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What is a Literature Review?

Click here for a U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health article onHow to Write a Research Proposalat http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3282423/

This will serve as a good general overview.  Your proposal will need to comply with the instructions below. 

By the end of Week 4 of the course term, a draft of a research study proposal is due. You will not be conducting this research, just proposing it as a hypothetical study. The study will focus on a real world socio-cultural issue.  You may use an existing published study from an academic journal article as a prototype example for developing your proposal, but the study method and focus of research you propose must be your own original research idea. The paper will consist of an Introduction, a Literature Review, an Hypothesis, a Method section, and a References page.  The paper must be a minimum of 14 pages (excluding Title, Abstract, and References pages).

Your research study proposal draft will include:

An INTRODUCTION

Topic overview

Research questions

Significance of this question to the field of study (e.g., how is it relevant to social psychology in particular)         

A LITERATURE REVIEW

At least 4 brief summaries of other similar studies.  The Literature Review section must not be merely one summary after another with no meaningful connections between them, but rather should include, following a description of and careful review and critique of the summaries, descriptions of how they are related to one another.  This is done via transition statements between descriptions of the various summaries such that the paper interweaves all the articles into a coherent and well-articulated review of scholarly publications related to the paper topic focus.

What is a Literature Review? 

 A brief review of the literature means that you will report (search some key words in the on-line library in Psych Abstract or some such area) on studies that are similar to the one you propose. This might include an old classic study that launched the field of study in your topic but should include some background studies and at least one rather recent study into the same area as yours. For this assignment, 4 or 5 quick reviews would suffice. The reviews are typically no more than a paragraph explaining in simple terms, who did the research (with the APA style “year” of the study in parentheses), what they were hoping to explore, and what the results of their study were.

Wrap up with a FORMAL HYPOTHESIS
 

What is an Hypothesis?
At the conclusion of your review of the literature you will summarize your research idea and then state your hypothesis. A good proposal hypothesis should directly state, without reservations, the expectations of the study. For example, “Hypothesis: The experimental group will significantly improve their scores on the _____measure after viewing the role play of bullying behavior.” Or another example: “Hypothesis: Subjects will show decreased empathy on a survey of compassion and empathy for the learners that used the weakest excuses.”   Or, “Hypothesis: There will be a significant difference between the groups with the experimental group having higher scores than the control group.”

A METHOD Section
The Method section includes a detailed description of measuring devices to be used for data collection (Examples: Surveys, questionnaires, individual interviews, case studies, naturalistic or controlled observation), of the study participants, or “subjects” and of the procedures, or how measures will be taken.  You should include three sub-sections titled Subjects, Measures, and Procedures.  Also include a brief statement regarding how you intend to analyze the data you collect (e.g., regarding statistical analysis of data).

An APA-Compliant REFERENCES page

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