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PSY 219 Early Childhood Development : Your Assignment

Term Paper Overview

For this assignment you are asked to write a 7-8 page research paper. Specifically, you will synthesize research from a scientific literature, and draw conclusions based on your research. This assignment provides an opportunity for students to explore an area of interest in developmental psychology in greater depth than time allows in the course. 

Due Dates: 

Journal Article Summary: Thursday, September 15

Email possible research question - Friday, September 16, 5:00 PM

Paper Topic - Thursday, September 29, 9:00 PM (post on D2L)

Final Paper - Monday, November 21, 9:00pm (post on D2L)

Tips For Success

  • Start immediately.  Yes, right now. 

  • It often helps to list three research questions that you may want to explore.  Then, see what references are available. 
  • Be interested in what you're researching. You'll be spending a lot of time on this, so you might as well make it interesting for yourself.
  • Make an outline. Take notes from your sources.
  • Don't be afraid to include different points of view. In fact, a good paper considers many differing, and sometimes, conflicting ideas. 

  • Your goal is to not simply say what others have said, but to rephrase ideas and information into your own words. Never simply list information.
  • Write multiple drafts. 
  • Always proofread and double check. 
  • Visit your librarian for help with your research!  

Term Paper Requirements Overview

1.     Choose a Research Question.

  • Pick a topic that interests you.  Need some ideas?  Look through your textbook, read the newspaper, look at typics covered in the syllabus, or think about issue that drew you to this course.
  • Think about the scope of your topic.  It should be specific enough so that it can be answered in 7-8 pages, but broad enough so that you can find enough articles.

2.     Write a complete paper.

  • 7-8 pages long
  • Double spaced, 12 point font
  • Margins no wider than 1”  
  • References listed on a separate page, in American Psychological Association (APA) format
  • Number your pages
  • Include a cover sheet with
        1.) the title of your paper
        2.) your name
        3.) the class and section
        4.) the date

3.     Find at least 8 high quality references

  • At least four references MUST be research articles from scientific journals (not popular articles from magazines such as Psychology Today, Omni, Times or Newsweek).
  • The rest of your references may include more articles, or peer reviewed scientific books (but not encyclopedias’ or textbooks), but all sources must have strong scientific support.

Paper Topic Proposal Overview

Your proposal should include the following elements:

1. Type your name, class, date, and paper question/title at the top of the page.

2.  Describe your proposed paper. Include the following elements. 

  • Discuss your research question
  • What is your thesis?
  • What conclusions you hope to draw? How/why does your research support your thesis?

3. Find 4 sources that are appropriate for your paper.  These sources must be research articles or books.  You may include the article from the summary assignment, if appropriate.

  • Sources must be cited using the APA manual, 6th edition.
  • For each reference, write a brief summary of the article and indicate how it relates to your paper. 
  • If you are having trouble finding sources on your topic, consider changing it.  Or see a librarian for help.

Journal Article Summary

Using an article that may be useful for your paper, complete the worksheet included in the assignment packet (see PDF above).  Include the following information: 

Article Title:

Article Authors:

Journal Title:

Then, use the different sections of an scholarly journal article to answer the following questions

Introduction - Brief introduction of necessary background to the study

  • Why was the study conducted?
  • What was it about?

Methods - Generally, what did they do in the study?

  • Who/what were the subjects? Sample size? Gender? Age?

Design for the study 

  • Was it a survey, correlational, experimental, developmental, other?
  • What were the measures? Procedure?


  • How did they analyze the data?
  • What did they find?


  • What was the major outcome of the sutyd? 
  • What did you learn from the study?
  • How does this study relate to your paper?

Subject Guide