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PSYC 3420- 01 - Kalavar

Spring 2023


Get Guidance at the Kaufman Library

Get research help


     Library Hours




A research paper is a requirement for this course.  As you are working on your research paper, keep in mind that its primary goal is to show your ability to read and understand scholarly research, and to use it to support your own ideas and opinions.  The purpose of this assignment is to familiarize students with psychological research pertaining to issues of developmental psychology. Students are required to choose a topic from the list below, to obtain two scholarly journal articles that are primary research-based on this topic, and to write a paper that summarizes and evaluates the research described in the two articles. 

The expectations for this paper include an in-depth examination of the chosen research topic, a review of relevant journal articles, a discussion of future research questions that may be addressed, and an integration of theoretical issues raised in the classroom.   If you do not use scholarly journal articles as the basis of your paper, you will automatically receive one complete letter grade lower than what has been determined by assessment.  An example of scholarly journals includes Journal of Health Psychology, Health Psychology, Health Psychology Review,

Journal of Behavioral Medicine, Psychology & Health, and the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine.  This list is not intended to be exhaustive but suggestive of options available. 

Please limit the two journal articles to those that have been published in the year 2018 or later. 

If you are unsure of what a journal article is, please check with a campus librarian

( or me.  The library session video for this course is a good way to complete finding scholarly information for all your course requirements.

The two articles that you read, summarize and evaluate for this assignment must be published in a scholarly journal article and be primary research-based.  Unacceptable are articles that provide a literature review, involve the analysis of secondary data, or a metaanalysis of research done by others on this topic.  Secondary research-based articles are unacceptable.  What is meant by a primary research-based article is that the authors have done the research (data collection included) themselves and are describing that research in this scholarly journal article.  In such an article, you will find information on methodology, sample description, results, and findings.  If you are unsure about whether the article is primary research-based or not, please check only with your professor.

Research Paper Topics (choose any one from the following six)

Sleep and health

Personality and health

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)

Eating Disorders Hospice Care

Managing pain

I. Format 

 Your paper should be at least 6 pages and no more than 8 pages (excluding citations) long.

Please do not resort to large font sizes (no more than 12 c.p.i.) and wide margins (no more than 1 inch on all sides) to extend the length of your paper.  Points will be subtracted for such submissions.   A hard copy of your paper (with two journal articles that your paper is based on) is due before midnight of May 1st in the specified assignment drop box of D2L.  The instructor is not responsible for papers submitted in any other manner (example, email attachment, etc.). 

Your paper worth 20 points should be typed, double-spaced, and consistent with the style manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) (7th edition).  The reference section of the library has a copy of the style manual.   A link to an online tutorial is also provided in the “Writing Resources” module found under the content tab for this course on D2L.  Failure to use the APA guidelines will result in a lower letter grade for your paper.  Other than instructor provided guidelines on D2L (APA website), please do not use any other handouts or sources to satisfy APA requirements for your paper.

II. Organization 

Please follow APA guidelines when citing authors in the body of your paper or see handout.  No cover page is necessary nor is an abstract.  Use the following headers to organize your paper.

  1. Introduction.  A page or so that clearly and concisely describes the topic of your paper, any relevant statistics, the questions you will investigate, and the various points of view or differing explanations proposed in the scientific articles on which you are basing your paper.  You may consult several sources (books, web resources, magazines, journal articles or monographs) for the introduction, and are strongly encouraged to include  local, regional, national, and international statistics as well as a diversity focus. 
  2. Research.  This is the core of the paper (3-5 pages suggested) that must include a discussion of the scientific evidence you have reviewed.  Remember, the research gathered from two journal articles is presented in this section. It is important that you provide your understanding of the research work that has been conducted.  In other words, paraphrase in your own words and not rely on quotes. 

To effectively use the contents of the journal articles to support your ideas, be sure to clearly describe (1) the topic of the research being reported, (2) the research methodology (instruments used, sample, procedure, research design used), (3) the conclusions and questions that the study raised.

  1. Evaluation.  This is the most important section of the paper, and your thorough as well as thoughtful analysis is imperative for the best grade.  In other words, critique the journal articles.  This section is primarily based on your own opinions and ideas, based on the research you have read and various theoretical perspectives that may be relevant to the field of health psychology (1-2 pages).  Separate out the evaluation by the work of the primary-research based scholarly journal article authors.  What do you

agree/disagree with? Why? What conclusions can you draw from your reading? Was the research conducted adequately? How could methodology be improved? What questions related to your topic remain unanswered?  What theoretical perspective addresses this topic suitably?  

  1. References.  In-text citations are expected throughout the paper in APA style.  All sources used for your paper (books, magazines, journals, film, etc.) should be listed alphabetically at the end in a manner that is consistent with the APA manual (7th edition).  See ‘Writing Resources’ on D2L.

III. Plagiarism 

When you copy something word for word, or when you are merely rephrasing ideas from someone else’s text, you must cite your source, including the last name of the author and the date of publication in parentheses.  If you use someone’s words and ideas without citing him or her, you are committing plagiarism.


Your paper cannot have an originality report over 20%.  Your Turnitin score must be less than 20.  You are welcome to resubmit again after viewing your Turnitin score.  I will only grade the final submission that you have uploaded.  Points will be taken off from your final submission if the Turnitin score is greater than 20.  A review of the Turnitin report will be done to see where the problem lies before filing for any academic integrity violation.

[When you have a score over 20, I always read the Turnitin report to see where the problem lies.  Points will be taken off from your final submission if the Turnitin score is greater than 20 for reasons other than the references.  

To bring down your Turnitin score, a good strategy is to eliminate quotes, unless they are compelling and must be said exactly in those words.  You can always paraphrase what was said, and give credit to the person who said it as your in-text citation.  This will definitely bring down the Turnitin score]


(20 points; presentations are scheduled on the dates listed on your syllabus)

1) Signing up for your presentation topic

To select your presentation topic, please sign into D2L and click on the “Content” tab to sign-up for the Doodle link listed in the module titled “Course Resources.” The deadline for sign-up is before midnight of January 24th.  After that date, the instructor will assign topics to those students who did not sign-up.

No more than two individuals may sign up for the same topic.  However, the presentations will be graded individually.  Both students must dialogue in advance to ensure there is no redundancy in their coverage of material.  Otherwise, both will lose points for their presentation.

Please note that the topics for the presentation are different from the topics for the Research Paper.  They cannot be identical or related.

You must upload your video presentation to the correct forum listed under the Discussion tab on D2L.  Please note that your student presentations will be made available to all students in this course, and all uploaded presentations lend themselves for assessment in this course.

2) Preparing your presentation

First, make a PowerPoint presentation based on a topic that you have signed up for.  Present the issue, explain the concept(s), provide statistics, explain causes or associated factors, prevention care, proactive wellness promoting considerations, programs and policies, and intervention/treatment approaches.  Not all of these may apply to your topic on hand, and there may be other points you may want to address.  This is just meant to serve as a framework for your presentation. 

The easiest way to do a video presentation is to create a PowerPoint with narration (8-10 minutes), and then under the “File” tab, go to “Export” and “Create a video” and then hit “Create video.” You must upload only the video as your presentation submission.  Do not submit a PowerPoint with narration as you will lose points.  Creating this video is a great learning experience, and will hold you in good stead beyond this course.

Creating a video sounds more complicated than it really is.  It’s a great learning experience, and will hold you in good stead beyond this course. Please ensure that your material on the screen is full size so material can be read. You must upload only the video as your presentation submission. Uploading a PowerPoint presentation with narration is unacceptable.  Do not submit a PowerPoint with narration as you will lose points.  

An important component of your presentation is to research the topic that you signed up for from the perspective of another country.  If two individuals are signed up for the same topic, they must focus on two different countries. You are expected to make comparisons between the United States and another country. Let’s expand our horizons.   Be sure to include a general introductory slide that introduces the other country (not the United States), and then specifically focus on the issue on hand.  You must include a comparative slide that looks at the same issues in both countries. 

In-text citations APA style must be listed on everyU slide of the PowerPointU     . Throughout the presentation, wherever work is cited on each slide, please be sure to state author and year next to their contribution.  An APA style reference list must also be provided on the last slide.

Underestimating or overextending the prescribed time will result in loss of points. points will be subtracted. Accompanying handouts or papers are not U required. U

Content, organization, clarity of presentation, and creativity get high marks. Be prepared to back your presentation with reliable sources.  Wikipedia and the like are not regarded as legitimate sources for this course.  Edit the presentation carefully for typos, grammatical mistakes, and punctuation errors.  Make sure the content is full screen, not blurry, and can be read easily.  Points will be subtracted for failure to follow guidelines.  

3) Late Policy

You are completely responsible for ensuring that your presentation is uploaded to D2L before midnight of the assigned date.  If there is a ‘no-show’ by the deadline (other than extenuating circumstance that may be documented), your presentation will be graded for 80% of maximum listed points.  After that, a further reduction of 5% of maximum points will occur for each passing day that you delay submission.

Newspaper Assignment:34T Focusing on any 2021-2022 news item (local, regional, national or international) on health psychology,  students are expected to provide a summarized understanding of the article by initiating a discussion thread on D2L.  The intent of this assignment is for us all to be updated on experiences, programs, policies, events pertaining to health psychology (“Health in the News”).  See guidelines on D2L.

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