Research Proposal In Psychology Topic

One of the topics is Motivation, Domestic abuse, Depression, etc

Writing a Scientific Research Proposal. Final Proposal due on or before 5/12

Please scroll down for Final Template

A research proposal has three main points:

1) Explanation of proposed research (what will be done)

2) Methods and techniques to be employed (how it will be done)

3) Novelty and/or importance of the study (why it should be done)

  1. Title

This should provide a specific summary of the proposed work

  1. II) Abstract (PART II)

 One paragraph that allowing the quick and accurate assessment of the basic premise of the proposal in 250 words or less.

III. Introduction and Literature Review

Your first sentence of the introduction should identify the research problem. This

sentence or two should address why the research is important and what you are hoping

to accomplish. What is the problem under investigation?

Next, you should complete a literature review. Your review of the literature should only

include the 5 articles you select. The more recent the better. Through the use of previous research, you should develop the general background of the research problem and identify research holes to show how your experiment can further research in the field. Make sure you

include your hypothesis in this section, as well as, the independent and dependent


Lastly, identify your research design. You should begin with the basics of your research topic and then narrow the focus of those details that are especially pertinent to the proposed work. Present what is currently known in the field in terms of motivation and how these discoveries were made. This is the place to show what is interesting and cutting-edge in the field that led to your research idea. You are laying the groundwork for your proposal with the material that you present.

  1. Method

In this section you should discuss how you are going to meet the goals discussed in the

introduction. This portion of the proposal is broken down further into questions you

should answer within each subsection.

Research Hypothesis

What is the hypothesis that you are testing? What are the questions that you seek to answer? Based on what is known in this field, explain what you expect to see and hope to show through your result? This is where you share your thoughts.

Dependent Variable:

*What behavior are you going to measure?

*How often are you going to measure the behavior?

*What is the type of observation?

*What is the recording method? How will data be recorded?

Independent Variable/Subject Variable:

*What are you going to manipulate?

*Describe (in detail) the levels of the independent variable.

*What variables are controlled?

*How are they presented?

*How long will they be presented?

*What instructions will the participant receive?

*Who will give the instructions?

*Who will be present when the behavior is measured?


Describe your proposed experiment in depth. What processes are you going to use? What kind of equipment and supplies will be necessary for the project? What will you use for a control, and what will be your replicate? Be thorough, but not excessive. It might be useful to construct an outline before completing this section, as this will give you an idea of what should be occurring when, and if your goals are attainable in the given time.


*Who are your participants going to be? (i.e., What is the gender, age education, race,

etc. of your participants?)

*How many participants are you going to have?

*How are you going to recruit them?

*How are you going to assign them to groups?

*How are you going to compensate them?

*What criteria will you use for participation in your project?


*What apparatus are you going to use?

*What materials are you going to use?

*Are you going to administer any psychological tests? If so, which ones?

*Are there any special supplies you require?

*Do you need an apparatus or device to observe or record behavior?


*What is your research design?

*What will happen in your experiment?

*Where is your study going to take place? (Describe where the data will be collected)

Your sentence structure should look something like this:

“According to Thullen et al. (1999), nitrate removal rates were highest in those wetlands that contained a divers number of plants species.”

“Within organisms cellular nitrogen generally exists as either ammonia-nitrogen or amino-nitrogen, which are the most reduced forms of nitrogen (Delwiche, 1981).”

Never leave your reader in doubt as to the source of your information. Cite thoroughly and cite properly. You only have 5 sources to pull from, so make sure they’re inter-related and usable.


  1. Conclusion and Justification (PART II)

Your literature review will have already helped to lead the reader to an understanding of why your topic is of importance. This is where you will explicitly state how your proposed research will advance knowledge. What are the far-reaching effects? Will your study potentially change practices or policies? Why is it that your research deserves funding? Why should we care about your study? Convince the reader why this study belongs in the scholarly literature.


  1. Reference

Include the 5 resources that were used in the writing of the paper. Follow APA guidelines for formatting.

VII. Presentation (PART II)

APA style followed throughout (look it up) and clear evidence of proofreading

VIII. Submission (PART II)

Be sure it’s turned in by or before 5/12


***A note on Voice:

There is no one format for voice in scientific writing. Active voice is usually encouraged (use of “I” or “We”), but in practice many writers switch between active and passive voice to keep the writing from becoming too repetitive.

Important Points to Remember

-An organized, well-written, concise, complete proposal = an easier to conduct experiment

-A good proposal is like a good sales pitch. In the world of graduate studies and scientific

research a proposal is the means by which funding is secured.

-Good writing when paired with a thorough understanding of the subject matter is a valuable skill to possess.

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