This week we will start working on developing your hypothesis and research question for the research paper assignment that will be due at the end of the term. I want you to review the instructions on how to come up with a hypothesis and research question that pertains to psychology. Choose a topic that is interesting to you and you can find plenty of authentic sources that you can use as reference. Share your hypothesis and research question of your choice under the assignment tab. Once I approve your proposed research question you can proceed with completing the next step that is going to be the bibliography.
The Research Paper Topic Proposal and Thesis Statement
The Research Paper Topic Proposal Assignment
Include the following in your topic proposal:
- Topic derived from textbook chapters
- Your research question
- Your thesis statement
- A narrative describing your topic and why you chose it (its significance)
- Your topic proposal should be approximately 200-300 words (equivalent to 2/3 – 1 double-spaced page in Word) in length. Use APA format, cite, and reference all sources.
For example, you may find interest in the life span of adolescence. From there, you may want to explore issues related to adolescent suicide. From this topic, you could pose a number of questions to research, such as:
- What are increased risks for adolescents from single-parent homes at higher risk compared to those from two-parent homes, e.g., suicide, destructive behavior, etc.?
- How does lack of play in childhood lead to self-sufficiency, anxiety, depression, and other commonly believed outcome behaviors in adolescence?
- What are the effects of “helicopter parenting” on adolescents?
How to Develop a Research Question
Your research question should enable you draw some unique conclusions so that you are not simply reporting on research that has already been concluded. You may have to do some preliminary research within your topic to determine a suitable question. Research questions are not yes/no. Rather, they explore an issue’s nuance, advantages, disadvantages, and the like. Here are some examples.
- This example is too broad and will likely lead to a confusing and disorganized paper. It lacks parameters.
Why do adolescents commit suicide?
- This example is too narrow. It can be answered rather simply with some basic data.
How many adolescent suicides occurred last year?
- This example can be answered with yes/no.
Are adolescents from single-parent homes at higher risk of suicide than those from two-parent homes?
Example of Effective Research Question:
A good research question specifies the parameters of the research, yet leaves room for analysis and the writer’s unique input.
What are some of the unique social factors that led to an increase in suicide rates among 13- to 18-year-old females in 2015?
(In your paper, you should define two to three social factors you deem significant and connect them with the appropriate physical, cognitive, and socioemotional occurrences happening during this part of life span development. Then, draw your own conclusions from the research you find.)
A thesis statement takes a debatable stance or claim of an issue or concept on which there is no current consensus. For example, “Hunger is bad for society” is not an acceptable thesis statement as few if any people will argue that hunger is ever “good.” Once you have your research question, phrase it as a statement so that it can become your thesis statement. The thesis statement is what drives the direction of your paper. An example of a thesis statement derived from the above research question:
Transgender, female adolescents are at significantly greater risk for suicide than their non-transgender peers.
Recommended: Review the rubric for further information on how your assignment will be graded.
|Topic Proposal Rubric|
|This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeResearch Question Identified||17.5 to >13.83 pts Meets Expectations The proposed research question includes excellent research parameters and will allow for a unique and substantive research inquiry. 13.83 to >10.33 pts Approaches Expectations The proposed research question includes somewhat reasonable research parameters, but may need slight revision to provide the proper scope of study. The research question may be lacking a unique perspective. 10.33 to >0 pts Not Meeting Expectations The proposed research question has unreasonable research parameters that may not allow for a substantive research inquiry. The research question may be too broad or too narrow in scope.||17.5 pts|
|This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeThesis Statement Identified||17.5 to >13.83 pts Meets Expectations Thesis statement is succinctly written, highly reasonable in scope, and directly related to the research question. 13.83 to >10.33 pts Approaches Expectations Thesis statement is generally well written, but may need slight revision for clarity. It is reasonable in scope, and generally related to the research question. 10.33 to >0 pts Not Meeting Expectations Thesis statement is missing or poorly written written.It may lack reasonable scope, or is unrelated to the research question.||17.5 pts|
|This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeNarrative Description of Topic Presented||21 to >16.59 pts Meets Expectations The writer’s purpose is clearly stated and explained in detail. Contemporary relevance is clearly explained, and intended goals are thoroughly explored. 16.59 to >12.39 pts Approaches Expectations The writer’s purpose is stated and explained but may be lacking detail or cohesiveness. Contemporary relevance is generally explained, and intended goals are somewhat explored. 12.39 to >0 pts Not Meeting Expectations The writer’s purpose is not stated or explained or is unclear. Contemporary relevance is not explained or not apparent, and intended goals are not explored.||21 pts|
|This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeAPA Style and Mechanics||14 to >11.06 pts Meets Expectations The assignment consistently follows current APA Style and is free from errors in formatting, citation, and references. No grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors. All sources are cited and referenced correctly. 11.06 to >8.26 pts Approaches Expectations The assignment consistently follows current APA Style with only isolated and inconsistent mistakes and/or has a few grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors. Most sources are cited and referenced correctly. 8.26 to >0 pts Not Meeting Expectations No attempt to follow APA Style is indicated. Sources are not used and/or there is no reference page. Mechanical errors significantly interfere with the readability of the paper.||14 pts|
|Total Points: 70|
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