Identify a topic or subtopic related to the course.

Identify a topic or subtopic related to the course.

  1. Research Paper – You will be asked to find, read, and use various journals, trade publications, online resources, and articles related to the content of this course and develop a paper that summarizes, analyzes, discusses, and compares and contrasts concepts from your research. You may use the textbook for your paper but do not use the textbook exclusively. The paper should be at least 5 pages of double-spaced text (1500 words minimum excluding coversheet, illustrations, and references). You should submit your paper to the Digital Drop Box on BeachBoard by the deadline.

Please include a cover sheet with your paper, identify the title of your paper (can be more specific than the topic), and include a line of text indicating the total word count in the paper (excluding your citations list). Use the “word count” feature in MS Word or your word-processing software to calculate the number of words; don’t count them by hand. Listed below are suggested steps for completing your research project.

  • Step 1: Identify a topic or subtopic related to the course. For a quick review of the concepts related to the course, see the textbook’s detailed table of contents. This may help you identify an area of interest about which to write. 
  • Step 2: Use the library and other resources (including the textbook) to research your topic. You can use a variety of articles from journals, trade publications, and other resources. Remember that the best information usually comes from scholarly works published in peer-reviewed journals. Any materials you find are best published after the year 2000, unless there are historical and/or comparative reasons for using older works. Some materials are “classics” and using older publications because they are classics is permitted. This “published after the year 2000” is not a mandatory requirement and will not negatively affect your grade; however the best materials are usually recent.
  • Step 3: Start working on your paper, perhaps using the guidelines as follows:
    • Identify a general topic for your paper; your title can come later.
    • Identify the problem/issue/concept of your topic. In other words, what overall issue(s) are addressed in the resources you read about your topic? Include information about why it’s important to study this topic.
    • Define the problem/issue/concept. In other words, say more about the topic (for example, cite statistics about the topic and who it affects and why). What do other people say about your topic?
    • Identify additional aspects (features) of the topic, which may be related to the materials that you have read. Think outside the box. Are there interesting, compelling, obscure, or unusual aspects related to your topic? Including this information would help make your paper more interesting.
    • Develop your own synthesis, discussion, and conclusions. In this section, write about what you think about the topic and why. Are the conclusions of the materials you read sound? Do you agree or disagree with the journals and other articles you read? Or, is there some doubt about what you read? Include any assumptions or implications from what you read.
    • Please try NOT to use first or second person in your paper. In other words, try not to use the word “I” or the word “you” in your paper. If you can’t help using first or second person in your paper because you are relating the material in the articles to your own experience or opinions, then that’s okay. But please limit the words “I” and “you” as much as possible.
    • Think about developing a section of your paper devoted to “Further Research.” In other words, indicate what additional research might be conducted by others to gain more knowledge about the topic that was not provided in the articles you read. What else needs to be done about the problem/topic/issue? Did the materials you read include enough participants? Was the methodology appropriate? Did the author(s) reach the correct conclusions? Do you trust the articles? What about the credibility of the sources you found and used? Are conclusions from the articles valid and reliable? Why or why not?
    • Include a References Cited section at the end of your paper. Use American Psychological Association (APA) style in both the text of your paper and in the References Cited. Do not include any references in this section that were not “cited” in your paper.
    • Use at least five (5) different references, such as two references from a peer-reviewed journal, one reference from a trade publication, one reference from a newspaper, etc. You should be referencing at least two different peer-reviewed journal articles in your paper; these journal articles can be online. The rest of your references can be from any legitimate source. For an exhaustive list of potential sources, review the Notes sections at the end of each chapter. How many times you cite each source is up to you.
    • Submit your paper to the Digital Drop Box on BeachBoard by the specified deadline. Your paper will be reviewed using the University’s plagiarism detection service. Plagiarize papers will result in a grade of “F” for the assignment with no opportunity for resubmission. Please do not plagiarize.
    • Make sure that your research paper is something of which you can be very proud.


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Identify a topic or subtopic related to the course. was first posted on July 25, 2019 at 9:10 am.
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