Psy B01 Research Proposal—
A little help to get you started…
-Please review the marking scheme and assignment instructions for
requirements. These will be helpful to you as you progress.
Remember, there are also lots of resources available to you:
-Kate Johnson's lecture on research indexes (the use of Psych Info and
-If you are unsure about Psych Info or the other academic search
indexes, you may go and book an appt with the research librarian for
RESEARCH AND WRITING HELP:
Research Help is available in-person, by phone, e-mail or chat from UTSC Library
Ask for writing and citation assistance at the Writing Centre
For more information on APA style consult the following website or ask
for assistance in the Writing Centre
APA Style and Formatting (Purdue University)
-Your instructor and teaching assistants are available to help you
during office hours and via e-mail. So, come to office hours and ask
questions! Please don't be shy! Getting started
The thought of this assignment may be daunting, but it is actually very
doable once one gets going! The skills you will acquire are very
important for other classes, writing scholarship applications, and other
work related tasks. There is also help available to you every step
along the way. Here are some suggestions and tips for getting started:
1. Choose a topic that is of interest to you—something that you are
passionate about! This makes research much more interesting!
2. The idea of the Psychology B01 research proposal is to develop a
study that somehow expands upon the current literature in your area
of interest. Look though the relevant studies that others have already
done and think about what the next logical research question would
be: where are the gaps, controversies or questions that remain
unanswered? I don't expect you to be an expert in your chosen field,
but you should demonstrate an understanding of the material that you
are writing about. You will need to read many articles in your topic
area to accomplish this (likely beyond the ones you will use in your
paper). This will also help you develop a specific research question.
Read these articles critically and carefully.
You do not need to formulate your hypothesis prior to
beginning your literature search. Actually, you probably
shouldn’t do that until you have first read many articles. You
should simply have a general topic, or, ideally, a question that
you are attempting to answer. Refer to the sample topics list
for some ideas if you are having trouble.
3. Go to library search indexes (Psych Info) and start searching for
articles on your topic (see Chad Crichton's lecture or visit librarian for
help). Conduct different searches, use the thesaurus, and search for
articles until you find at least six empirical articles that are RELEVANT
to your topic, and eventually to your research question. You will
probably need to read at least 100 abstracts to narrow this down. (See
the library lecture for search tips). Print the full text of the articles
that you will use and read those thoroughly. Articulate a research
question that could be tested in one study (keep it simple).
If you do not have a research question in the beginning, this is okay.
You need to start by doing some reading in your general area of
interest. Often ideas can be heralded from the studies themselves. It
is best to read the literature first! Look for an article or two that you find intriguing or interesting. Once those are found, look for articles
that cite these ones, or search through the references of these articles
for more research in the same area/from a similar perspective (again,
see library lecture for how to do this).
For most areas of study, you might want to explore particular
theoretical perspectives to frame the work. This might also help in
finding relevant material and developing ideas for studies. Reading a
review paper might be helpful in this regard. However, the bulk of
sources must be derived from primary emp