This unit begins a series of assignments designed to help you complete your final paper due in Unit 9 and your final PowerPoint presentation due in Unit 10. In each of the project assignments, you will develop a component that will contribute to your final paper, an introduction to a research topic in the area of adult development.
This first assignment sets the stage for your specialized focus on your chosen topic while allowing you to peruse research that might be useful in your proposal of a research topic. In addition, it allows you to consider some of the developmental challenges of adulthood and aging while accessing contemporary information that may lead you to greater understanding in this field.
To see how this assignment fits into your course project, refer to the course project description.
The purpose of this paper is to reflect on a general subject area of adult development in which you have an interest, then identify a specific focus or subtopic within it on which to direct your research. Think of it like a funnel into which a vast amount of information is poured. For example, if the general topic is Alzheimer’s disease, to focus on a specific area of Alzheimer’s for your final paper, you might consider a cure for Alzheimer’s, the caregiver role for an Alzheimer’s patient, brain changes and nutrition, age-related concerns in an Alzheimer’s community, environmental impact on Alzheimer’s, or gender differences in relation to Alzheimer’s. There are many different subtopics for Alzheimer’s that you can review, and you can see how the general topic is just the beginning for your work.
Your job in this assignment is to narrow your focus from a general subject to a specific topic and to provide your rationale for choosing this topic:
We typically choose topics that have a personal impact on us. Consider how your experience has helped you to develop an interest in this topic and how gaps in the research have led you to unanswered questions.
SafeAssign (linked in Resources) is a requirement for submitting assignments. When you have an assignment, you must submit it to SafeAssign as a draft. Click the SafeAssign report and review the information. Ask yourself a few questions:
The SafeAssign report will highlight all of this information for you. Look at it, click on the highlighted areas that will show you how your work is taken from another site. At this point, you should make changes and then submit it to the assignments area of the courseroom. Thus, you will need to work a day or so ahead of the deadline to be sure to meet these requirements.
Scholarly writing also includes communication that is academic and uses APA formatting. For this course, a defined set of APA expectations was created for you to use and is linked in Resources. For this assignment, the paper you submit should adhere to at least the following APA formatting conventions:
Choosing a topic for research involves thinking through numerous issues, not the least of which is your personal interest. In the field of behavior, what information would you like to secure that you cannot find in current research? This question implies that you have done enough reading and study to have determined what is already known—that is, what we know for certain based on previous research. While it is possible to do research for the purpose of confirming other research, the primary reason that most learners develop interest in a particular topic is that their life experiences spur a desire to learn more and discover the answers to questions that may not have been answered yet.
Your project in this course involves proposing a research topic. Just like working with a dissertation proposal, you have to identify your topic to begin the process. Then the rest of the work falls into place. This means that you will:
You will not need to actually conduct the research, since you will only have 10 weeks in this course. Instead, you will complete a series of assignments designed to give you practice in each of the steps listed above to produce a brief literature review similar to what you will complete in your final dissertation process. In your final assignment, you will pull together all of these pieces in a research proposal titled Introduction to a Research Topic, revise each aspect based on the feedback you received from your instructor and peers along the way, and create a proposal for research in PowerPoint titled Research Proposal PowerPoint Presentation that can make a difference in the research that is available and may generate valuable, new knowledge.
Refer to APA Style Central for guidance in using proper APA style. See the APA Style and Format section of the Writing Center for instructions on accessing and using APA Style Central.