PSYC 635 Research Paper: Final Submission Assignment Instructions Overview Understanding and evaluating original

PSYC 635

Research Paper: Final Submission Assignment Instructions


Understanding and evaluating original research is an important skill for psychologists. This assignment will help you learn to objectively evaluate research on an adult psychology topic and to seek, understand, and integrate scholarly sources of information. This assignment will also help you gain scholarly knowledge of a topic of interest. Researching the literature on a topic and integrating it will also help you begin to clarify and discern your own research interests and will help prepare you to conduct independent research and write about your findings in a scholarly manner.


Research Paper must be 4–6 pages (not including title page, abstract, and reference page) and written in current APA format. The paper must be about a topic related to adult psychology. The
Research Paper: Planning Assignment which you completed earlier in the course will help you be sure your topic and the way you plan to approach it are appropriate for this assignment. The paper must contain at least 7 scholarly sources, at least 5 of which must be articles from academic journals. If you also include non-scholarly sources, they must be in addition to the 7 scholarly sources, and the bulk of the paper must be supported by information from the scholarly sources. You may also include the Bible as an additional source.

Research Paper must be objective and present actual research findings, not your opinion or what you want
the research to show. Avoid exclusively using sources that support your biases. Since people often choose topics about which they have strong opinions, you will have a chance to discuss your opinions about your topic, as well as any personal significance the topic has for you, in the
Research Paper and
Course Wrap-up Discussion. The
Research Paper itself is not a place to express opinions. You may certainly reach a conclusion that supports your views and express the conclusion in the paper, but such a conclusion must be supported by the research you cite in the paper and cannot be based on your opinion.

There are 2 options for integrating a biblical perspective. You may incorporate a biblical perspective into the paper, or you may discuss the topic from a biblical perspective as part of your post in the
Research Paper and
Course Wrap-up Discussion. Or, you may do both if you wish. You will be posting your paper to
Research Paper and
Course Wrap-up Discussion in addition to submitting it as an assignment.

If you are unsure whether a reference is scholarly, ask your instructor. The following are not considered scholarly sources:,, Psychology Today magazine, Wikipedia, (Kendra Cherry), (Saul McLeod),,,, books written for a general audience, and magazines written for a general audience. Many of these resources can be useful for gaining knowledge of a topic and often contain accurate information, but they are not scholarly sources acceptable for use in a research paper. Non-scholarly sources are not necessarily useless or inaccurate, but a graduate-level research paper must contain research-based sources, such as journal articles describing original research studies.

Follow the link provided for a list of journals affiliated with the American Psychological Association (APA). These are not the only acceptable journals—many others are available—but this list is provided to give you examples of scholarly journals. Some of the databases have the option to select “peer-reviewed” sources; selecting this option will help you eliminate non-scholarly sources from your search results. The Jerry Falwell Library is a reliable place to conduct your searches.

You do not need to pay for articles. Articles that ask you to pay for access can generally be accessed through the Jerry Falwell Library without requiring payment.

Research papers must be written in formal, academic language. Avoid the following in a research paper:

· Decorative fonts, color, and decorations on the title page

· Contractions

· One-sentence paragraphs

· Building suspense or writing in a dramatic style

· Flowery language

· Addressing the reader or the paper, or making the reader or the paper the subject of a sentence, e.g. “In this paper, the reader [or you] will learn about…”

· The following words or phrases:

· “a lot” or “alot”

· “ok,” “OK,” or “okay”

· “nowadays,” “now-a-days,” or “now a days”

· “we” – as in “Now we are going to learn about…” or using “we” to refer to people in general

· “you”

· “thru” for “through”

· “I think/feel/believe…”

· “oftentimes” or “often times”

· Redundancies such as “each and every” or using 2 conjunctions together, e.g. “but yet…”

· Separating 2 sentences with a comma

· Discussing the process of researching or writing the paper, e.g. “I went to the library and read an article about…”

· Assuming the reader knows of the course you are taking or about your course textbook, e.g. “In week 3 of our class…” or “As it states in our course textbook…” (If you use the course textbook as a reference, use a citation and reference in current APA format, as you would with any other reference.)

· Questioning the reader or beginning the paper with a question, e.g. “Have you ever wondered about…?”

· Stating that the topic is an “interesting” or “important” topic

· Using vocabulary that you do not know the meaning of, or eloquent phrases, to attempt to impress the reader

· Excessive quoting of other material

Note: Your assignment will be checked for originality via the Turnitin plagiarism tool.

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