The second paper (with the other
being the theory paper) for this course is a
research proposal. Students will choose topics based on their own interests,
and design studies to test their hypotheses.
Your research proposal should
include the following sections:
Included a literature review of
the topic area of your proposal, and rationale for the proposed study.
Is there a theoretical framework from which you ideas are based? What previous
work has been done in this area? What is the specific problem that your
study will address? How is you proposed study similar or different from
previous work? What is your hypothesis (or hypotheses)?
How would you conduct your study?
Participants-- Who are you going
to study? How would you recruit this sample? Is there anything unique or
problematic about this sample?
Procedure-- What would participants
in your study do? What would you do to collect your data?
Measures-- Are there any scales
or questionnaires that are going to be administered to participants? If
so, do you need to create these scales, or are there preexisting measures
that you can use? Include all measures in appendices at the end of your
(3) Anticipated Results
If your hypothesis is correct, what
would the results of your study be? For example, should one group in your
study score differently than other group (e.g., [albeit very stereotypically]
men score lower on commitment than women). Would you expect that certain
relational constructs would be associated/correlated with each other (e.g.,
jealousy and probability of perpetrating domestic abuse are correlated).
Assuming you obtain the expected
results, what are the implications of your study? How does your study relate
to the "big picture"? What are the strengths and limitations of your study?
Within the text of your paper (particularly
the introduction and method sections) you should have cited journal articles
and possibly book chapters. This section contains the references for these
papers, in APA style.
Include all measures and materials
An excellent paper should provide
a solid rationale for why the proposed study is necessary, novel, and/or
interesting. It should be built upon a strong foundation of psychological
theory-- in other words, the study should be connected to the field of
relationships in some meaningful way, building on the broad principles
discussed throughout the semester. In addition, enough details should be
provided so that someone reading the paper could actually conduct the study
armed with only the information given in the proposal. Critical to both
of these goals is the clear communication of your ideas, so an effective
writing style is paramount. It is expected that the paper be formatted/written
in APA style (we can discuss APA style in class if needed).
Include a title page as the first page
- Total page length of your text
(not including title page, references, or appendices) may not exceed
18 pages (double spaced, 1" margins, 10-12 point font).
- In addition to any class readings,
you must include at least 6 outside sources (journal articles,
book chapters) related to the topic you are studying.
>> Due December 19th by 5pm <<
(bring your paper to my office by then)
- Use journal articles (like the
ones we've read for class) as rough templates for how you should structure
- The introduction and methods section
of this paper are the most important. Spend most of your time (and page
length) on these sections.
- The introduction should be "tight"--
containing the necessary arguments to justify the rationale for the
project, no unneeded information. In general, work from a broad perspective
at the beginning of the introduction, to specific hypotheses near the
end of the introduction (I'll discuss this idea in class).
- Make sure your hypothesis (or
hypotheses) are explicitly stated. Most likely, it (or they) will come
near the end of the introduction.
- A structure for your paper (the
specific format of your paper may need to stray from the approximate
page lengths given below, but these are the sections your paper will
- Introduction (~7 - 10 pages)
- Participants (~1/2 - 1 page)
- Procedure (~1/2 - 2 pages)
- Measures (~1 - 3 pages)
- Anticipated Results (~1/2 -
- Discussion (~2 - 3 pages)
- Appendices (all your measures
should be included here: "Appendix 1: Investment Model Scale (Rusbult,
Agnew, & Martz, 1998)"; "Appendix 2: Measure of Relationship Infidelity"
If you have any questions about formatting
The litmus test for a good proposal--
given the document you've written and handed in, could I (having only read
this paper) go out and run the study that you've proposed? If you've included
the proper rationale and enough details so that I could, then your proposal
is probably pretty complete.
Please include page numbers in the upper-right
corner of each page.
- The TriCo library system may have
a lot of the material you need, but it is possible that you will want
to use interlibrary loan (ILL) to get papers that are not in the TriCo
holdings. Plan ahead and request ILL items early.
- Remember to spell and/or grammar
check your text, and proofread your paper. Readability and writing style
will be considered in grading.
- Please feel free to ask questions.
In addition, I'll be glad to look over any drafts of your paper and
- This is not a collaborative paper.
Please do your own literature searches, and make sure your work is your