The Research Paper is worth 15% of your final course grade and must be 1,300 words minimum (about 4-5 pages double spaced*). You must read and cite a minimum of two sources in this paper.
The research paper is intended to provide you with the opportunity to explore a class topic of interest more fully, as well as examine it from a more empirical perspective. The inclusion of materials from popular magazines or the web can be used in the paper, but does not count toward the article requirement. You should strive to find articles from the past decade and the paper must be written in APA style.
Things to do:
Try to find review articles and other basic information to use for background (outside of what is provided in textbook)
Find 2 empirical articles (papers have method/results sections)
Write the paper Background information to topic;
Research question/hypotheses
Describe/summarize empirical articles
Critically analyze topic; synthesize findings from articles
Propose future directions/research (be as specific as you’d like)
The 2 “empirical papers” must have methods/results sections. You may use as many extra review articles or other empirical articles as you would like, but there must be at least 2 studies that are discussed and critiqued in detail.
Describe the background, method, results, and conclusions of the 2 empirical papers.
Provide your own “take” on the topic in the form of a critique and future research ideas. You MUST show that you have gone beyond a summary and have critically thought about the topic.
The paper must be written in APA format. There are 2 primary ways you will use APA formatting: referencing and use of section headers.
Referencing must be in APA style. Please see below for details or my website for APA style information sheets. You can use your textbook as an example of how to reference. Any ideas or conclusions that are not your own (information that you have learned), you must cite – give credit to the person that had that idea!
Section headers are required in your paper. These should be descriptive of the paragraph(s) in that section (e.g. “Overview of false memories and children” then “Theories for false memories” then “Examination of familiarity”, etc.). The headers should be italicized and on their own line.
Papers must be 1,300 words minimum (about 4-5 pages double spaced -spaced), 12-pt font, with additional, separate title page and reference page. Please include page numbers. Other APA style formatting, such as running heads or an abstract, is not required but welcomed.
Reference page: Only include references of papers that YOU have read. If you have any questions about how to correctly cite a source, please ask, but also see the information below or on Purdue Owl.
Specific APA style information:
Components of paper
Title page: Name, title, class, section, date
Body (use headers where appropriate)
References: end of the paper with centered title “References”
Margins – One-inch margins are required on every side. (File > Page setup)
Spacing – Double-spaced
Font – Times New Roman, 12 point
Page numbers – Make sure to put page numbers at the top right corner of every page (in the header)
Good writing tips
QUOTATIONS: Quotations should generally not be used.
Ex. Improper Voice for Academic Writing
In this review, I will show that the literature on treating juvenile murderers is sparse and suffers from the same problems as the general literature … Unfortunately, I have found that most of the treatment results are based on clinical case reports of …
Ex. Suitable Voice for Academic Writing
The literature on treating juvenile murderers is sparse and suffers from the same problems as the general literature… Most of the treatment results are based on clinical case reports…
“conducted a study” instead of “did a study”
“examined” instead of “looked at”
“utilize” instead of “use” (where appropriate)
“great deal” instead of “a lot”
“furthermore” instead of run-on sentences
ORGANIZE THE PAPER BY TOPICS NOT CHRONOLOGY: Build a paper with a clear thesis. Good writing should provide clear and organized evidence for your argument or theory.
BE CONCISE: Delete unnecessary words, phrases, and sentences to drastically improve your writing. Scientific writing is concise and to the point!
REVISE AND REWRITE: Good writing takes hard work. Give yourself enough time to take a break from the paper. Time away from the paper provides perspective regarding the organization and allows the opportunity to find technical errors.
CITATIONS: It is imperative that you use good citation habits. It is plagiarism to use other writers’ words and IDEAS.

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