Students will take an in-depth look at a topical issue in psychology of their choice. In this assignment, students will find both non-scholarly and scholarly sources that focus on a central issue of interest. Students must include 4 different non-scholarly sources (e.g., only one from Psychology Today, one from Newsweek, etc.) and 4 scholarly sources (1 literature review and 3 empirical studies) in their research of the topic. At least 4 scholarly and 4 non-scholarly sources must be less than 5 years old. Students may include older articles in addition to the main scholarly and non-scholarly sources. Students will evaluate each of the sources, identify competing ideas, and based on the strength of the evidence of the sources, make conclusions regarding the topic. Students will then propose a study that would help contribute knowledge to the topic or resolve unanswered questions on the topic.
Conduct a search for 4 non-scholarly sources and establish a topic. You should select a recent article (less that 5 years old) from a non-scholarly source that makes claims about any topic relating to psychology. The topic should be one of interest to you. You will be assessed on how well you pick sources that demonstrate a connection to one another.
Search for 4 scholarly sources (less that 5 years old) that address the topic you have selected. Again, it is best to find sources that address the claims of the non-scholarly articles as closely as possible. At least three of your sources must be empirical studies (data was collected and analyzed). One of your sources can be a literature review.
Read through and identify the claims and evidence used in your sources. There should be one or two claims from your non-scholarly sources that you will focus on for your assignment. Claims are ideas put forth by the author or organization (e.g., homework for elementary school students is counterproductive). The claim of the sources will also be supported by evidence (i.e., ideas from intuition, personal anecdotes, statements from authorities on the topic, evidence of tradition, logical connections, and/or empirical observation).You should consider the strength of the evidence in convincing the audience about the claim as well unanswered questions you have about the topic. You will be providing a critical review of your sources, so it is important to review all your sources with an evaluative frame of mind.
Title page. This should follow APA 7 professional paper formatting.
Abstract. Per APA 7, this should present a brief overview of your research paper, including your research question and any underlying theories that are guiding your work.
In the body of your paper, you should have:
Introduction. Presents the topic and main claim(s) you will be addressing in your paper. The introduction should capture the reader’s interest, present any controversies in the topic, a thesis or question you will address in the paper, and an outline of the rest of the paper.
Description of the claims and evidence from your sources. Present information about positions your sources take, how they support those positions.
Critical evaluation of your sources. As you describe your sources you should integrate evaluations with EXPLANATION of those sources. Explain the strengths and weaknesses of the information provided by the source and unanswered questions or unaddressed issues of the topic.
Comparison of sources. You should make comparison among sources and your evaluation of the sources. How do the sources support one another, refute one another, and explanations for which sources were more impactful.
Conclusion. You should make conclusive statements about the topic/issue you are addressing, implications of the issue to parents, teachers, counselors, or others in interacting with children, and issues or factors that are left unresolved or unaddressed.
Connection to research proposal. Connect the evaluation of sources with your research proposal. How did your review lead you to deciding what to propose and the design you selected?
Reference Page. After your proposal, be sure to include an APA 7 format reference page. All sources cited in the paper should also be in the reference page and vice-versa.
PART II: Research Study Proposal
In addition to the paper write-up, you will also create a proposal for an empirical study. It would be wise to review the Canvas content page 2.12 Developing a Research Proposal.
The purpose of your proposed study should go to address unresolved or unaddressed factors that you identified in the paper or to strengthen the evidence for a claim. Be sure to follow APA 7 heading rules. The proposal should include the following:
Rationale – a description for the need of the study you are proposing. In a rationale you should address what is known about the topic (from your sources) and what is unknown and necessary to be studied. A good rationale will demonstrate why the study is important and necessary to contribute new knowledge to the topic.
Design – a description and explanation for the design that you will use (e.g., naturalistic observation, systematic observation, content analysis, correlational design, experimental, quasi-experimental). Briefly justify why you selected that design.
Participants – a description and explanation for the participants you would include, how many participants, and the sampling method you would use. Briefly justify your choices.
Measures – a description and explanation for how you will measure your variables, including conceptual and operational definitions of all variables in your study. Issues of reliability and construct validity should be addressed.
Procedures – very detailed description of how the study will be conducted. The procedures should be detailed enough for someone else to follow and be able to conduct the study (like a recipe). The more appropriate methodological ideas that you include from class the better your grade.
Anticipated Results – what do you expect to learn from your study? How will it contribute to existing knowledge about the topic? How will it benefit society or a particular community?
Your proposal will be graded on the appropriateness of the design, detail, and inclusion of concepts from class. Detailed rubrics will be posted. The research paper will also be graded on your adherence to APA 7 format rules. See the Research Paper Rubric for details.
You will be turning in your research paper/proposal to turnitin.com, which will run a duplication check. Be sure to CITE all sources and PARAPHRASE instead of listing direct quotes. Plagiarism is unacceptable. Turn your paper in early to ensure that you make any changes needed.
Any citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, Harvard)
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