Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Westminster College Logo

PSY 291: Adulthood & Aging: Research Project Description

The Research Project

For this assignment you are asked to write a 10 page research paper based on the scientific literature.* Specifically, you will synthesize research from the scientific literature, using a minimum of 10 references, and draw conclusions based on your research. This assignment provides an opportunity for students to explore an area of interest in adulthood and aging in greater depth than time allows in our course. Research in the field of developmental psychology has important applications for many areas of this field.

This LibGuide is designed to help you:

  1. Identify 10 resources that relate to your topic. See Primary Sources.
  2. Present your work in APA style. See APA Style.

*Note: See Integrated Volunteer Project for an alternate project option. See side panel for details.

Paper Topic Assignment - Details

Your paper topic will be a typed, two page assignment.

  1. Type your name(s), class, date, and paper question/title at the top of the page. (2 points)
  2. In a paragraph, briefly describe the purpose of your paper and/or provide an outline. (5 points)
  3. Find at least four sources that are appropriate for your paper. Provide a brief description of each article (2-3 sentences). Type the reference citations for the articles at the bottom of the page, as you would in the reference section of your paper, using APA formatting. Provide a brief description of each article in your own words under each reference (8 points)

The paper topic is worth 15 points toward your total paper grade. 0.5 points will be subtracted for each grammatical, spelling, and reference format error (make sure to double check!).

Writing Circles - Details

Writing circles: Bring one text page of your paper to class, with one empirical source used on the page. We will be reviewing information integration, use of citations, writing style, etc. (Activities-5 points).

Final Paper - Details

Paper Requirements: Be sure to follow these specifications for a high quality paper.

  1. Length. The paper length will be 10 pages (12 font), plus a reference page, double-spaced and typed. Margins should be no wider than 1". References are listed on a separate page, in the format of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition.  Please number your pages. In addition, include a cover sheet with the title of your paper, your name, the class and section, and the current date.

  2. Type and Number of References. See the Primary Sources page of this LibGuide for help. 

  3. Appearance. All final papers should be stapled, proofread, and easy to read (no fading or smudging of ink).

  4. Number of Copies. You must hand in ONE hard copy and ONE electronic copy of your paper to receive full credit.

  5. Format. Your paper should follow American Psychological Association format. See the APA Style page of this LibGuide for help. 

  6. Guidelines. Consult the grading sheet included with the full assignment instructions.

  7. The Electronic Copy.  Should be saved in D2L with your last name in the title (in accord with the policy of the College, all papers will be evaluated using Turnitin for plagiarism)

Due Dates

Friday, Feb. 26 - Paper Topic Due

Apr. 15 - Writing Circles Activity

Apr. 22 - Paper Due

Integrated Volunteer Project

In place of the paper, students who are interested may volunteer 2-3 hours a week at a local care facility or senior center (approx 20-30 hours total, or more if you choose).

You will need to keep a journal describing your activities and reflections (for example, how your experiences relate to the course material, how they have changed your perspectives on the elderly or confirmed them), and write a shorter 5-page research paper integrating a topic from the research literature with your experiences (elder care, depression, dementia, therapeutic interventions are examples of possible topics).

You will need to follow the same guidelines and deadlines for the paper as the rest of the class, using 5 sources. For the paper topic, please include a paragraph on the arrangements for your volunteer experience