Your research paper will include the revision of your literature review and the extension of your literature into a formal research paper.
Introduction (Revised Literature Review)
Your literature review included the analysis and synthesis of 6 empirical research articles with original research. From this review, you developed and proposed a prediction or hypothesis as to the results of a future research question (which we actually tested on the first day of class). Your Intro should include:
Your original literature review with suggested revisions provided by me during grading.
Statement of the problem with strong opening sentences, starting broad and narrowing down
All references must be in proper APA Style.
Citations from your paper must match reference section exactly. References must be logically
cited in the body of your text.
Transitions must be smooth and structure must follow a logical, smooth sequence.
Compare and/or contrast studies explaining the type of research that has been conducted in
this area in the past.
What will be done? What is the purpose? What is the justification for this study? Why is it
You can add what this study contributes to social science/society, that is, the importance of the
study for social science and/or society.
Remember, your hypothesis must be a measurable and testable prediction intelligently derived
from discussion of literature and problem. The hypothesis has to make sense from what you discussed in the literature review and what you further describe in the Method section.
Who are your research participants?
How did you recruit them?
Provide basic descriptive data about your participants (age, gender, ethnicity, etc.) Make it up if
you have to.
If there are serious sampling limitations, mention them here and explain why your approach
was still justified.
What was the overall design? (how many IV’s, how many groups per IV)
Was this a true experiment? A quasi-experimental study? or another type of study (e.g.,
observation, case study, correlational study)?
What were the overall procedures of the study?
What step-by-step process did you do with each participant? Remember, the point here is that
someone else is able to replicate your study.
Psy/Soc 240 – Research Paper Instructions
Why did you select this method?
Was informed consent obtained? Why or why not? What ethical issues may there be (e.g.,
stressful conditions, deception or placebo groups…), and how did you deal with them?
Describe your variables, do you have an independent/dependent variable distinction or are you studying one variable or the relationship between two variables.
How did you construct your independent variable if you had an IV/DV distinction?
o Based on an existing group membership (therapy v. no therapy)
o Based on measurement (people above or below some score on a scale, e.g., high vs. low
o Was it a true independent variable, i.e., that you manipulated or controlled? o How did you manipulate, if you manipulated?
How did you operationally define your dependent variable if you had an IV/DV distinction?
o Where did your numbers come from? What kind of measures did you use? How did you go from a bunch of survey questions to an actual score or from a series of field notes to
an actual score?
o Were the measures previously reported or known to be reliable and valid? How?
Include any measures used such as survey/questionnaire in the Appendix of the paper.
This will be a small section. Follow the sample provided in class. This section might be about 1⁄2 to 1 page and should include:
The type of statistical test conducted.
Restate the hypothesis.
A complete statement of whether there was a significant or non significant difference between
Include means, standard deviations, and statistical t-test results.
A complete statement in words that people can understand describing your data in words
explaining if the hypothesis was supported.
This section is going to include your evaluation of the research study as the results apply to the literature search conducted. This section should be at least 1 1⁄2 pages and should include the following:
Restate the problem.
What were the most interesting findings?
What are the implications (significance) of the results for the hypothesis – was it supported?
How do the results relate to the literature/problem.
Did any problems occur with the research study or methodology?
Retrospectively, what would you have done differently?
What were the limitations of your study in terms of internal validity?
o …from the way you operationalized your variables? 2
Psy/Soc 240 – Research Paper Instructions
o …from the overall design of your research approach?
What were the limitations of your study in terms of external validity?
o experimental manipulation or lack of experimental manipulation? o independent or dependent variable?
o research setting or context
o sample or sampling procedure
Considering the results, is this study important for psychology/social science?
How has theory been (or not been) advanced?
Writing Style and Requirements
Paper APA format, including at least six empirical references listed in the Reference section.
The entire paper must be in your own words unless you are explicitly quoting another source
and using correct citation format. No more than 3 direct quotations from your articles and only
if there is no other way to paraphrase them.
Formal writing style, from the researcher’s perspective, written in third person.
Free of grammar and spelling errors, correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, and
overall clarity is expected.
Attach previous literature review to allow for any needed comparisons of corrected work. If it
was corrected online, attach both documents to your submission.
What research follows from this? Specifically, what could future research do to further understand the problem?
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