Assignment 3: Choosing the Research Paper Topic and Developing an Annotated Bibliography

Part 1: Choosing a Research Topic

From your examination of the literature dealing with the three topics of interest to you through M1 Assignment 1, narrow down your focus to the one topic that interests you the most. Be sure to choose a topic that is a driving force in contemporary forensic psychology and associated services.

Once you choose a topic, you should condense it and state it in the form of a research question or a thesis statement. Explain the topic in terms of its importance in the field. Your topic must be narrow so that you can adequately cover the topic in a 15- to 25-page paper. (For example, posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD] would be far too broad a topic. A more focused topic within this might be researching the efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy in treating returning veterans with PTSD.)

Provide a 1- to 2-page overview of your topic, illustrating how it is a current and important topic in forensic psychology.

All written assignments and responses should follow APA rules for attributing sources.

Note: Your instructor will approve or provide you feedback on the chosen topic. In cases where there are other students studying the same topic, the instructor will consult with you about modifying the topic or even selecting another one.

Part 2: Building an Annotated Bibliography

This part of the assignment focuses on building an annotated bibliography for your chosen research topic.

Throughout this module, expand your research by including a minimum of twelve peer-reviewed scholarly resources and the contact information for one expert interview (the interview can be conducted via e-mail or telephone or in person at a later date).

Your research should include a combination of the following types of sources:

  • Empirical research—including at least one example of qualitative research
  • Theoretical articles
  • At least one expert interview
  • At least two landmark studies

Note: While minimums are specified above, you are encouraged to include more than one expert interview, one qualitative research study, or two landmark studies to create the right balance of studies to effectively address your topic.

You may visit the page titled “Researching Your Chosen Topic” in Module 1 to read more about sources relevant to your research paper.

Expert Interview

(Schedule this early in the course.)

Use the Argosy University online library resources to find, explore, and research these types of sources. To identify an appropriate expert for a personal interview, look for an author of one of the articles that you find interesting; this should be an author you would consider an interesting person to interview, especially if you were left with some questions after reading a particular study he or she had authored. You may also find this author interesting if his or her views contradict what other scholars have found about your topic.

Faculty members of Argosy University around the country, other universities, and forensic areas of education and service are also good choices for interviews.

These personal interviews may be conducted in person, by phone, or by e-mail, as necessary.

Create your annotated bibliography in a Microsoft Word document. Use APA style for compiling the bibliography and developing the annotations. The annotations should summarize the reference in no more than two sentences, and a final sentence should explain the relationship between the study and the research topic. Be sure to indicate which type of study each source is (empirical, qualitative, theoretical, landmark, or expert interview).

All written assignments and responses should follow APA rules for attributing sources.

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