PSYC 515 Discussion: Research Project Draft 2 and Peer Review Assignment Instructions

PSYC 515

Discussion: Research Project Draft 2 and Peer Review

Assignment Instructions


This is the second half of the written component for your professional research paper. This project will continue to refine your graduate level writing abilities, specifically in terms of scientific writing. It requires you to analyze data, present it both in text and visually with a figure, and to discuss how those results expand our knowledge, integrating with previous research. This type of writing takes many revisions, so do not wait until the last minute to begin work on this assignment. (You are turning in a “final version” – not a draft!).

See Grading Rubric for point values.

Thread Assignment Instructions

By this stage you should have already received feedback in your Draft 1 assignment so you should know whether you proposed the correct statistical test in the Analysis subsection of your Methods. Now, you continue with the Results and Discussion sections. You will begin by conducting a statistical analysis to test your hypothesis and create an appropriate figure to illustrate the hypothesis. You will then write the Results and Discussion sections and submit it as a word document within this Discussion thread for peer and instructor feedback. There are two stages to complete before beginning your writing. Please read this document in its entirety before beginning this portion of your research project.

The following stages are provided to help guide you through this assignment.

Stage 1: Background work.

Use SPSS software to analyze your hypothesis and create an appropriate figure. You’ve already stated which statistical analysis is most appropriate in Draft 1. Now, you will conduct the most appropriate statistical analysis and create a figure to visualize the data related to your hypothesis.

· Find five (5) scholarly sources that provide broader context to your results.

· At least three (3) should be from peer-reviewed journals. For a description of types of articles, please review Section 1 in the APA Manual.

· At least two of the articles should report primary, empirical, quantitative research; no more than one can be a literature review/theoretical/ or meta-analysis article. Discussion of the articles must include enough information to clearly identify what type of article is being discussed.

· No more than two (2) sources can be from any reputable source. Some examples include educational websites (e.g., ending in .edu), governmental websites (e.g.,, or professional websites (e.g., but note you should never cite a blog or opinion piece in a professional paper). These may be useful for describing theories that are consistent with your results or for providing a bigger picture of why it matters (e.g., citing startling statistics or facts that illustrate how / why your study results are insightful).

· All five sources should be used to provide context and justification for your study – thus, their relevance to your study must be clear. Scientific writing at this level will avoid the explicit stating of “this study is important because…”, rather, every word has intention and a professional tone. Remember that this is not an expository or position paper – it is a balanced and thoughtful presentation of data and its interpretation within the field.

Stage 2: Write the following portions of your research paper: Results, Discussion, and References. Make sure you follow the APA guidelines for a professional paper. The following steps outline the systematic organization of the body within each of these sections.

· Format: Follow expectations for a Professional Research Paper from the APA Publication Manual, including the correct formatting for Tables and Figures. The paper should have a running head that is an abbreviated version of your title (NOT that it is “Draft 2”), and page numbers. You are already expected to be able to write at the graduate level in terms of grammar, syntax, and using your own words (no quotes or just switching out a few words – you must reword ideas and summarize other research). However, we are now also honing scientific writing skills. Be concise yet detailed. Do not be redundant or opinionated. There is a specific flow to all quantitative research articles. The body of your Draft 2 document should contain the following information IN THIS ORDER:

1) Results: This is a Level 1 heading. It will only consist of one written paragraph given the simplicity of your research study but will also include at least one table and one figure.

a. The first sentence should state the hypothesis and that it was analyzed using (state statistical test selected). Then, you report the statistical notation using complete sentences – similar to how you’ve presented results in earlier SPSS Worksheet assignments. At the end of this second sentence, include a parenthetical callout to Table 1. The third and remaining sentence(s) in this section will state “what it means” (note – NOT an interpretation – just whether the research hypothesis is supported, what conclusion can be made). Note a professional research paper does not refer to the null hypothesis – only discussions what the statistics support in terms of the research hypothesis. One of these last sentences should include a callout to Figure 1.

b. Include a table and figure. Table 1 should consist of the SPSS output that is used to write your statistical notation (e.g., what you put in SPSS Worksheets when asked to paste “all relevant SPSS output). Although direct inclusion of SPSS output is not standard practice in a professional research paper, it is required here to ensure correct presentation and interpretation of your data. Figure 1 should be the most appropriate graph to illustrate your hypothesis. Note both should be formatted using APA conventions (e.g., number, title, and the Figure should also have a note.) However – you can place them within the Results section (you do not have to create an Appendix for them) as this will facilitate grading.

2) Discussion: This is s Level 1 heading and begins immediately after the Results (not on a new page). Given the simplicity of the study, it should be approximately 3 – 5 paragraphs. Always use a topic sentence to express the main idea for each paragraph (topic sentences rarely include citations). If the next paragraph does not flow easily, use a transition sentence at the end of the previous paragraph. Present the information in the following order:

a. First paragraph: State the goal of the study and briefly restate what conclusions can be made (not statistical notation or p values but conclusions – what the data supported). Note this is not verbatim from the Results but should be written within a broader framework. For instance, you can state that results from the current study are consistent/inconsistent with the (research) hypothesis and/or previous research.

b. Middle paragraph(s): This is where you discuss how your results fit within the context of broader of understanding within the field. This is where you can discuss how conclusions of the current study can be explained in terms of a theoretical framework and/or how it broadens our understanding of conclusions from earlier studies. If results seemingly contradict other studies, provide suggestions as to why (e.g., examine how constructs were measured, research design, sampling technique or population, et cet). You can also discuss limitations of your study and how this impacts generalization and/or comparisons to other studies. Note: We recognize you have a small sample size – hyper-focusing on a small sample size or simplicity of design is pedantic as it is a natural consequence of this assignment. Also note that having a very defined population and sample (e.g., only officers at an air force base) can be a strength. Do not sell your study short!

c. Final paragraph: Start the final paragraph with a brief conclusion and restatement of what your study found. Suggest at least one future direction to explore as a consequence of your study’s results. State why additional exploration would be insightful to the profession and/or for helping others. End full circle if possible (relating it back to the startling statistic you used in the first paragraph of the introduction if you can do so without just re-stating it).

3) References: 5 entries minimum following guidelines stated above. Use Sections 9 – 10 in the APA Manual for proper formatting.

Submission Instructions. You will be submitting a single word document (.doc or .docx) containing Results, Discussion, and Reference sections. Submit this assignment as a single thread.

Reply Assignment Instructions

This assignment consists of one reply to a peer thread that has no response. You’ll need to read the draft 2 of a peer’s research paper before composing your response, making sure to address all content and format instructions below. Your reply must be a minimum of 100 words not including the References, meaning it should be succinct but thorough. Each reply must have a minimum of two (2) in-text citation and Reference entries.

Reply Content

Review one peer’s Draft 2. In your response, clearly address each of the following components (in this order):

Paragraph 1

Review of Content: Did your peer follow the instructions for the content portion of the assignment? Indicate two things your peer did well and two areas that could use improvement specific to content. Some things to consider (not all-inclusive – only address items for which you have insightful feedback): Was the correct statistical test selected given the scale of measurement and verb used in the hypothesis? Are the conclusions appropriate given the data? Is the Discussion organized with good flow throughout? Is relevance of all sources clear and appropriate? Did it end with clear relevance for why the study was important and where to go from there?

Paragraph 2

Review of Format: Some examples to consider (not all-inclusive): Are the numbers in the Table correctly reported in a statistical notation within the body of the Result section? Are call-outs, the Table, and Figure formatted correctly? Did your peer properly discuss sources using their own words (avoid plagiarism) yet provide substance and minimal “fluff”? Were citations and references correctly formatted? Indicate two things your peer did well and two areas that could use improvement in terms of format. For each identified area of improvement, cite a relevant section of the APA Publication Manual.

Reply Format

Responses must be a minimum of 100 words. Be succinct but thorough. As with all communications in this course, replies should be written in a thoughtful, educated, and professional manner. Avoid unsubstantiated opinions or claims, personal comments, or general comments such as the following, which will result in 
loss of points:

· “Great job on your introduction / discussion post,”

· “I totally agree with everything you said,”

· “Good luck in the rest of the class,” etc


The reply should contain two correctly formatted in-text citations (peer’s thread and the APA Publication Manual) and corresponding Reference entries. Use the latest edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2020) for correct formatting of citations and reference entries. Citations can be written using narrative or parenthetical form.

To reduce ambiguity, an example from Section 10 of the APA Publication Manual (2020) has been modified to model how to cite an online forum post for this course. Use Section 10 of the APA Publication Manual (2020) for additional guidance as needed.

· Use
Example 109. Online forum post when referring to your peer’s discussion board post *Note this has been modified to provide a more specific example to this particular assignment given it is a discussion board and you will know the author’s first and last name

Example 109. Online forum post *modified

St. Peters, M. (2024, June 20).
Re: Research project draft 2 and peer review. [Discussion post]. Liberty University Online.

Parenthetical citation: (St. Peters, 2024)

Narrative citation: St. Peters (2024)

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