money, you buy the service we provide. Check out our terms and conditions if you prefer business talks to be laid out in official language.Read more