Overview of Task This handout describes the criteria for the method paper. The

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Overview of Task
This handout describes the criteria for the method paper. The paper should address the
content and use the headings, as identified below and should be written in APA format.
The length of the paper, excluding the references page, cover page, should not
exceed 9 pages. An abstract is not required for this paper. Please use a minimum of 5
references for this paper.
The methods section of any empirical study “describes in detail how the study was
conducted, including conceptual and operational definitions of the variables used in the
study” (APA, 2009, p 29).
If you are implementing the study on yourself, please use the third person in the
descriiption, i.e., refer yourself as “the client” or “the researcher”
Please refer to the APA manual (7th edition) for a more detailed descriiption of what
belongs in a Methods section. In the method paper, you describe the procedures of the
study to explain how you intend to implement the study.

General Instructions

Evaluation Criteria for the Method Paper
You are strongly encouraged to write this section in the past tense, although you may
have not implemented the proposed data collection procedures. Writing the paper
earlier in the required format and correct tense may result in less work for your final
submission.

An abstract, introduction, and a conclusion are not required for the method paper
but you should state concisely your research question and hypothesis at the
beginning of the paper in the introductory paragraph. Please be as specific as
possible.

Please note that the procedures that you have proposed for this paper are likely to change as the study progresses. Please have these changes updated in your final
paper.

Please use the following content headings, starting with “Issue & Person Descriiption”
then “Dependent Variables” to organize the writing of the method paper. Do not
combine or omit any of the headings in your narrative.

Content (90 points)

1. Issue & Person Descriiption – Situate the person in the environment by
providing a descriiption of yourself (for those who are doing the behavior mod
project) or the client, focusing more on the social history of the issue. Include
demographic information that will enhance our understanding of the issue.
Include any salient characteristics (e.g. gender, diagnosis, ethnicity, etc.) that you
believe to be related to the assessment of the problem. What maintains the
problem? How have you or your client(s) dealt with the problem? What is the
history of the problem and your assessment of the causes of problem? How did
you arrive at these conclusions? If you are working with a group, salient and
relevant information must be presented on the individuals and the group. (15)
2. Dependent Variables – What behaviors and/or thoughts were targeted by the
intervention? How are these behaviors operationalized and measured? Provide a
conceptual definition and an operational definition for each of the DVs of the
study. Explain the rationale for the measurement of the dependent variable(s).
How are these targeting behaviors sampled? What other instruments were (or
will be) used in the study? You are strongly encouraged to develop an individual
rating scale for the study. If you are using a scale to measure the dependent
variable, you should use a behaviorally anchored scale, i.e., all points on the
scale should be described. Please attach this to the appendix of the paper.
Describe the technical properties, if any, of the instruments you are using for the
study. Explain the rationale for the use of the instruments. What social validity
measures would you identify that will support the gains made from the study?
Also attach in the appendices any work in progress. Assess the fit between the
client’s presenting issues and your choice of the dependent variable or variables.
(15)

3. Research Design – Name, identify and notate the research design of the study
(e.g. ABA, multiple baseline design, ABABC, alternating treatment design, hybrid
designs, etc.) and the rationale for its use. What particular research designs are
appropriate for the study? What determined the choice of this current design?

Dominican University Graduate School of Social Work
SWK 612 01 Practice Evaluation
Summer III 2022 Sect 02
Wednesday, 6:00pm – 9:00pm

33
How would your research design respond to the changing performance and
motivation levels? You may change the design after the proposal presentation
and if you believe more clinical gains can be leveraged as a result of a change of
research designs. You are strongly encouraged to use hybrid designs which
allow for more flexibility in practice. How many data points are you anticipating
for the final study? Please keep in mind there should be at minimum 15 data
points for client-related studies. For self-care studies, you should have at
minimum 25 data points for the study. Explain your plans to gather the data over
the course of the study.(10)

6. Descriiption of Intervention – You should provide a descriiption of the
intervention(s) that were implemented. Describe each phase of the research
design, duration and length. The interventions should be sufficiently detailed to
allow another researcher to replicate your study. For example, describe the
amount and duration of the intervention, what did you do to sustain your own (or
your client’s) involvement and to ensure that the procedures were carried out
uniformly? While it is assumed that there will be some variation in the procedures
because of the life’s unpredictability and unique contexts, you should make an
effort to implement the procedures consistently within and between phases. You
may also attach forms and/or logs that were designed for the study. Please
provide details about the implementation of the intervention in this section of the
study. (15)

7. Anticipated Problems and Motivation – What problems do you anticipate in
the study or have experienced while implementing the SSD research? How have
you dealt with them or plan to deal with them? How did the procedures of the
study address motivation issues? Describe and discuss how you have
considered specific procedures (e.g. data collection procedures, definition of DV,
frequency of data, research designs) or alternate ways that are likely to enhance
the likelihood of SSD implementation and sustained involvement of the client in
your research project over a period of time. In summary, describe the
motivational and sustainability elements in your study. (10)

8. Control of variables – Discuss which aspects of the study were uniform and
which were not. What confounding variables did you attempt to control for in the
study? How were these controls instituted? How did you control for reactivity?
Explain the procedures, which controlled for alternative explanations. Comment
on internal validity issues as it relates to the dependent variables. How did you
deal with the changing circumstances in your life (or your client’s) in terms of the

Dominican University Graduate School of Social Work
SWK 612 01 Practice Evaluation
Summer III 2022 Sect 02
Wednesday, 6:00pm – 9:00pm

34
proposed research design and data collection procedures? How did, if any,
unpredictable episodes or situations compromise the validity of the study? (15)

9. Ethical issues – What ethical issues were/will be considered during the
implementation phase of the study? Identify any three ethical issues (either from
your perspective, your client’s or both) that are specific to this particular research
study. Do not discuss general research ethical issues (e.g. confidentiality) but
issues related to the procedural implementation of single systems design. How
did you address these issues? Please attach the signed consent form from your
client with the paper. (10)

Presentation (15 points)
The document is well written, demonstrating basic mastery of sentence structure, with
no grammatical, spelling or typing errors. The paper reads well. The ideas should
transition smoothly from one paragraph to the next. Attach relevant appendices.

APA Formatting & Organization (10 points)
The student uses headings to organize the information in the report. There is a logical
link of topics and flow of ideas in the report. The paper is correctly formatted. The paper
should not exceed 9 pages (excluding bibliography, cover page, appendices). There are
no APA errors in your report. There will be a deduction of 1 point for every APA error or
missing reference in the bibliography page. The deduction for lack of adherence to APA
format may exceed 10 points.

If you have obtained consent from your clients, you should attach the consent forms
with this paper. For those who are working on a behavior modification project on
themselves, you should turn in the consent form with this paper.

Reflection Paper (5 points)
At the end of the paper, make a brief (one paragraph) personal assessment of the
quality of the paper. Which particular areas are your strengths and which aspects of the
paper could be improved? Please be honest in your assessment. The content from this
paragraph should be presented after the references page. Do not include contents of
the reflection paper in your page limit. 5 points.

REMINDER: The consent form should be turned in together with this paper.

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