Final Paper: Research Proposal
Includes Revised Introduction, Methods, and Analysis/Discussion Section
The purpose of this paper is to give you opportunities to a) revise the first version of your
literature review and b) practice designing a research study. The instructions for this paper are
presented in 2 sections: first describing the introduction which will include your revised
literature review and a statement of your hypothesis. The 2
nd
section will guide you through
writing the methods section in which you will described a proposed study to test your hypothesis.
This paper also includes a brief discussion of possible results of your study.
What to include in your paper submission:
•  Title page
•  Abstract
•  Introduction with revised literature review and statement of your hypothesis
•  Method section
•  Analysis/Discussion
•  Reference page
Formatting guidelines:
•  Use APA style guidelines
o  Typed, 12-pt Times New Roman font, double-spacing, and 1-inch margins all
around)
o  Correct APA style formatting (e.g., headings, titles, citations, references, etc.)
o  Be sure to look through your notes, handouts, and sample proposals for
information and examples of correct APA style.
•  Refer to the Literature Review First Version Handout for more information on
writing/formatting
Instructions for revising your introduction:
You have received the first version of your literature review assignment, complete with
comments, suggestions, and edits. You must now revise your literature review and incorporate
the comments and suggestions into your final version literature review. A portion of your grade
on this paper will depend on how well you are able to revise your original submission (i.e.,
incorporate all comments and suggestions), as well as the final product in general. You are given
another chance to demonstrate your knowledge of APA writing style and your ability to write a
coherent paper using a mix of your own ideas and previous research.
You must use at least 10 peer-reviewed/empirical sources in your paper. Remember that for
every source cited in your literature review, there must be a corresponding entry in the reference
section (and vice versa).
Your introduction should end with a statement of your hypothesis. Remember that a hypothesis
is a prediction about the association or effect you expect to find in your study. It is an educated
guess because it is based on previous research, training, observation, and a review of the relevant
research literature. Be specific with the directionality of your prediction: Say how the variables
are related.
Proposing the study
You will use the hypothesis in your introduction to determine what type of study you will design.
If your hypothesis predicts merely a relationship between two variables, you will be designing a
correlational study. If your hypothesis predicts that one variable causes or affects another
variable (and you can ethically and practically manipulate that first variable), then you will be
designing an experiment.
For a correlational study:
Using your specific prediction from your literature review you will be designing a correlational
study to test your prediction. Remember, in a correlational study all you are doing is measuring
your variables….there will be no conditions or manipulations! For example, say your lit review
topic was pet attachment and how it relates to your romantic relationship and you specifically
predicted that couples who are more closely matched in their attachment to their pet enjoy higher
relationship satisfaction. The two variables to measure for this correlational method will be pet
attachment and relationship satisfaction. All you will need to do is give all your participant
couples a measure (survey) of pet attachment and a measure (survey) of their relationship
satisfaction. That’s it! So the method section will be just a description of what you will be
doing.
In your paper, address the following, in this order, in APA style:
•  Include a complete Method section.
o  Participants
!  How many?
!  What are your expected demographics?
!  To what population is the prediction being generalized?
!  How is the sample being recruited? Incentives for participation?
o  Design/Measures
!  You will be designing a correlational study. State explicitly.
!  What is your predictor variable (variable 1)? What is your criterion
variable (the variable being predicted or variable 2)?
!  How will you operationally define these two variables?
•  In your operational definitions, you should use an established
measure if one exists (use the library database or other databases
to find measures already in use) or you can come up with your
own original way to assess/measure the variables. If you use
measures in existence, BE SURE to cite your source! Remember
that your operational definition refers to how you will be
measuring the variables.
!  Measures (for each measure, you must include the following)
•  Name of measure, abbreviation, and citation (if published scale;
if you’re making up the scale, then no citation necessary)
•  What does the measure assess?
•  How many items or questions?
•  Are there subscales? If so, what are they?
•  What is the response set? Open-ended or Likert? Open-ended is
like short answer or essay style, while Likert is choosing a
provided response (ex: 1 = strongly disagree; 7 = strongly agree).
•  Include 1 or 2 sample items or questions.
•  If you are creating your own measure, attach a completed
example of your measure (items/questions and answer choices)
with your paper.
o  Procedure
!  Start at participant recruitment and finish when participants leave the
study.
!  Include enough detail that someone else can replicate your study.
•  Give a brief Proposed Analysis/Discussion section.
o  Restate hypothesis.
o  Describe what statistical test you will use to analyze your data.
o  Assume you collect and analyze the data for this study and find a
correlation coefficient of + or – .72, confirming your hypothesis.  What does
this mean? What would be the implications? (Remember that you won’t
actually be collecting data. Just pretend as if you did.)
!  Since this is a correlational study, you cannot make causal claims.
For an experiment:
Using your specific prediction from your literature review you will be designing an experimental
study to test your prediction. Remember, in an experiment you have at least two conditions
(groups) and you manipulate your independent variable between these groups. For example, say
your lit review topic was does watching violent cartoons affect a child’s behavior and you
specifically predicted that children who watch violent cartoons will exhibit more aggressive
behavior than those who do not. The variable to manipulate is type of cartoon (violent or nonviolent) and the dependent variable (the variable you are interested in and are measuring) is the
child’s behavior after watching TV. All you will need to do is manipulate your independent
variable and then measure your dependent variable. That’s it!
In your paper, address the following, in this order, in APA style:
•  Include a complete Method section.
o  Participants
!  How many?
!  To what population is the prediction being generalized?
!  How is the sample being recruited?
!  What are your expected demographics?
!  Incentives for participation?
o  Design
!  Experimental design
!  What are your independent and dependent variables?
!  What are the operational definitions for these variables?
•  For IV: How are you manipulating the variable? Describe the
different groups or conditions.
•  For DV: How are you measuring this variable? Be specific.
o  Procedure
!  Start at participant recruitment and finish when participants leave the
study.
!  Include enough detail that someone else can replicate your study.
!  You must also include a statement describing the measures you have
taken to ensure that your study is in compliance with APA guidelines for
ethical research.
o  Measures (for any measures you include, you must include the following)
!  Name of measure, abbreviation, and citation (if published scale; if you’re
making up the scale, then no citation necessary)
!  What does the measure assess?
!  How many items or questions?
!  Are there subscales? If so, what are they?
!  What is the response set? Open-ended or Likert? Open-ended is like
short answer or essay style, while Likert is choosing a provided response
(ex: 1 = strongly disagree; 7 = strongly agree).
!  Include 1 or 2 sample items or questions.
!  If you are creating your own measure, attach a completed example of
your measure (items/questions and answer choices) with your paper.
•  Give a brief Proposed Analysis/Discussion section.
o  Restate hypothesis.
o  Assume you collect and analyze the data for this study and find a significant
difference between your groups.  Describe what type of analysis you would
have used (t-test or ANOVA depending on the number of groups). If two groups
differ, what will that mean? What would be the implications? (Remember that
you won’t actually be collecting data. Just pretend as if you did.)

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