Your final assignment is an academic literature review and research proposal using your topic about stress and health/mental health. You have already done a list of stress-related health outcomes AND an annotated bibliography. Now you must pick ONE health/mental health outcome that is related to stress write a literature review about it, and devise a study to test it. In other words, you will narrow your focus to ONE disease/disorder that is related to stress in the research literature. For example, you might study the relationship between:
Stress and diabetes
Stress and depression
Stress and heart disease
Stress and anxiety disorders
Stress and cancer
Parts of your Final Paper
An abstract is a brief, one-paragraph description or summary of the paper. It should include the following topics:
Motivation (one sentence): What is the importance of your topic? Why do we care about it?
Research Question (one sentence): State your research question.
Results/Summary (two to three sentences): How do the articles you reviewed answer your research question? What are the primary perspectives on the research question given by the articles?
Conclusion (one to two sentences): What are the implications of your research (you should consider whether your research question was answered, whether your findings can be generalized, and whether there are other issues that need to be addressed to fully answer your question)?
You can find examples of abstracts from various disciplines at the following web site:
2) Literature Review
A literature review is a summary and analysis of scholarly articles relevant to a particular research topic. Your literature review will include SIX articles related to stress and your particular disease/disorder.
***Please look at/read/review the following web site for an example of an APA-style literature review***
You can also find an easy-to-follow guide to literature reviews here:
It is very important that you note that the literature review is not a listing of the annotations from your annotated bibliography. You may use some of the information from the annotations, but you must rewrite them to fit the paper format.
The format of your literature review section should be:
Introduction (one paragraph): Establish your reason for and the importance of researching this particular topic. Describe the research question. Make sure that you provide a good context for how/why you will review the literature and the organization of the paper.
Literature Review (body of the paper): For each study that is in your literature review, you must (at minimum):
Summarize each individual study so that for each study you include:
The topic/purpose of the study: Why was the study done and what is its’ goal?
The methods used in the study (don’t skimp here—this is how the reader evaluates the worth of the study)
The results found in the study that are important to your research question
How does this study relate to your research question? What is the link between this study and what you wanted to know?
Organize your studies so that they form a coherent story or make a coherent argument (i.e., which study should go first, second, third, etc. is important).
Pay attention to the transitions between articles. For example, how is the next article linked to the one before?
You must use APA-style text citations within the body of your paper for every thought/idea/concept that is not the product of your own mind.
Conclusion (one paragraph): Summarize how the studies you reviewed relate to your topic (Do all of the studies agree on the answer? If not, how do they diverge?). Discuss how your findings relate to the real world (implications of your research) and if there are any related areas that need more research. ***Your conclusion MUST end with a clear and concise statement of your specific research question. A Research Question is a statement that identifies the phenomenon to be studied and proposes the relationship between the variables used to study the phenomenon. Please review this guide before writing your research question: https://writingcenter.gmu.edu/guides/how-to-write-a-research-question
3) Research Proposal
Design: This section describes how you will conduct your study. First, describe clearly the type of study you will be proposing (remember the many types of research we have covered in class) and briefly state why this type of study is appropriate. You want to consider whether you will use concurrent, retrospective, prospective, longitudinal, etc. measurements or some combination of these. Your research question should guide you in your selection. In other words, your study design must be appropriate to the research question that you are proposing.
Subjects: Describe the subjects (people or objects, e.g. texts) for your study, considering carefully the type and number you need. Explain your method of selecting your subject(s) (and if a sample, describe the population and how the sample will be drawn).
Measurement. Describe the kinds of measures you intend to use and explain why you have selected these. A discussion of measurements generally considers the following questions: What are the key variables in your study? How will you define and measure them? Do your definitions and measurements draw on or differ from those of previous research in this area?
**At the end of the paper, you must include a survey instrument that YOU HAVE DESIGNED (you may not copy one from any other source) and that you would use in some aspect of your study. Your survey instrument must include, at minimum, a demographic section and another section related to one or more of your variable(s). Remember that your survey is directly related to your research question.**
You must provide full, APA-style citations for each article used in your paper.
• Please note that ALL text references and your reference page should be in APA style (papers not in APA style will have a point reduction).
• For those of you not familiar with APA style, you should either consult an APA style manual in the library, or the following sites can give you useful guidance:
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