COURSE PROJECT: FINAL PAPER DRAFT INSTRUCTIONS
The body of the paper must be 3,000–3,500 words; include title, abstract, and reference pages; use current APA format, and include a minimum of 10 scholarly references. Six of the 10 scholarly references must be current (within the past 5 years), empirical, peer-reviewed journal articles. Your paper must include the information outlined below. See the Final Paper Draft Grading Rubric for further information. This draft will be reviewed and evaluated by your instructor to provide you valuable feedback in editing this draft in order to submit your final paper.
1. Title Page
a. The title summarizes the paper and its focus. The title must be clear enough to give the reader an idea of what to expect in your paper. Avoid statements that sound vague or flippant.
b. Other Title Page Information:
o Student Name
a. 100–120 words
b. Write this paragraph last, but place it after the title page and before the introduction to the paper.
c. This will be a synopsis of the main findings of your paper.
d. Consider this an abridged version of your full paper.
a. Although not labeled with a heading on your paper, this section will introduce your problem and provide your specific research question that will be developed throughout the paper. Use information from the Identify a Problem written assignment.
b. Defend the importance of the topic. Give a broad overview of the scope of the work you are reviewing. Clarify what learning theory you are looking at and the importance it has in your educational field.
c. It is always best to place the research question at the end of the introduction. This serves as a transition into the rest of the paper, which supports the research question.
To ensure that your paper meets the requirements of the rubric, the following elements must be clearly identified with headings. (Remember that there is no heading for the introduction.
a. Literature Review
o When reading through your sources, you want to remember that you are looking for the “big picture,” not a collection of random, separate articles. You are looking for common themes and patterns in the research as a whole.
o Synthesize the references in order to show that several references support the points you are making about the topic. You are combining what the different experts in the field have published about your topic. Do not write a summary of one reference at the time as you did in the annotated bibliographies. The more you can show that several references support a specific point, the more support you have for it.
b. Learning Theory Association
o Identify the learning theory or theories that serve as the foundation for your topic by discussing foundational principles.
o Align the topic throughout the section with the learning theory or theories
c. Define Key Terms
o Define terms that will be important for your study
d. Gaps in the Research
o What areas of your topic are still in need of further research? (Usually, this can be found in the very last section of academic journal articles, labeled “future research.”)
e. Biblical Worldview
o From a biblical worldview perspective, what are the issues with the learning theory or theories you have discussed?
o Identify from the Sire text the worldview most appropriate to the influential founders(s) of the learning theory.
o Offer alternative ideas that incorporate a solid biblical worldview perspective. The use of Scripture is appropriate in this section.
o Your conclusion must relate to the introduction in some way so that your paper displays coherence.
o If your introduction included a metaphor, quote, theme, etc., it is appropriate to integrate that again.
a. Use a variety of sources, such as the following:
o Textbooks for this course
o Your methods and psychology textbooks
o The Bible (Current APA style permits you to cite the Bible in the body of the paper, but it is not to be listed on the reference page.)
o Educational journals
o Books you have read that have influenced your worldview or educational philosophy
b. Do not use Wikipedia or other wiki-type pages as sources in an academic paper. Because it is an open environment, the information is constantly being changed by registered users and is not always reliable.
c. Include at least 10 scholarly references, and make sure at least 6 of those references are scholarly journal articles. Variation of references is important; use at least 1 book, 1 academic journal, and 1 online source.
6.Point Of View
When writing in current APA Style, you can use the first-person point of view when discussing your research steps (“I studied . . .”) and when referring to yourself and your co-authors (“We examined the literature . . .”). Use the first person to discuss research steps rather than anthropomorphizing the work. For example, a study cannot “control” or “interpret,” but you and your co-authors, however, can.
Current APA style requires authors to use the past tense or present perfect tense when using signal phrases to describe earlier research, for example, Jones (1998) found or Jones (1998) has found…
8. Pronoun Usage
Common writing problems include pronoun-antecedent agreement and the gender issue of “he or she.”
9. Gender Issue
It is considered sexist if you repeatedly use singular antecedents and follow them up with masculine pronouns. For example, “Each teacher should manage his own classroom.” It is also problematic if you redundantly use “he or she” and “his or her.” (Do not use “he/she” or “his/her.”) Some writers solve this by stating to the reader that, for simplicity’s sake, the pronouns will be masculine or will rotate periodically between masculine and feminine. This can be awkward and cumbersome. However, there is a better solution.
10. Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement
a. Pronouns must agree in number with their antecedents. It is incorrect to write, “Each teacher [singular] should manage their [plural] own classroom.”
b. To assist in avoiding both of these problems, it is recommended that you write in plural as consistently as possible. For instance, use students, principals, teachers, parents, schools, etc., instead of their singular counterparts. Follow these antecedents up with “they” or “their.” This avoids the gender issue altogether. When you find that you must use a singular, you may periodically use “he or she” or simply restructure the sentence to avoid the “he or she” if possible. Rare use of this phrase is acceptable.
11. Academic Integrity
Plagiarized papers will be rejected. Each paper will be evaluated for originality by SafeAssign, which reports to the instructor the degree to which your paper is suspected of plagiarism. The following tips will help you avoid any problems with plagiarism:
o Direct Quotations: No more than 10 percent of your paper may be made up of direct quotations. Short quotations must be in quotation marks, and longer quotations must be indented. If you do not set off direct quotations in this manner and cite them, you have plagiarized.
o Ideas and Facts: If the idea or fact is not your own, you must cite its source. When not directly quoting, you should summarize or analyze the idea in your own words.
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