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PSYC 4010 Capstone Paper Requirements

By Day 7 of Week 5, you will submit your final 13- to 17-page Capstone Paper, including title page and abstract. Be sure to incorporate feedback and suggestions from your earlier drafts into this final draft. The final paper will include the following sections:

• Title (1st page) Indicates what the research was about. It should be informative but brief, and it should be centered in the middle of the first page, with the first letter of each major word capitalized. The course title and number should be immediately below.

• Abstract (2nd page)

The abstract should be a short, clear summary of the whole paper. It should be about 150 words and summarize the sections of the paper. The easiest way to write an abstract is to write it last.

• Body of Paper (3rd page–References)

Label each section of the paper with the titles from the paper assignment each week. Do not put a page break in between each section.

• References

At the end of your report, you must write a complete References section, in APA style, that gives the full reference for each of the primary sources cited in the main text of your work. The general formatting guidelines for the reference list are listed below. Always begin the References section on a new page.

o Alphabetical order (by author’s surname) o NO bullet points and NO numbers o Double spacing o Each reference aligned with left margin, the first line is typed flush with the

left margin, and any additional lines are indented as a group a few spaces to the right of the left margin (this is called a hanging indent)

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Format of the Paper Writing Style

1. The final paper should meet the following requirements: • Be typed in Times New Roman, font size 12, with double line spacing • Have 1” margins on each side and top/bottom • Have all pages numbered • Total 13–17 pages

2. It should be written in the passive form and the past tense:

• “It was found that” rather than “I/we found”

3. All factual assertions should be substantiated: • Statements about any aspect of psychology should be supported, preferably

with references (which tell the reader who found, argued, or defined something and when), otherwise with examples.

4. Arguments and text should be developed logically and articulated clearly:

• Make your points explicitly. Do not leave it to the reader to work out what you mean.

5. Be specific and concise:

• Avoid mentioning things in passing. If they are worth mentioning at all, give them the amount of space they deserve. Omit extraneous details and unnecessary repetitions.

6. Do not use note-form or lists—always use prose.

7. Do not quote any text directly. Always paraphrase.

8. Abbreviations and important/critical terms:

• Abbreviations should be defined when they first appear, and any important/critical terms you are employing in your report should be clearly defined.

Capstone Paper Sections Section 1: Choosing a Professional Role By Day 7 of Week 1, submit a 2- to 3-page paper that introduces your chosen professional occupation, explaining what it is and why it interests you. Using information gathered from your research, provide an accurate description of the knowledge, skills, and characteristics one would need to be successful in this position. Summarize some of the tasks you might be expected to perform.

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Next, consider what steps you would need to take to continue to grow in your chosen profession. Van der Heijden (2002) used three predictor variables to study how employees might achieve professional expertise. Using van der Heijden’s definition of professional expertise, describe what would make you an “expert” in your field. Consider how the three predictor variables relate to opportunities for you to continue your professional development (e.g., social networks that could be beneficial to you).These ideas should be your own; do not copy text from the article. Rather, take the ideas discussed in the article and explain how you might implement them. Section 2: Theories and Research Methods By Day 7 of Week 2, submit a 3- to 4-page paper that highlights two key theories that are used in your chosen profession. If these theories have changed over time, discuss how they have changed. In addition, select a once-popular theory that is no longer accepted and explain what led to the change. Next, briefly describe the main research areas used in your professional role. For example, developmental psychologists mainly study cognitive and emotional development. Then, explain the main research methods used in your professional role and how they are used to guide the research. For example, developmental psychologists primarily use the experimental method and naturalistic observation. You would then describe, in some detail, what experimental and naturalistic methods are and how they are implemented in research. Finally, identify a research paper that employs a commonly used research method in your chosen professional area. Discuss what was under investigation in the study and how that particular research method was used to investigate it. Section 3: Critiquing Research Articles By Day 7 of Week 3, submit a 4- to 5-page paper that evaluates two research articles of your choosing. Your evaluation should include a description of the purpose and methodology of each study and the authors’ interpretation of the findings. Be sure to address the following issues as they apply to your particular chosen studies:

• Explain the purpose of the study, including the theoretical frame of reference (if any).

• Identify variables and hypotheses. • Explain the method of the study. • Describe the research design used. • Describe the group or area studies. • Explain which type of sampling was used. Note the sample size. • Provide information on the data collection procedure(s) and operationalization of

variables. Note the type of data-gathering instrument. • Describe the techniques used for analysis and interpretation of data.

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• Provide a brief summary of the findings of the study and the authors’ interpretation of the findings.

For the critical analysis portion of this paper:

• Identify and discuss the strengths and limitations of the research design, analysis used, and the author or authors’ conclusions.

• Describe any variables that were not included in the study that you think could have been included.

• Offer any alternative or additional explanations of the findings that were not considered by the researchers.

Section 4: Contributions to Positive Social Change By Day 7 of Week 5, submit a 2- to 3-page paper that discusses a particular aspect of your chosen professional role within the context of social change. For example, you could discuss being a counselor who provides pro-bono counseling to abused women or being a sports psychologist who offers visualization training for underprivileged, at- risk youth involved in school sports. First, explain why you chose your particular example and why it is important to include an aspect of social change in both career and personal endeavors. Next, explain the particular web map of social activity that would result from your chosen example. Follow the examples given in the article, but have your actual text be at least 3 paragraphs long. There is no need to create the actual web map diagram. Finally, find one scholarly article, and explain how it informs your position. Final Capstone Paper By Day 7 of Week 5, submit your 13- to 17- page Capstone Paper, including title page and abstract. Be sure to incorporate feedback and suggestions from your earlier drafts into this final draft.

  • PSYC 4010
  • Capstone Paper Requirements
    • Format of the Paper
      • Writing Style
    • Capstone Paper Sections
      • Section 1: Choosing a Professional Role
      • Section 2: Theories and Research Methods
      • Section 3: Critiquing Research Articles
      • Section 4: Contributions to Positive Social Change
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