In this class, you will practice writing a research paper, as is done in psychological science
In this class, you will practice writing a research paper, as is done in psychological science. As part of the class, you have participated in a study; during class, we asked you to complete a survey. This survey will be the foundation for your research paper. Typically, when you conduct a research study, you are in charge of choosing the variables and designing the study; in this case, we have done this for you. Below are some details regarding the writing of the research paper.
1. You will be asked to choose one independent variable and three dependent variables. These variables will come from the survey that you will complete as part of class participation. A separate sheet will be given out that tells you which variables can be used as IVs and DVs.
2. The paper will consist of 4 primary sections: Introduction, Method, Results, and Discussion. Below is a rubric for the final paper. This rubric tells you all the sections that are required for the paper
a. The introduction should present a general purpose of the paper (presenting your topic), a more specific purpose statement, and provide an overview of the literature (you should cover the independent variable and it’s relation to the dependent variables). The literature review should provide previous research that builds up to and supports your hypotheses. After you have covered the previous literature, you should present your hypotheses. I recommend that you specifically outline and label your hypotheses (e.g., label them as H1, H2, H3).
b. The methods section explains what was done. Typically there are three sections:
i. Participants: This section provides information about the total sample size for the study, the number of women and men, the mean (and standard deviation) of age, and a breakdown of the races/ethnicities in the study
ii. Procedure: The step-by-step guide to what the participants experienced. This should be discussed in great detail, so that other researchers know exactly what the participants went through, and so that they can set up the study in the exact same way.
iii. Measures: Provide information of what the IV and the DVs are. For each of these, provide information on the number of items in the scale that was used to measure the variable, the response scale (number of scale points, and how it was anchored), and an example question from the scale. You can also provide information about how the scale was scored (e.g., for the IV, particularly). For each measure that you describe, you should provide the citation for it (see the Survey document in the Research Paper folder on Blackboard).
c. The results sectiondetails the analyses that were done and what was found. Typically, this involves the presentation of numbers in the text, and/or a table of numbers. You will be asked to follow a very specific format for these analysis. You will also be asked to present the information in a table. The table should be presented at the end of the paper (last page), and it should be referenced in the results section (e.g., “see Table 1”).
d. The discussion section sets the results into a larger context. The following points should be addressed:
i. There should be a summary of the main findings(without numbers), following by conclusions for each analyses. It is a good idea to compare the findings of the current study to findings of previous studies; this can be done by comparing what one found with what one has discussed in the introduction.
ii. This is followed by a discussion of the implications of the findings; perhaps you can think of some clinical implications, public policy implications, or theoretical implication (or some other implication).
iii. There should be a discussion of the limitationsof the current study.
iv. There should be a discussion of future directions(perhaps your analyses lead to new questions).
v. The discussion should end with a conclusion, in which you present a take-away message.
3. For the current paper, you will be required to find at minimum 3 previous research (empirical) articles that should be cited in the introduction and discussion (these are beyond the citations for the scales in the methods section). These must be peer-reviewed and published in academic journals. You may use more than 3 articles, should you feel the need to do so.
4. The paper MUST be in APA format. This includes a title page, and a reference page.
In total: The paper should be 6-10 pages long and be double-spaced (2-3 pages for Introduction, 1-2 pages for Method, 1 page for Results, & 2-4 pages for Discussion, include References).
For the introduction: It is strongly recommended that you do not use block quotes; if you do, you will lose points. Quotes of any kind does not demonstrates that you know the material; it demonstrates that you can google, copy and paste. In psychology, quotes are generally discouraged and rarely used.
Final Paper Rubric
General Purpose Paragraph
Specific Purpose Paragraph
Lit Review Paragraph 1
Lit Review Paragraph 2
Lit Review Paragraph 3
Summary of Main Findings
Conclusions for DV1
Conclusions for DV2
Conclusions for DV3
Limitations of Study
Take Away Message
APA style (headers, citations, structure)
Grammar and Spelling
There are 3 options for the IV for your research paper; select the IV that you wish to write about. Once you select your IV, you must select 3 of the 4 DVs listed below the IV.
Remember, in our study, the IVs consist of 2 groups (see below), while the DVs are continuous.
IV: Sleep Quality(poor sleep quality vs. good sleep quality)
1) Depression symptoms,
3) Driving Anger,
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