Writing the Empirical Quantitative Research Report and Disseminating the Research Findings

Please strictly follow 6th edition APA style (2010). I have a Sample of this research paper and very detailed requirements, and I would like to transmit it to you via email or upload before you start writing the paper, this is very important, and useful. I also have SPSS Statistics Data, and Chi Square that you need for this research paper, I would also like to send them to you via email or upload. I’ll just copy and paste all the requirements and topic below, but if you need a more organized version, please see upload or email.

TOPIC: Topic: Same Sex Marriage Dependent Variable: Homosexual couples should have the right to marry one another.

Independent Variable: Age, gender, religious preference

PAPER OVERVIEW: Writing the Empirical Quantitative Research Report

You will be writing a paper to support the research project you are developing in your labs. Writing the research report is an important part of the research process — disseminating the research findings. At the completion of this project, you will have acquired important skills for becoming part of the research community at a university. All university professors do this for their research. Graduate students receive extensive training in research skills. Undergraduate students who have completed research projects and independent study courses with university professors have a critical edge during the application process for graduate school.

The research paper will follow the format presented in the first lecture reading for this course “Reading Research†. It will be a helpful guide for understanding the process of developing your research project. You will first write an introductory section of two or three paragraphs (at least 1 full page), followed by a literature review (about 3 pages) and hypotheses (2/3 page). This will set up the problem you are studying and predictions about what you hope to find in the data analysis. You will then write about how the data was collected, describe the participants, the questions and the statistical procedures you used for analysis (1 page).

The final sections are the presentation of results (2 pages and the discussion/conclusion (2 pages), which is a concluding section interpreting your results in light of your background research. You will receive detailed feedback on your introduction, literature review and hypotheses. These three sections are critical to setting up your research project properly. You can earn a maximum of 60 points for this paper allocated as follows: Introduction, Literature Review, Hypotheses 40 points Method, Results, Discussion 20 points 15 points of the paper is dedicated to APA style — mistakes in APA are deducted from your paper points.

If you have a 55 point paper and make 5 APA mistakes, your paper will be 50 points. The dates are firm. Absolutely no extensions will be granted. If the due date poses a problem for students, the paper may be submitted before the deadline. The paper will be graded in two submissions: 1. The introduction, literature review and hypotheses are due. Your dropbox will be labeled with your the first letter of your last name. The drafts will be reviewed and feedback will be provided. A maximum of 40 points will be given at this time. Students can earn 40 points for these three sections if there are no errors including APA style, grammar and adherence to report structure. In the event students receive less than the full 40 points, these three sections may corrected and or revised and resubmitted at the final exam time for additional points to a maximum of 40 total points for the first three sections.

This will give students an opportunity to revise and improve their work. Final points for the paper will be awarded based on implementation of comments and suggestions in the feedback, including grammar. The three sections will be proof-read for content and adherence to report structure, not for grammar and spelling. Students will be advised if they should seek help for grammar and spelling, but no assistance with grammar and spelling is available in this course. If no first draft is submitted, students forfeit the opportunity for feedback.

This is firm and absolute. There are no acceptable excuses for late papers. Students’ papers should be written over the three weeks when instruction is given. There will be no feedback available for the final sections of the paper, only for the first three sections, which are most critical for setting up the research project.


Writing the Introduction to the Research Report. Your introduction and other sections will be returned to you the week after submission. Revise the paper based on the feedback and submit it again with the next sections – the literature review and hypotheses. In this way, you will be getting the most advantage from feedback. If you do not submit a section by the due date, you will not get feedback. Be sure you have formatted it correctly — double-spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman font, 1-inch margins all around, spelling and grammar checked, APA in-text citations and a reference page. You should keep your reference page up to date so you get feedback every time. The introduction is the broad beginning of the paper that answers three important questions: 1. What is this paper about? What is the broad social science problem or issue?

2. Why is it important to study? 3. What are you (the researcher) going to do in your proposed study? You should answer these questions by doing the following: 1. Set the context — provide general information about the main idea, explaining the situation so the reader can make sense of the topic and the claims you make and support. 2. State why the main idea is important — tell the reader why s/he should care and keep reading.

3. State your thesis/claim — compose a sentence or two stating the general purpose of your study. Start it like this: “The purpose of this study is….†The purpose statement will include your research question, your dependent variable and three independent variables. This should be two to three medium paragraphs including statistics to support the importance of your general topic problem or issue. Thus, the most time consuming part of this assignment is researching the background statistics and information. The writing should go quickly. You should plan to write and then set your paper aside for a while before coming back and editing and proofing it a couple of times. Note: You may only use background information from authoritative websites or academic articles. For example, if you wish to start with Wikipedia, you will find some general information and links to sources.

Never, ever, ever, use Wikipedia as a source for any academic or other writing. Find the primary sources referred to in the article. For health statistics, check the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/ For education statistics, the National Center for Education Statistics: http://nces.ed.gov/ For California education: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/ For political data, the Pew Research Center: http://pewresearch.org/topics/ For other topics, check the UCI Library Opposing Viewpoints Center: http://find.galegroup.com/ovrc/start.do?userGroupName=irvi75182&&prodId=OVRC&finalAuth=true and under each topic, you will find a tab for statistics. For an example of the introduction, look at the sample paper on the SS3A course website.

There are also some examples of bad and good introductions. You must write in American Psychological Association style. There is an optional resource available with formatting using Word 2010. This is an excellent resource and is written in APA style as well. The information for purchasing is in the syllabus. You do not have to use this optional resource; there is plenty of information available online, including the official APA Publication Manual. But you must write in 6th edition APA style (2010).


The literature review section of your paper will be four to seven paragraphs — three full pages. This is a good time to start your title page so you can get feedback on the formatting. The paper must be formatted it correctly — double-spaced, 12 pt Times New Roman font, 1 inch margins all around, spelling and grammar checked, APA in-text citations and an updated reference page. There are absolutely no quotes allowed in this paper. The APA style is 15 points of your final paper, the first draft will be your only opportunity to get feedback on your APA formatting.

The literature review is important to show your knowledge about your research topic. You need to discuss what has already been done on the topic and what the key issues are. Upper division writing courses, or undergraduate research projects, require presentation and support of major theories, how they have been applied and developed, as well as criticisms.

However, this SS3A course is about the research process and we will not be doing a thorough background literature search and review. In this brief paper, you are to read and review three articles on your topic that relate to variables that interest you from the list given to you with the introduction instructions. These articles must be different from any source you used in your introduction.

Each article must be relate to your research topic (your dependent variable) and one of your independent variables. You can only use one article per independent variable. You may not use one article for two variables. If you are having trouble finding articles, please visit your TA in office hours or see Dr. Christopherson in office hours. Your literature review will help justify the topic of your research, as none of the articles will utilize all the variables you are selecting. So, you are proposing a new study.

Be sure you avoid expressing personal opinions at this time; you will be able to do that in the conclusion section of your proposal. The significance of the literature review often seems mysterious to undergraduates and first-time researchers. Its importance is difficult to grasp and sometimes it seems like you are just replicating previous work. But, the literature review, along with your introduction and background statistics, form the justification for your study. The literature review is different from an annotated bibliography, which is just a listing of articles with descriptions. You will be discussing each article in the context of your study. Write about what is relevant to your study, ignore what is not. This means you need to read the abstract, the introduction and conclusion of your articles. And, really, only the parts that pertain to your study.


The three hypotheses for your project will be three brief paragraphs, one for each prediction. This is the only opportunity for feedback on your paper. Please pay attention to formatting — 12-pt Times New Roman font, double spaced throughout, one-inch margins all around. This is a good time to get feedback on the APA formatting: add a title page, and references page. This is your only opportunity for feedback on the APA style and formatting. How to write the hypotheses: The hypotheses follow from the literature review. Remember, we are doing a very small project with only a few sources. Normally, the introduction and literature review would be the bulk of the report (5-7 pages).

We are only learning the process in this class. Even with this small project, the hypotheses are the same as for a large project. They are the predictions for your three independent variables and how they relate to your dependent variable (your research question). The hypotheses are predictions you anticipate or hope to find in the data analysis you are proposing. The participants in the surveys or studies you are using for your analysis have answered your questions already. So, you must frame the hypotheses in a similar way to the question wording. Begin at the end of the literature review. For each hypothesis paragraph, remind the reader of the findings in the articles you used to develop the hypotheses. Then state your hypothesis. Do this for each article.

Example: Research by Gross (1993) reported that men drink alcohol at higher levels than women, and their consumption continually increases as they reach the legal age for alcohol use. For women it decreases by the time they reach legal status to drink. Thus, the first hypothesis for this study is that males are more likely to support lowering the legal drinking age to 18 years of age than women are.

So, you will write one or two sentences about the prior research findings (from your literature review) and then write a statement making your prediction — being specific about what you are predicting. Do not say something like gender affects approval of lowering the drinking age. The answer to that question is “yes†. Be specific about which gender is likely to have a higher approval, such as “Males are likely to approve of a lower legal drinking age of 18†. Be sure to cite the author and year when writing about the articles on which you base your hypotheses.. Again refer to the sample paper and APA Style information online or in the optional resource.


Method Do not purposely start a new page for this section. Simply center the word Method (bolded) and continue typing on the very next double-spaced line (i.e., do not insert any extra blank lines here). Write professionally, that is, do not make it sound like a class project. Assume you are writing for submission to a scientific journal. The Methods section has three sub-sections. In a standard research report the method section describes how the research was conducted: who the participants were, how they were selected (sampling method), what questions they answered, how the analysis was conducted. This assists the reader in understanding the results of the analysis. Someone should be able to replicate your study based on the information you provide in this section.

Participants The participants section indicates who participated in your study and how they were recruited — this will be found in the codebook or published information on the sampling design. You will find enough information attached to these guidelines to write a paragraph about the General Social Survey. State the number of respondents in your own data set (based on your analysis in lab).

Cite the GSS data source (see below). Instrumentation The instrumentation section discusses any measurement or materials used — in your case the measurement of characteristics (IVs), opinions/attitudes/behaviors (DVs) is done with a survey. In this section, you present the survey questions and response options for all four of your variables — one dependent variable and three independent variables.

Do not type a list. Procedures In the procedures identify the scale of measurement for each of your variables and the statistical procedure you used including the statistical software package. In this paper, you will create crosstab tables, conduct a Chi-square test and and interpret them. It is helpful to make a list of the steps you use to analyze your data in your labs. Then write a narrative of your procedure.

Do not type a list. Here is information compiled from the GSS site and codebook: You are welcome to paraphrase this information for your first paragraph of your methods section. Do not write these paragraphs exactly — that is plagiarism. Rewrite in your own words and cite the GSS site (see above for citation information). GSS Overview: Until 1998, the target sample size was approximately 10,000 persons. This was increased in 1999 to 25,000. With a sample of 25,000, results are available at both the national and provincial levels and possibly for some special population groups such as disabled persons, visible minorities and seniors.

Methodology Purpose:

The GSS (General Social Survey) is an interview survey of U.S. households chosen by using a proportional sampling technique. The survey is conducted by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC). The basic purposes of the GSS are to gather data on contemporary American society in order to monitor and explain trends and constants in attitudes, behaviors, and attributes; to examine the structure and functioning of society in general as well as the role played by relevant subgroups. Sample: Sampling is conducted by the NORC using a national probability sample. For the 2006 survey, a new sample frame based on the 2000 United States Census was implemented. Block quota sampling was used in 1972-1974 and for half of the 1975 and 1976 surveys.

Full probability sampling was employed all years after 1976. Until 1998, the target sample size was approximately 10,000 persons. This was increased in 1999 to 25,000. With a sample of 25,000, results are available at both the national and provincial levels and possibly for some special population groups such as disabled persons, visible minorities and seniors. Each survey was an independently drawn sample of English-speaking persons 18 years of age or over, living in non-institutional households within the United States. Mode of Data Collection: Tow methods of collection: face-to-face interview and computer-assisted personal interview.

Response Rate: Approximately 71 percent responded to the survey questions. Be sure to cite the GSS data in your methods section: (Davis & Smith, 2011) (See below for the citation to put into your references page.) APA Citation for GSS Data: Davis, J.A. and Smith, T. W. (2011) General social surveys, 1972-2010 [machine-readable data file] /Principal Investigator, James A. Davis; Director and Co-Principal Investigator, Tom W. Smith; Co-Principal Investigator, Peter V. Marsden; Sponsored by National Science Foundation. –NORC ed. — Chicago: National Opinion Research Center [producer]; Storrs, CT: The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, University of Connecticut [distributor].


Writing the Results Section of your paper The purpose of the results section is to follow the goals of your literature review (establish what needs to be studied and why it is important) and your methods section (where you describe the design of the study). In the results section, you now describe the result of the data analysis. We must present only what is important and leave out opinions and unnecessary details.

Again, our project is simple and we will not be including any tables or graphs in this paper, although you would for an upper-division research report or graduate level work. The results section has two parts. Part 1: The first part is a paragraph summarizing your sample. Write a paragraph describing the percentages of respondents who have answered your dependent variable and your three independent variables. You will get the figures for this paragraph by creating frequency tables for each of your four variables. This paragraph is an important part of your paper because you need to give the reader a description of the characteristics of your participants.

For example, suppose you are asking whether people support gun control and one of your independent variables is gender. State the percentage of respondents in favor of gun control and the percentage against; also the percentages for respondent gender. The frequency tables do not tell you how males or females feel about gun control because that is what the crosstabs do.

Once again, the sample paper will be helpful Be sure you report the percentages for your dependent variable and only your three independent variables. Part 2: The second part is the results of your three hypothesis tests: You will be creating three cross tabs to test a relationship between your dependent variable and your three independent variables. These relationships are tested with the Chi-square statistic.. So you need to report those in your paper whether the results are significant or not. The second paragraph of the results section will begin with restating your first hypothesis.

Reminding the reader again what your hypotheses are is important so the reader does not have to flip back to previous pages for this information. Then report the percentages for your responses. The report the results of the Chi-square tests and use the Greek symbol for the Chi. Report the result of the hypothesis tests for all three of your independent variables.


Writing the Discussion Section of the Research Paper The Discussion section should include • explanations of how your findings agree with previous findings, disagree with other results, any limitations of your study that may be significant; • recommendations for future studies. In this section, emphasise the new and important aspects of your study and the conclusions that follow from them. Do not repeat in detail the data or other material given in the Results sections of your paper. Include in the Discussion section the implications of the findings and their limitations. Relate observations to those of other relevant studies.

Here, you can express your interpretations, your opinions, the value you place on some aspect of the findings, and possibly suggestions for future research (remember that your paper can influence other researchers who may want to take your study further). Your findings may be in disagreement with previous findings. Do not be concerned if this is so. If your findings are valid and your research methods sound, it is possible your results will differ from previous findings.

But it is necessary to detail them, and explain why you think they might be different. If the unexpected finding is important, do not play it down. Say that such results were unexpected. You may have found shortcomings in your methods. If they were significant, discuss these deficiencies in this section. Say why they became shortcomings. Say what should be done about them, and what, if any, influence these could have made on the results you obtained. Begin the new section by centering and bolding the word Discussion. Then remind the reader of the purpose of your study. Begin with the hypothesis that had the best results.

Discuss each hypothesis test results without using any numbers — those belong in the results section and your reader can refer to them there. Your results should be related back to the literature supporting the hypothesis. Interpret your findings — compare them to the article you reviewed for the variable and explain why your study matched or did not match the article findings. Remember: Do not include any numbers in this section. Do this for each hypothesis. Then add a couple of paragraphs with the implications, recommendations for future research on this topic, and discuss any limitations.

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