Distracted driving while putting on make up and dealing with kids while driving. The effects
Introduction Section?100 Points
This assignment is designed to have you write the introduction section of your final paper ahead of time. The introduction is generally the most difficult part of writing a paper, and so a head start on it will help you in getting things done in time. In addition, though, writing your introduction helps to get your thoughts in order for the rest of your proposal. The goal of the introduction section is to do a few things in particular:
1. Describe the problem and/or research question, including, but not limited to:
a. what the topic is
b. why it’s important
c. who this would matter to
2. Describe what has already been studied in terms of this topic.
a. describe other studies
b. if there are competing theories/hypotheses out there, describe them in detail
c. if there is work in other areas that informs this research, include descriptions of it.
3. Describe how the existing work is insufficient and/or how the existing work could be extended.
a. This is the whole motivation for YOUR study, in particular
b. Maybe the existing work fails to control for certain things
c. Maybe the existing work doesn’t cover a particular task
4. Describe your study (a brief summary)
a. In terms of theory, what is the goal of your study?
b. What is your hypothesis, in terms of the theory?
c. What’s your basic procedure to assess this goal?
d. What results would confirm or disconfirm your hypothesis?
In general, a good introduction section for a research proposal should be somewhere in the neighborhood of 4-7 pages (double-spaced, 1 inch margins). That means 4-6 pages of text, not including your references, title page, and any other materials. So the main body of your paper should be about 1500-3000 words in length, though you may exceed that if you wish. You should look in your textbook for APA format and writing style (Appendix A), and if that doesn’t give you enough to work with, get your hands on an APA publication manual. They probably have some at the library or just in local bookstores. I am expecting this paper to be in APA format, including citations (no plagiarism!), margins, font, etc. Part of your responsibility in this assignment is to find out what proper APA format is, because you never know when a supervisor is going to ask you to write something in a new format.
Each of the above numbered sections is to be worth 20 points. I will grade the APA formatting such that you’ll lose a point for each violation, up to 20 points. I won’t take more than 20 points for formatting problems, though.
Methods and Results
This paper is intended to give you an opportunity to write two sections of your final paper and get feedback on how to make your final paper the best that it can be.
Method: This is the section of your paper in which you tell people what your study actually does, or in your case, will do. Since you’re writing a research proposal, this section should be written in the future tense, for the most part. The method section is generally divided into three main subsections: the participants section, the materials section, and the procedure section.
• Participants section: Describe your participants, including selection and assignment. When in doubt, use more detail rather than less. Describe how the participants will be recruited, what sort of demographics are relevant (i.e., race, gender, economy sector, or any other relevant features). Also, describe how participants will be assigned to groups and that sort of thing. Provide enough detail that someone could replicate your method. (20 points)
• Materials: Describe any materials being used in your experiment. If you’re using pretty basic stuff (i.e., pens and paper, computers, that sort of thing), then you don’t need to give a ton of detail. Again, focus on giving enough detail that other people could replicate your method. (20 points)
• Procedure: Provide a summary of the procedure from your experiment, including a step-by-step of how to do the study. (20 points)
• Describe main effects, correlations, interactions, or any other statistical tests. (20 points)
• Describe and caption one or more graphs from your paper. (20 points)
Final 150 Points
Your final paper should be a research proposal, and it should include all the sections usually found in a research report.
The introduction section should contain a description of the basic research question, including motivation for the research, and a literature review. The literature review should provide an overview of other research that has been done in the field. Conceptually, think of the introduction as a funnel: you start out very broadly stating the research question/problem to be solved, then you say why this is an important question to address. After providing this information, you describe what other people have done in terms of this research question, and then you should describe what your study is going to add to the field. What remains left to be found in this question? Where have other studies fallen short? How are you adding to the field? Your introduction should end with a very general description of your study that you’re proposing.
The Method section should describe in detail the “how” of your study. The “Participants” subsection describes your participants — how you select them, how you compensate them, demographics, etc. The “Apparatus/Materials” subsection describes any measures you’re using, including scales/surveys, experimental materials, and that sort of thing. The “Procedure” subsection should describe everything that happens with the participants from when they enter the lab until when they leave. Finally, you should have a “Planned Analyses” subsection describing the statistical tests and other data manipulations you’ll be using to analyze the results.
This section should describe your predicted results. It might help to describe your predicted results in terms of the hypothetico-deducto method:
“If (X) is true, the results should look like (Y). If, on the other hand, (X2) is true, then the results should look like (Y2).”
X and X2 refer to potential hypotheses, while Y and Y2 refer to patterns of results. Significant differences, significant correlations, or whatever you would predict for a given hypothesis. In this section, I would like you to have at least one graph, too. By this time, you should know how to make a graph in Excel, but if you need help, ask around, then ask me. I’d like your graph to have labeled axes, a title, and a legend describing what various points and lines mean. This is a hypothetical graph, so you can make it as neat and tidy as you like, but you may want to put some noise in it, too.
You should start your discussion section with a summary of the research question and what your study will do and might find. Then you should describe what this means in terms of the field as whole — implications for future research, practical applications, and broader impact. Then you should describe one or more limitations of your study, and be hard on yourself with this. End your article with a description of what your next step(s) would be in this line of research.
You should do APA style references throughout the paper. If you need to know how to do this, check out http://www.apastyle.org/, or pick up an APA publication manual (they’re not too expensive, if you get them used).
• You’re writing this as a proposal, so in general, future tense is your best bet when you’re talking about your proposed study.
• I’m not expecting perfection in terms of the APA style. In terms of your time/effort/grading, APA should account for probably 10% of everything. Don’t obsess over APA, but do make an effort to follow the guidelines — particularly in the in-text references.
• Use 12-point font, Times New Roman font, no colors, 1″ margins all around, double-spaced.
• Do your best, folks — the main thing I’m looking for here is that you’ve thought about an empirical finding in your field and planned a way to extend the results into a new direction. Or maybe you’ve found an article whose conclusions you disagree with and think you could do a better job of examining the research question. I care much more about your ideas than I do about how fancy you can say them. I also care much more about you learning something from this experience than I do about you knowing how to format an APA-style paper inside and out.
• If you have questions, don’t hesitate to email me.
• Intro (15 points): Because the introduction is mostly your literature review, I’m mostly looking to see whether you have incorporated my feedback from that assignment. Keep in mind, though, it should flow nicely into the method section.
• Methods (40 points): This section is the cornerstone of a research proposal. You’ve motivated the need for the study in the introduction section, now you’re going to show that this question is answerable. For that reason, this section is worth a good deal of credit.
• Results (25 points): Because you don’t have any actual results, this section is testing your ability to report predictions, including how to make a graph that communicates those predictions.
• Discussion (40 points): This section is worth a good deal of credit because it is crucial to show that you recognize your study’s limitations but also that you can see beyond them to the potential of your study’s influence.
• APA format (10 points): Realistically, you’re not going to be able to do APA format perfectly without a great deal of work. For that reason, I won’t take more than ten points off your paper for APA format violations. It represents your committment to a quality product, indicating that you are willing to take the time and care to produce a truly professional-level paper.
Overall quality (20 points): This is my holistic evevaluation of your writing.