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PSYC 415: Developmental Research Methods

Research Guide for PSYC 415

Write Your Research Proposal


1. Introduction and Literature Review: a review of the literature that you used to build your research study hypothesis. Your Introduction should:

  • Be more than a summary of the articles you read
  • Bring together theories and results from a number of studies to provide background for your project and demonstrate how your research study hypothesis fits into this current research area
  • Be a compelling narrative about how the articles you've read have built up to your study and make the case for why your research study is important
  • End with your study hypothesis

2. Methods: provides detailed information about your research study design. Your Methods section should include:

  • The experimental design of your study and why it's appropriate for your research area
  • Study populations and subject recruitment procedures
  • The procedures your research design follows. including proposed data collection materials/measures 
  • Your data analysis plan 

3. Results: report the expected findings of your research study, written in the past tense, without bias or interpretation. Your Results section should:

  • Focus on being concise and objective
  • Organize your expected findings in a logical sequence, generally following your Methods section
  • Describe the specific statistical analyses/models that you would have used

4. Proposed Discussion: interpret and describe the significance of your expected findings in light of what is already known about the research area you're investigating. Your discussion should:

  • Use evidence and findings from research articles to build arguments about what your expected study findings would mean 
  • Use evidence and findings from research articles to build arguments about how your expected study findings would contribute to the research area
  • Compare your expected results with findings from other previous research in the area
  • Analyze your research design to discuss limitations to your proposed study
  • Analyze your research design and expected findings to discuss important possible follow-up studies
  • End with a strong final statement that ties the whole discussion together to give the big "take away" message of your proposed study and expected findings

5. References List: a list of the sources you cited 

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