Perception and Causes of Psychopathology Prepare a 1,050- to 1,400-word paper in which you discuss the causes of psychopathology.
September 19, 2019
Summarize the developmental crises he or she is facing.
September 19, 2019

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.

Overview

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:

  • What is it that you hope to gain from proposing such research?
  • Are you proposing to add to existing research, consider a new topic in research, or alter an existing study that might include new factors?
  • What do we not yet know about this topic? Have you found any apparent gaps in knowledge: important questions that research has not yet addressed?

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

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:

  • Have I cited the quotes properly in the paper? This means that you have an author, year, and page number for anything in quotation marks.
  • Have I used my own words or have I taken others’ words and not used quotation marks or otherwise identified that they are not mine? This means that anything that is taken from another course uses quotation marks and is not just copied to appear as your own words. This can be tricky!
  • Have I reused my own work? If you have, you must cite this information as well.

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.

Instructions

  1. Identify a topic area within adult development and behavior that you find interesting enough to research.
  2. Consider various aspects of this topic and try to identify the aspect that interests you most right now.
  3. Analyze the information that is currently available on your topic. Begin searching the Capella library for resources. Note the extent to which scholarly resources are already available on the aspects of the topic that interest you. Scan article abstracts to get a better idea of the current level of knowledge about your topic. Look for specific questions that you find important, especially those that the literature does not seem to have addressed. You can find these in the conclusions of research studies. Authors point out areas that have not been investigated and that are ripe for future research.
  4. When you think you know what you want to investigate, create a draft of this assignment, including:
    • A clear definition of your topic, including the primary question or questions to which you are seeking answers.
    • A description of two realistic situations in which this question is likely to arise.
    • An explanation of why it is important to be able to answer this question.
  5. Now reread your draft and make any changes or additions needed to address the following:
    • Review the scoring guide to make sure that you are addressing the criteria that will be applied to grade your paper.
    • Review the additional requirements for this assignment to ensure that you meet them as well.
    • Submit your draft to SafeAssign.
    • Review the SafeAssign results, being sure to address anything that is listed as originating from other sources. Make sure that you have cited these other sources correctly. (Remember: submitting your assignment to SafeAssign for a Capella course does not mean that your assignment is posted for your instructor to grade. The final step in submitting your assignment is to attach it within the assignment. Make sure you can see it attached as a Word document.)
    • Using the APA resources introduced in Unit 2, making certain that you have met the expectations for APA formatting.
  6. Submit the revised version of this assignment to your instructor before midnight Central Time on Sunday.

Additional 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:

  • APA title page.
  • Two pages in length, double spaced, not including the title page.
  • Level one headings in APA format.
  • A section entitled Conclusion, which includes a summary of the topic focus you chose.

Introduction to a Research Topic

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:

  • Pose a question for which we do not already have an answer.
  • Justify the research—show the value of answering your question by explaining or demonstrating how having that answer could make a difference.
  • Clarify what we already know.
  • State precisely what we need to find out.
  • Design some type of research that will provide an answer to the question.
  • Demonstrate that your research design will be valid—that is, that you will actually be able to conclude something from the results.

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.

  • Written communication: Written communication should be free of errors that detract from the overall message.
  • APA formatting: Resources and citations should be formatted according to current APA style and formatting.
  • Number of resources: Minimum of 10 academic resources.
  • Length of paper: 4 typed, double-spaced pages, with a title page and a reference page.
  • Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 point.

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.

 

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