Research Proposal Paper

In this paper, you propose a research project that utilizes one of the designs covered in the course. Specifically, you may propose either:

  • Experimental
  • Quasi-experimental
  • Non-experimental
    • Descriptive
    • Correlational

No matter which strategy you choose, your paper will contain all the sections of a research report put forth in the APA guide except for the analysis and results. (You are only proposing a study, not carrying one out.) Thus, you should have an APA-style cover sheet, abstract, introduction—including a literature review—hypotheses, method, discussion, and references as well as any tables or figures you might find useful.

Please avoid directly quoting articles at all costs. Points will be deducted for quoting in this course. It is best practice to cite the author’s ideas by paraphrasing rather than quoting. Paraphrasing demonstrates your ability to synthesize material for your own purposes.

Consult An Easy Guide to APA StylePreview the document for assistance.

Your paper should be structured as follows:

  • Title page
  • Abstract
  • Literature review
    • Introduce and summarize research (include discussion of at least 10 peer-reviewed, empirical psychology articles) that has already been done
    • Set up your hypotheses (final statement in this section should be your formal hypothesis)
  • Proposed method
    • Discuss
      • Proposed sample
      • Measures (including how these will be reliable and valid)
      • Research strategy
      • Research design
      • Discussion of threats to validity and how they will be managed
  • Discussion
    • Because you will not have results to discuss, you should discuss
      • The contribution that your study will make to the literature if your hypotheses are supported. (What does your study add to the literature that you already reviewed? What unique contribution does it make?)
      • The strengths and weaknesses of your methodology (based on what you learned about that methodology in the course)
        • What kinds of conclusions can be drawn?
        • Which conclusions cannot be drawn?
        • Will you be able to show causation, given the design you chose?
  • References
    • APA-style reference list. Tables and figures are also okay, but not required. If you do include them, they must be in APA format


  • 3,000 words, excluding title page, references, and tables and figures
  • APA format, 12 pt, Times New Roman font
  • Due Sunday, 11:59 p.m. ET
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