Each student
will write an 8-10 page research proposal on a topic related to human
development. The paper should contain a literature review (what’s
already been done), a brief description of the methods to be used in the
study, and hypotheses about the results of the proposed study. The text
may be used as a reference for your paper, however at least 5-6 other
references from peer-reviewed journals must be included. The research
paper should be about 8-10 pages. You will be graded on the
appropriateness of the topic covered, the quality of the literature
review, the insight and innovation of the proposed study, and correct
grammar and use of APA format. See Appendix for outline and rubric.
should focus on finding information on your topic beyond what is
presented in your book. This means that your paper should demonstrate
that you have thought about and understand your topic beyond the level
that is provided by a single source. Your paper should provide a
comprehensive explanation of the topic, an example of how this topic
applies to the daily lives of developing children and adults, and
provide specific examples of how this topic could be better understood.
Your topic should be somewhat specific (e.g., learning a second language
in adolescence). More general topics (e.g., language development) are
not encouraged.
Since your book must not be your only reference, you are to seek
information on your topic from empirical journal articles or
non-textbook book chapters. While your book cannot be your only source,
your textbook will cite journal articles and book chapters that you are
encouraged to explore as potential additional sources. You can also go
to the library and check out a book on your topic, or run a search of
journal articles on the library’s website. Sources such as Wikipedia,
which rely primarily on amateur contributions, are not acceptable.
Introduction: Explain the issue you are examining and why it is significant.
Describe the general area to be studied:
Explain why this area is important to the general area under study:
Background/Review of the Literature: A description of what is already known about this area and short discussion of why the background studies are not sufficient.
Summarize what is already known about the field:
Discuss several critical studies that have already been done in this area.
Limitations/Future Directions: Essentially,
the purpose of this section is to guide your reader for future
research, whether your reader wants to read more on the topic or create
their own research study.
Point out why these background studies are insufficient. In other
words, what question(s) do they leave unresolved that you would like to
Specify questions for future research. In other words, what can be done with this research moving forward?

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