For the research paper, you should use two independent variables and one dependent variable. The length of the paper may vary depending on your topic. Paper should be 10 pages.
What you need to do:
Select a topic. Your project should use two independent variables and one dependent variable. These terms should be familiar to you. If not, refer to the appropriate sections in your textbook to refresh your memory. An example topic would be proposing a research to study depression. One possible proposed research would be “To examine the effects of medication and therapy on depression”, where medication and therapy are the independent variables and the depression would be the dependent variable.
Do a literature search/review to see what is currently known about you topic by finding and reading the relevant peer-reviewed journal articles on you topic.
Select at least two peer reviewed journal articles to read and to use to support and to motivate your topic. You need to write one paragraph for each article in your introduction summarizing the content of each article.
What usually happens upon reviewing the literature, one can identify a gap in the current knowledge or one would like to examine the same topic using a different combination of independent and dependent variables. Using our example study of depression, one might propose “To examine the effects of therapy and lifestyle change on depression”. This would be considered a new study and a novel contribution in the study of depression provided that this combination of independent and dependent variables had not been previously investigated.
Propose your study. You can either use existing methodologies, namely the methods that have been used in the articles you reviewed in your introduction or you can propose a new methodology.
In a real study, at this point you would conduct your experiments using participants to collect data. For our purposes, we use what is referred to as “fake data” where you basically make up data point to support your hypothesis. So you report made up numbers in the “Results” section of your paper. You also use made up numbers to create a graph for your results section.
You then write your “Discussion section” of your paper.
GRADING CRITERIA FOR FINAL PAPER
Total of 100 Points
I. Title Page and Abstract (6 points)
A. Title Page (Title not too “narrowly focused” and not too “vague”; Use APA Format)[2 points]
B. Abstract (includes intro, methods, results, and discussion within 150 word limit) [4 points]
II. Introduction (23 points)
A. At least 2 paragraphs at beginning which discuss the general problem/issues relevant to the project. Introduce key conceptual ideas and possibly relevant terminology. (6 points).
B. 3-6 paragraphs reviewing at least 3 relevant experimental studies which bear upon your project in some way (e.g., similar methodology, similar goals, similar concepts). At least 1 paragraph per experimental study. Note that many journal articles report multiple experimental studies so you can take several experimental studies from same journal article. Each paragraph should explain: what was done, what were the results, and clarify how this study is related to the current study. (9 points).
C. 1-2 paragraphs at the end of the introduction which explain what you intend to do and why you intend to do it. (8 points). NOTE: The point of the introduction is to make the reader appreciate the importance and scientific integrity of your project as well as explain clearly what you intend to accomplish and describe your proposed methodology. Points will be assigned based upon how well you accomplish these goals.
III. Method Section (16 points total)
A. Participants (3 points). (1 paragraph – possibly a very short paragraph!)
B. Materials/Apparatus (3 points). (1 –6 paragraphs)
C. Procedure (10 points). (1 – 6 paragraphs)
IV. Results (17 points total) [includes all sections A,B,C below]
A. Dependent Measures/Scoring (4 points) (0-4 paragraphs)
B. Clarity and Accuracy of Data Presentation in Graph Format (5 points).
C. APA-style results paragraphs (1-2 paragraphs) (8 points) [not required for “Expected Results”!]
V. Discussion (23 points)
A. Restatement of key findings and results of the study (6 points) [1-2 paragraphs]
B. Discussion regarding how the obtained findings and results are similar
and different with respect to at least 3 relevant experimental studies (which can
be the same ones as you used in your introduction. At least one paragraph
per experimental study. Review methodology and results for each study in such
a way to facilitate comparison of your methodology and results to results
obtained by other researchers using similar methodologies. Try to explain similarities and/or differences if possible. (9 points).
C. Summary of take-home message (8 points). [1 -2 paragraphs]. What are the key
distinguishing scientific contributions of this project?
VI. References (5 points).
References should be properly cited in text using APA format and reference list complete (3 points). At least 3 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles should be included and integrated into the paper (2 points). At least two of the journal articles should be published within the last 8 years.
VII. Writing Style (5 points).
0 = not APA format, 1=weak (organization poor and English Grammar use is not acceptable), 2=ok (watch for ambiguous words; terms not carefully defined; organization poor but English Grammar acceptable; no misspelled words), 3= good, 4=very good (“excellent” for a typical undergraduate student paper) [each word essential for each sentence; each sentence essential for each paragraph; each paragraph essential for each section], 5=excellent (scientific journal quality)
VIII. Appendix (5 points)
A. State the Statistical Analyses you used (e.g., 2 factor mixed ANOVA) and WHY you chose them in 1 sentence (1 point)
B. Give printout of the SPSS program and give a short 1-3 sentence description of how it works. (2 points)
C. Provide a printout of the output of the SPSS program. Explain using 1 paragraph and a few examples how the
SPSS output was used to generate the quantitative results reported in your paper. (2 points)