Topic Selection and Justification

Assignment #1 – Topic Selection and Justification

During this course your biggest assignments will be 2 research papers examining a current issue or “hot topic” in your professional field. You may want to think of this current issue in terms of a real-life practical question that is being discussed by professionals in your field. It may also help to think of it in terms of a thesis topic if you were going to conduct research and attempt to arrive at an answer to a question of interest in your field. You don’t want a question or area that is too broad or too narrow. The end product of your research papers will be, in essence, a critical evaluation of the research and other professional literature that has been done related to the topic that you choose with an attempt to draw some conclusions about this issue as it relates to your profession.

Think about the current issues that are most pertinent to your professional field and formulate a topic that you are going to spend this term researching. There are many ways to start determining what the important contemporary issues are in your field including an examination of the topics of research that is being published, talking to other professionals in your field, lurking on professional discussion boards and taking note of what people are arguing about, drawing on your own professional anecdotal experience, etc. It may also help to review the Research Paper #1 assignment and its requirements.

Your assignment for this week is to turn in a written description of at least 1 page in length describing what your topic is and why it is an important topic within your profession for you to spend this term researching. As for all assignments, you must include appropriate references in the proper format. This assignment is due by the end of week 1

Assignment #2 – Article Abstract and Summary Critique

During week one, you chose a topic to spend this term researching. The large majority this research and the conclusions you draw should be based on peer-reviewed research studies (experimental research or similar – not just commentaries from supposed “experts”). As you will see in the Research Paper #1 assignment, you will required to summarize at least 5 peer-reviewed studies and draw conclusions. This assignment is designed to get you started.

This assignment has two parts:

Part 1: Identify one research study that is related to your approved research topic – this study may end up actually being included in your research paper #1 and/or research paper #2 and write an abstract of no more than 250 words summarizing the study. Important Notes: 1.The bulk of your research papers (and this assignment) should be based on actual research studies from peer-reviewed journals. So, be sure you are abstracting an actual research study and not an editorial or educational commentary from an expert. 2.It is to your benefit to NOT read the abstract supplied by the authors of the article or else your abstract will end up being a nearly identical product, even if unintentionally. Read the article and write your own abstract then go look at the abstract supplied with the article to see if you are on the right track.

Part 2:Write a summary critique of the article you just abstracted in no more than 400 words. You should be sure to refer to the course packet for this week’s lesson for a valuable example of an article, abstract and critique to best compare the difference between an abstract and summary critique. Note: Within your research paper #1, you will be summarizing and critiquing at least 5 peer-reviewed research articles. You will be using this information to synthesize and draw conclusions. Thus, you will also be comparing studies within your summary critiques.

Also, refer again to the lengthy review of literature example provided in the week #1 lesson.

This assignment must be in APA format and should include the properly formatted reference for the article you are abstracting.

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During week one, you chose a topic to spend this term researching. The large majority this research and the conclusions you draw should be based on peer-reviewed research studies (experimental research or similar – not just commentaries from supposed “experts”). As you will see in the Research Paper #1 assignment, you will required to summarize at least 5 peer-reviewed studies and draw conclusions. This assignment is designed to get you started.

Research Paper #1

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Assignment Instructions

The first research paper will be a summary critique review of literature related to your approved research topic. This paper should be a shorter version of the sample review of literature provided in the Week #1 lesson. Though your research paper will not be as lengthy, it should demonstrate the same level of academic rigor and critical thinking in summarizing the literature, evaluating the conclusions reached by the authors, synthesizing the results of multiple studies and drawing conclusions relative to your chosen topic.

Your paper should include an appropriate introduction centered around developing a statement (of a few statements) of the pertinence of examining the topic at hand. In summarizing and critiquing the research that has been carried out, you should build a body of evidence and begin to synthesize the results of multiple studies to justify conclusions you will present in the end. Your paper must include at least 5 peer-reviewed research studies such as you included in Assignment #2. You will likely also include citations and information from other professional / peer-reviewed sources in developing your introduction, conclusions and “filling in the blanks.” NOTE: You are required to attach full-text PDFs for all research studies (at least 5) that you used in your summary critiques.

This paper must be in APA format and properly cite and reference all necessary sources.

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