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Step 1: Decide if you like to work independently or in a group-If you think that working in a group of students is not for you due to some reason (e.g., having a busy schedule, liking working alone, thinking to drop the course), you can choose to work independently – which means that you are going to complete every step by yourself. Once you have decided that you wish to work independently, please fill out the google sheet by Sunday, Oct 3rd @5pm. There are two pages on the google sheet – make sure that you are the one that says, “I want to work independently!” (see bottom left), and fill in the first available cell with the corresponding information, that is your first and last names along with your student ID #. Also, enter your project a name in the corresponding cell (as in line with your information). Do not change or overwrite anyone’s entry!-Step 2: Find the Research Idea (Week 2)-Think of a general research question that you would like to answer. Sometimes it might be very difficult to come up with a research idea/question when you do not have a clear research interest. Here are some examples of research questions that you can use (if you are interested) or that could help you find out what might interest you.a. Is there a relationship between presentation format and learning?b. Does positive/negative framing of outcomes affect people’s decisions?c. Is there a relationship between the type of feedback and people’s performance in a given task?d. Does listening to certain types of music genres affect people’s mood?e. Does wording of a question affect your memory?f. Is there a relationship between labeling and people’s perception of product quality?g. Do facial expressions change people’s mood?h. Is there a relationship between academic success and exercise?- Once you pick your research question, do a little research on the topic by using academic databases (such as PsychINFO), and find at least 3 journal articles published in a scientific, peer-reviewed journal. At least one of those articles must be an empirical one.
– Decide on what your research strategy will be (i.e., Experimental, Quasi-Experimental, Correlational)- Decide on the basics of how you will conduct your study (e.g., how will you collect data? From whom? etc.)- Write up a short descriiption (maximum of 2 paragraphs in length) of your question/idea and your proposed research strategy; submit it to the relevant Canvas link so that you can receive feedback regarding whether your research question is appropriate. More specifically, your descriiption should include:(1) Your variables (Independent Variable and Dependent (Outcome) Variable if your strategy is experimental or quasi-experimental; two variables (Variable A and Variable B) if your strategy is correlational)(2) Your research question (e.g., “Does [Independent Variable] affect [Dependent Variable]?”; “Is there a relationship between [Variable A] and [Variable B]?”; “Is there a difference between [Condition A] and [Condition B] in terms of the [Outcome Variable]?”)(3) Information regarding how you will conduct your study (e.g., how you will collect data)-Submit your Research Idea write-up to Canvas by 11:00pm on Sunday, October 10th. Any work submitted after 11:00pm will be considered as late and subjected to penalty. Step 3: Operationalize your Variables (Week 3-4)-Make sure that you attend the lectures in Week 3 since the content of both lectures will be highly relevant to how to operationalize variables of interest.-Read the feedback on your Research Idea which will be available by Thursday, Oct 14 @5pm, and make the necessary adjustments in accordance with the feedback (if unclear, contact your TA who graded your assignment or Dr. Güney).-If your study has variables that are more “abstract” (e.g., operational definition is not very straightforward, such as happiness, extroversion, fairness etc.) than “concrete” (e.g., operational definition is relatively straightforward, such as age, income, reaction time etc.), you will need to find scientific studies that measured/manipulated the same variables you have in your study, so that you can use their operational definition. Use one of the academic databases (e.g., PsycINFO, PubMED) to find these articles in scientific journals. Note that some of these studies will use an established, validated measures (e.g., scales, questionnaires etc.). In that case, make sure you use the measure as is, and give appropriate citation when needed.-Based on the operational definitions that you have decided to go with, start preparing your study materials.Step 4: Keep Working on your Materials & Write your Research Proposal (Week 4-5)-Your proposal should include the following elements: (1) Title page, (2) Introduction, (3) Method, (4) References, and (5) Materials. See below for more detailed information regarding each element.
(1) The Title Page should include Running Head (with a page number), Title, your Name (as the Author name), and your Affiliation (in this case, it is University of California, Irvine). See “Professional Title Page” at https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/paper-format/title-page. Also write “Working Independently” underneath your name for our reference. (2) The Introduction section should include the following: a. Statement about the general purpose of your study (e.g., What are you trying to investigate?)b. Descriiption of the general significance of your study (e.g., Why is your research question important in general?)c. Summary of the relevant literature. Write a brief annotation (~200 words max) for each article/study you have found. Note that your annotations should not include direct quotes or paraphrases.d. Statement of your tentative hypothesis (e.g., What do you expect to find as a result of this study?) -Note that you need to incorporate all of the above but not in a “bullet-point” format. Your Introduction should flow as a text with proper paragraphs as needed.(3) The Method section is where you describe how you will test your hypothesis in detail. It typically consists of several sub-sections, each of them having their own heading. Your Methods section should include the following sub-sections:Participants: Who are your participants going to be? Explain (a) where you think your sample of participants will be drawn from, (b) expected demographics of your sample (such as age range, gender distribution, education level), (c) how many participants you will have in your study. Note that the total number of participants that you will need for your study is a minimum of 40 (if your strategy is Experiment and/or Quasi-Experimental, minimum 20 in each condition). Design: What is your research strategy (e.g., Experimental, Quasi-Experimental, Correlational?). If Experimental, Between- or Within-Subjects Design? What are your variables? If Experimental and Quasi-Experimental, indicate the Independent Variable (IV) and the Dependent Variable (DV). For all strategies, indicate whether each variable is continuous or categorical; if continuous, indicate the range of possible answers, and if categorical, list all the possible categories. Materials: This is where you briefly describe the measures, or scales, or questionnaires that you are going to use in the study. You will also provide the full materials as a part of your proposal (see below Materials and Step 5) Procedure: Describe how you will collect data step by step. Are you going to administer the measures individually or to a group? Are you going to administer the measures in person or online? If the latter, via phone or email or social media etc.) If the former, paper & pen or computerized? Describe what the researcher and the participants will do during the administration (including consenting and debriefing on the researcher side).
Proposed analysis: Describe what descriiptive statistical analysis you are planning on using (i.e., means, correlations, frequencies and/or percentages). (4) The References section includes a list of all of the references you cited in your proposal. Note that you need to have at least 3 empirical sources.(5) The Materials section (which will later serve as an Appendix) consists of all the materials you use to collect data. If your study is conducted online, make sure to include a link to your survey that can be accessed by us; otherwise include a copy of your questionnaire/whatever your data collection instrument is (including the consent form and debriefing statements).-Note that the entire proposal should be written in accordance with the APA format and no longer than 7 pages altogether (excluding Materials section).-A grading rubric is available for your Research Proposal as well. Use it check whether you include everything required in your proposal.-Submit your Research Proposal to Canvas by 11:00pm on Wednesday, October 27th. Any work submitted after 11:00pm will be considered as late and subjected to penalty. Step 5: Finalize your Materials (Week 5)-Finalize your materials after talking to one of the TAs as well as running them through a couple of friends or family members who could give you some feedback about your materials (e.g., is the wording clear; is the procedure too long? etc).-For your continuous variables, make sure that the response choices are open-ended (e.g., For a variable like Income, ask “How much is your income?” and allow participants to indicate any $ amount rather than force them to choose a certain income bracket from a list)Step 6: Start Collecting Data (Week 6)-Read the feedback on your Research Proposal which will be available by Wednesday, Nov 3rd, and make the final adjustments and improvements in your materials. -As soon as the materials ready, start collecting data.-As you collect data, make sure that you enter the data into an Excel spreadsheet and start thinking about how you will analyze your data.Step 7: Finalize Data Collection & Analyze the Data (Week 7 – Beware! It will be a busy week! & Week 8)-Make sure that you attend the Monday lecture in Week 7 as Dr. Güney will talk about some statistical methods that will be extremely useful for you when you analyze your data. -It is also strongly recommended that you attend a “data analysis workshop” during discussion sections in Week 7, so we can verify you are doing your analysis correctly.
-Analyze the data. Depending on your study design, you will compute one of the followings: a) means and standard deviations, or b) a correlation; or c) frequencies/percentages.-Write up your Interim Analysis statement. This statement should include the answers to the following (but again, not in a bullet-point format!):a. What is your hypothesis? b. What variables are analyzed (e.g., being compared or associated)?c. Are those variables categorical or continuous?d. What type of statistical analysis was performed? (e.g., are the mean and SD? Is the correlation calculated?)e. What numerical values did you obtain by that analysis? f. What is the direction of your results? (i.e., if you calculated a correlation, did you observe positive or negative correlation? If calculated means, frequencies/percentages, and then did a comparison between conditions, which one was higher?)-Include a table or a graph displaying your main results.-A grading rubric is available for your Interim Analysis as well. Use it check whether you include everything required in your assignment.-Submit (1) your Interim Analysis and (2) the Excel sheet (.xls or .xlsx file) that you used to analyze your data to Canvas by 11:00pm on Sunday, November 14th. Any work submitted after 11:00pm will be considered as late and subjected to penalty. -If you are short of participants or wish to collect more data, you are more than welcome to continue collecting data after you submit your Interim Analysis. You can always go back and re-run the analysis and update your results.-Once you are done with the data analysis, you can start writing the Results and Discussion sections.Step 8: Write your full Research Project Report (Week 8-9)-Start writing up your full Research Project Report. The report should include the following: Title page, Abstract, Introduction, Method, Results (with at least one table or a figure), Discussion, References, and an Appendix. All these components should be submitted as a single Microsoft Word document. -At this point, you already have the Title page, Introduction, Method and References sections from your proposal. Make the necessary adjustments/improvements in those sections before using them for the full report. Revise these sections based on the feedback you received in Week 6. Update the Method section in accordance with what you actually did and by changing the future tense into past tense. Update the References if you used any additional sources.
-Results section in your research report is where you present your data. You do not interpret your data in the Results section. The Results section typically (a) describes the data (through descriiptive statistics), (b) how hypothesis was tested (usually, through inferential statistics), and (c) what the outcome of those tests was. In your Results section, include the following (not in a “bullet-point” format):a. Explain how you analyzed the data (e.g., calculation of means, correlations, percentages etc.) and what the results of this analysis were. b. Describe what conditions were compared or what variables were examined, and the type of each variable (i.e., continuous or categorical?). c. If you compared the means across two conditions, indicate how much the means differ. d. If you examined the correlation between the two variables, indicate the direction (i.e., positive or negative) and consistency/strength of the relationship.e. Include at least one table or figure that illustrates the results you found.-Discussion section is where you make interpretation about your results/discuss your findings. The general structure of a discussion section is as follows (in that order): a. Restatement of your hypothesis,b. Brief summary of your findings, c. Implications of those findings (i.e., was your hypothesis supported or not? If not, why do you think it was not?) The implications could include real world implications and how your current work fit into the existing body of research on the topic. d. Discussion of the limitations of your study. Make sure that you do not just list the limitations – explain why you think something is a limitation as well. e. Future directions – which are basically the ideas for future studies that could expand on the findings in your current research. f. A short, concluding paragraph on the importance or relevance of the current study. -Write the Abstract last since it is a concise summary of the entire project. The abstract should include 1-2 sentence about the general area of the research, the research question being asked, and /or the hypothesis; a few sentences describing the Method (i.e., information about the number of participants, research strategy being used, variables etc.); 1-2 sentence describing the observed results; and 1-2 sentence stating general conclusions, interpretations, limitations, future suggestions. The abstract should be around 200 words.-Note that the entire report should be written in accordance with the APA format and no longer than 12 pages altogether (excluding Materials section).-Make sure that you have everything in a single Microsoft Word document. -Also write “Working Independently” underneath your name on the Title page for our reference. -A grading rubric is available for your Research Report as well. Use it check whether you include everything required in your report.-Submit your Research Project Report to Canvas by 11:00pm on Sunday, November 28th. Any work submitted after 11:00pm will be considered as late and subjected to penalty.
General Notes:-For those who need help with writing, please visit http://www.writingcenter.uci.edu/ to check out the resources available to you at UCI.-It is your responsibility to save/back up your work at every stage of the pr
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