Week 1 Assignment

I’m working on a Psychology question and need guidance to help me study.

Prior to beginning work on this assignment, review the following Ashford Writing Center resources:

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You may also find the Ashford Writing Center’s Narrowing a Topic & Developing a Research Question web page to be useful this week.

Then, review the following resources:

  • Conference proceedings of professional associations or organizations associated with your field.
  • Articles in scholarly publications associated with your field.
  • Trade and professional journals or magazines relevant to practitioners in your field.
  • Governmental reports and websites.
  • News articles related to your topic of interest.

In your paper, continue your examination of the scholarly and professional literature associated with your field of study and/or your specialization for themes and contemporary topics relevant to scholar-practitioners. Relevant topics are those that represent challenges or opportunities for scholar-practitioners in your field, or areas in which research could help improve service delivery to clients or provide greater understanding of key concepts to scholar-practitioners.

Your exploration of the literature may lead you to identify a wide range of themes and topics in your field, and you should mention the primary themes and topics briefly. Then, for purposes of this assignment, narrow your focus to one broad theme or topic of interest to you, and tailor your paper around answering the questions below based on this narrowed focus.

For example,

  • If you are intrigued with the topic of adolescent learning (research topic), you might be interested in the influence of media on an adolescent’s development of critical-thinking skills (research focus).
  • If you are interested in recidivism among juvenile offenders (research topic), you might be interested in focusing on the influence of educational achievement on recidivism rates (research focus).
  • If you are interested in the relationship between sports participation and future leadership success (research topic), you might want to focus on the concept of team leadership in collegiate basketball (research focus).

In your paper,

  • Identify contemporary themes and topics you found in both the academic and professional literature as you prepared your Discussion Forum post earlier in the week and as you searched the scholarly literature for this assignment.
    • Speculate about why these themes and topics engage the practitioner community.
  • Based on your research and your own personal experience in your field of study,
    • Identify some of the contemporary challenges that confront practitioners in your field.
    • Examine the kind of information that would improve service to clients or advance the understanding of practitioners in your field.
    • Assess what you, as a scholar-practitioner, would like to know about your field of study.
  • Justify a topic of interest and a specific research focus (a general area of interest, not a specific question) you would like to pursue for purposes of work in this class (and, potentially, as a topic for your doctoral research project).

The Topic of Interest and Research Focus paper

  • Must be at least 1,000 words in length (not including title, abstract and reference pages) and must be formatted according to the Ashford Writing Center’s APA Style (Access the resource How to Check a Word Count in Microsoft Word for help in determining total word count.)
  • Must include a separate title page with the following:
    • Title of paper
    • Student’s name
    • Date

For further assistance with formatting your paper, including the title page, refer to the APA Template from the Ashford Writing Center.

  • Must be double-spaced, formatted in Times New Roman 12-point type font, and aligned to the left margin.
  • Must utilize academic voice. See the Academic Voice resource for additional guidance.
  • Must include an introduction and conclusion paragraph. Your introduction paragraph needs to end with a clear thesis statement that indicates the purpose of your paper.
    • For assistance on writing Introductions & Conclusions as well as Writing a Thesis Statement, refer to the Ashford Writing Center resources.
  • Must use at least two sources.
    • The Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources table offers additional guidance on appropriate source types. If you have questions about whether a specific source is appropriate for this assignment, please contact your instructor. Your instructor has the final say about the appropriateness of a specific source for an assignment.
    • To assist you in completing the research required for this assignment, view this Ashford University Library Quick ‘n’ Dirtytutorial, which introduces the Ashford University Library and the research process, and provides some library search tips.
  • Must document any information used from sources in APA Style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center’s Citing Within Your Paper
  • Must include separate abstract and references pages that are formatted according to APA Style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. See the Writing an Abstract and Formatting Your References List resources in the Ashford Writing Center for specifications.

Carefully review the Grading Rubric for the criteria that will be used to evaluate your assignment.

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