For this assignment you should:
Step 1. Use the library and other sources to search the literature (e.g., PsycINFO) for research on a topic of interest to you.
Step 2. Find and read the “primary” references or primary research material in the psychology journals on your topic.
Step 3. Organize, summarize, and draw conclusions regarding the information in the primary references.
Step 4. Think critically about the information in the primary references. Were there any problems with the research? What needs/should to be done next?
Step 5. From the critical thinking in step 4, develop a specific hypothesis regarding your primary references.
Step 6. Design a methodologically sound study to answer your specific hypothesis. Remember, the focus of this research paper is on methodology. Thus you should write the methodological part of the paper first. This will ensure that you have the correct focus. Once the method section is complete, write a 2-3 page introduction to your topic that logically leads the reader to your detailed methodology. The final paragraph in your introduction should include a testable hypothesis. The methodological section should be followed by a brief results section (just a sentence or two outlining the major statistical technique used and the main finding of your study – e.g., mean group differences or correlation). Once you report the main results, you will need a discussion/conclusion section and finally the reference section. The fictional data and statistical analysis that you will perform to test your hypothesis are to be presented in more detail in the poster component of this assignment (i.e., showcase/graph group differences, correlations, etc.).
Step 7. Reread your background research and proposed methodology again and again. It should end up being a very logical report that uses APA format (see Appendix A in your textbook).
Note: An example of a paper and poster can be found on the course site in Appendix C. Please note that this example paper and poster was written by a PSYC 2250 student using an earlier version of APA format, so some of the APA formatting will be different than the APA format outlined in your textbook. If there’s a discrepancy, please follow the APA formatting outlined in your textbook. Also note that although the student who wrote this paper did exceptionally well – an A+ – the paper does contain some errors and remember that things can always be improved upon!
Create some fictional data for your proposed methodology in your research paper. Use a minimum of 30 subjects. Analyze it using SPSS (i.e., find the means of your groups and graph them; produce a scatterplot, or showcase your interaction, etc.). Prepare a poster that you would use at a psychological conference to present your research. A poster normally consists of a number of 8.5 x 11 sheets of paper attached to a piece of poster board. Obviously we will do it electronically – so PowerPoint may be a useful tool to consider.
The poster should include the following:
Presentation style guidelines:
Again an example of the paper and poster can be found on the course site in Appendix C. It would make a lot of sense to review this poster before you begin creating yours!
The marks are assigned as follows for this research paper and poster:
|Percent of course|
|Content of the paper||15%|
|Primary reference coverage||3%|
|Conceptual organization of primary references: clear hypotheses.||6%|
|Proposed methodology and discussion||6%|
|Spelling, grammar, etc.||1%|
|Use of APA format||4%||______|
|Total research paper||20%|
|Grand Total (paper + poster)||25%|
Sample Marking Key: PSYC 2250 Research Paper and Poster
APA Usage (-0.25 for each error)
Are the following in APA: title page / abstract / referencing / reference page / page numbers
*If some correct APA is used correctly, may obtain 0.5 marks. /4
Grammar and Readability
1/1 Excellent use of grammar and very readable.
0.75 Good use of grammar and readability: minor violations.
0.5 Adequate use of grammar: hard to read in places – needs work.
0.25 Poor use of grammar and poor readability. You need to start writing
and reviewing your work more closely. Practice, Practice, Practice!
0 It took too long to decipher what you were trying to say.
You need to practice your formal writing skills much more. /1
Primary Reference Coverage
– Are there sufficient primary references? Are they current and/or appropriate? /3
Conceptual Organization of Primary References (Introduction)
– Is each paragraph organized (i.e., do most have an intro, method, results, & conclusion sentence)?
– Are the references organized logically? Do they tell a research story that leads to testable hypothesis?
– Are the transitions between references smooth?
– Are the conclusions accurate?
– Are the references linked/integrated in some fashion?
– Are/Is the hypotheses testable? /6
– Is method section organized properly according to APA (i.e., headings and subheadings)?
– Are the sampling methodology and participants sufficiently described?
– Is the design type named and described? Does it effectively test the hypothesis?
– Are there statements related to ethical standards?
– Are the measurement tools described and operationally defined? Are they reliable/valid?
– Is the procedure clear and clean (i.e., no confounds)?
– Results: Is main result reported? *Only a sentence or two. Detailed results to be in poster.
– Discussion: Are the results summarized? Are results compared/contrasted with other research findings?
– Is the designed critiqued (pros and cons of current design)? Speculate on future research?
/6 Total Paper Portion /20
Organization and Clarity
– Are all the components present (i.e., title page: name, institution, abstract; Intro, Method,
Results, Discussion, References)?
– Is the Font large enough (i.e., can it be read from 6 feet (2 metres) away?) /2
– Are the bullet points clear, logical and informative? /3
– Is a flowchart used to describe sampling or method (i.e., randomness)?
– Are there figures/graphs/charts/tables that showcase the results?
– Are the figure/graph/chart/table captions succinct, correct, & valid?
Total Poster Portion /5
Grand Total /25
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