Write a research paper on the topic you chose for your journal articles review (if you chose that option. If not, you may still write a research paper on the topic of your choice for this long project option. You may utilize the journal reviewed for your research paper). You will be required to review a total of five journal articles (three of which may be from your short project review) and you will expand this information into an organized, standard research paper. As in the journal article review, I encourage you to use the Delta Library resources available to you either online or in person to gather research for this project. Popular magazines (People, Cosmo, etc.) and newspaper articles are NOT research studies and will be disallowed. The journal articles must be research based, discuss data collection and findings. This is intended to be a research-based assignment using the library.Your research paper should be written in expository form (not outlined, but having well-developed discussion and documentation) containing the following areas: Introduction Describe your topic and its importance to the field of child development. Begin with a broad statement or description and become increasingly specific as you introduce the topic. Remember what your English teachers told you about that inverted funnel where you start broad and end small? Do just that in your introduction! Research question(s)/thesis statement Questions you are seeking to answer in your paper or issues you are seeking to discuss constitute this section. For example, what are the effects of prenatal drug exposure on the developing fetus? What avenues may be taken to compensate for prenatal drug exposure as the child enters school? Just come right out and ask your question or state your thesis. You might want to say something like (okay… you can use this if you want…): The purpose of this paper is to identify problems that may arise in a child’s life due to prenatal drug exposure. Or… The purpose of this paper is to discuss the importance of good nutrition in the early years on brain development. Remember…no need to get fancy–get clear! Reporting the research Discussion of the research from the five articles/sources, citing the authors and year of publication within the body of the paper. Make sure you give credit to the researchers for their work…i.e. No alcohol use during pregnancy…blah blah blah (Smith, 2003). Or… Smith indicated that blah blah blah was most effective when children had eaten a nutritious breakfast (2003). Weave the article information together and resist taking the easy way out by just discussing them in order, one at a time. Go for synthesis of information, like the articles are sitting around a table conversing. Okay, so articles don’t talk but authors do so think about that. It’s a group discussion taking place, not a panel where each person talks, sits down, and remains quiet after that. Please note that, while your opinion is valued, it is not expressed in a formal research paper. The paper should be written in the third person or passive voice and first person pronouns are not used. So leave out the “I,” the “me,” the “mine,” the “we” and the “our” stuff. Your opinion about the information discussed is inherent in what you choose to include. Summary and conclusions Tie the five sources together, comparing AND contrasting their findings. Discuss how the sources supported or did not support your research question(s)/thesis statement. Remember, no personal opinions. Conclusions must be supported by research data. A typical weak point in a research paper is the summary. Many papers don’t have one and it shows. Take a paragraph or two to briefly indicate the main points you covered and then draw your conclusions. You’ll have a stronger paper if you do this (not to mention more points!) Note: Any plagiarizing of material (taking the words of another person–an author, another student, anyone else and submitting as your own) will result in an automatic zero for this assignment. You must paraphrase and report information in your own words. Downloading information from the Internet and submitting it as your own also constitutes plagiarism. Direct quotes may be used sparingly and be sure to give credit to the author. A paper what consists of a series of direct quotes will earn a low grade. And, oh, your instructor is one of those Type A people who checks on bibliographic references just for fun! Also, it is relatively easy to catch plagiarists and you will be turned into the Vice President of Student Services and allowed to explain your actions to him and placed on Misconduct Probation. Be forewarned and please do your own work. Bibliography A list of the five (or more) reference sources (journal articles, books, web sites) used in your paper. Only list the sources you actually cited within your paper. Full bibliographic information is required; for websites, include the actual full website address, not a search engine. You can use either MLA or APA. Research papers must be at least 1500 words in length and must be submitted into the Assignments portal under Research Paper. (And yes, my readagner does check the word count)
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