Introduction to Research

Introduction to Research: Research Proposal Rubric

Elin Grissom, PhD (updated summer 2020)

This document outlines the requirements for full credit for each section of your research proposal. Though you will not be conducting this research, the proposal should be written as though you are, and should be

thorough enough to justify the need for the proposed experiment.

The study should be based in the Psychological Sciences and follow all ethical guidelines. Please note the following general rules:

 Direct quotes should not be used in this proposal, or in scientific writing in general (with some limited exceptions). You should be summarizing literature you have read and citing it appropriately, not quoting other researchers.

 Plagiarism is not acceptable. Any plagiarism will result in a grade of ‘0’ for this proposal as well as any

appropriate sanctions. Please review Part II of the Syllabus for guidelines on plagiarism if you are unsure.

 Opinions are not part of scientific study, so you should not include opinion-based statements or use

of the term ‘I’ in your proposal.

General Document Formatting – 7th edition APA Formatted Proposal

 Times New Roman, 12 pt font size throughout

 All margins – 1 inch  Page number – upper right corner for every page

 Double spaced throughout

 Flushed left margin, no justification

Title page

 Running head (less than 50 characters) which appears on all pages along with page number  Title of paper is centered and balanced. Title is specific and communicates what study is about.

 Name and affiliation (university) of the author


 Begins on page 2

 “Abstract” is centered heading  Abstract written in future tense and includes the purpose, design, hypothesis, IV, DV and relevant

operational definitions

 Word count is 120-250 words




Introduction to Research: Research Proposal Rubric

Elin Grissom, PhD (updated summer 2020)


 Should be 2 ½ – 3 ½ pages in length  First paragraph provides the context of the proposal

 Remaining paragraphs include review of relevant literature  In-text citations are used appropriately. References are recent, historical references used if needed

 Literature review leads to hypothesis at the end of the proposal

 Purpose of study and hypothesis are explicitly stated  Implications of study stated



 Methods section title centered and bold. Should not begin a new page

 Research design is explicitly identified and includes IV’s (levels if needed), DV’s and control variables

 Operational definitions provided. Group assignment and sampling techniques are stated.  Descriptions include any incentives used and any participants/subjects that are excluded

 Any apparatus, equipment or instruments used are identified including type, make and model.

 Stated measurement of DV

 Any prior validity is established and included

 Methods are free from any safety or ethical problems  Includes how participants/subjects will complete informed consent and how they will be debriefed.

 Methods include ways to control for confounding variables and experimenter bias.  Methods for statistical analysis are discussed.



 References begin on a new page with titled centered heading  Reference page strictly follows 7th edition APA guidelines (see website link to use of APA formatting).

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