Term Paper Requirements:
This requirement will allow students to explore an issue regarding parenting that is especially interesting to them. When preparing their term paper, students will also face the challenge of reviewing the literature independently and linking their independent work to the reading and discussion done by the entire class. Since this is a research paper, personal examples or narrative should not be included in the paper.
For this paper you will need review the theories and research on a topic in parenting (e.g., parents and childcare, cultural differences in parenting, parental influence on peer relationships). You will also include a research section on community services/interventions linked to this parenting issue. This paper should be like reviews in major journals (e.g., Child Development), although much shorter. You should outline the major theories, discuss important methodological issues in the research area, review research findings, discuss community connections, draw conclusions, and suggest directions for future research. Grading will be based on several criteria:
(a) Are the most important theories described?
(b) Are the strongest studies on the topic cited (i.e., recent studies- 2000s to the present- as well as the most important)?
(c) Are the research findings integrated (or do you simply describe one study after another)?
(d) Did you discuss research involving community resources/services/interventions linked to your parenting topic?
(e) Have you cited problems with the methods (how the researchers studied the topic or collected their information) involved with the theories and research you discuss?
(f) Do the conclusions of the paper offer original and valuable insights about the topic?
You must integrate what you learn from your independent reading for the paper with what you have learned in other components of this course. This integration must be shown in two ways. First, you must refer at least once in your paper to statements in the textbook (or article from the course readings) that relate to your topic. The textbook/reading must then be included in the reference list (not included in your ten references). This is the only textbook that can be used for the paper. The other sources must be journal or primary research sources (peer-reviewed). Second, you must refer to at least one comment related to your topic that the instructor or other students made during class sessions. Such comments should be considered personal communication and cited using the format specified in the APA publication manual (and in your Brief Guide to APA format posted to the course website). Remember, the focus of the paper should be on parents/parenting- not on children. You should assume that the reader is a naïve reader- do not make assumptions about common knowledge, so cite your sources appropriately.
The paper is to be 8 – 10 pages in length (it must be at least 8 full pages of text and no more than 10 pages). You are to double-space, use 12 point Times or Times New Roman font, and you must have one-inch margins on all sides of each page. Page numbers are to be included on the upper right hand corner of each page along with the running head title on the upper left corner of each page. A minimum of 10 peer-reviewed references is required. Any additional sources must also be peer-reviewed. The paper is to be clearly written so it is easy to read. Ideas are to be presented in a way that they flow together. I should not be left wondering where sentences fit into the paper. Grammar and spelling are very important and points are deducted for any errors. Overall, you will be graded on how well you write.
The title page and reference page should be in APA format (see APA guide and sample APA pages). Specifically, any references you may use should be put on a separate page at the end of your paper in APA format (title and reference pages are NOT counted in the 8 pages required for this paper). You may
choose to write an abstract, but it is not required and not counted in the page requirements. A total of 3 points will be deducted for grammar and spelling errors and the paper is worth 40 points with the bulk of the points assigned to whether you have met the criteria specified. Late papers will be penalized 3 points for each day that they are late (including Saturday and Sunday). Early papers are always accepted!!
Be sure to review the grading protocol when writing and revising your paper. In the past students put a lot of effort writing papers- but lose significant points because they do not meet the paper criteria.
Introduce your paper and present some background information (what and how you plan to discuss the issues in the rest of your paper).
Discuss why this paper is important and describe the focus on parents and/or parenting.
End this section by discussing the plan of the paper (e.g., First I will discuss…, Next, I will discuss…).
Longest section of the paper, bulk of points are assigned here.
Discuss the major issues involved with your paper (using lecture materials, outside research articles, and your text/course reading).
Present research-based evidence to support the issues as you discuss them.
Must describe a research theory or explanation for the findings presented on your topic.
Include research on community services/resources linked to this parenting issue (e.g., community interventions that have worked or not worked).
Be as specific as possible. Provide details and examples of what you are discussing in your paper and make sure your ideas flow from one idea to the next.
Critique the studies (methodological issues) – provide criticisms of the way the data was collected or limitations of the research you found (e.g., did not use a diverse sample, research focuses on only mothers).
Keep the focus on parents and parenting (not children).
III. Summary and Conclusions
Summarize the major points in your paper.
Make some conclusions about your assignment and discuss how you came to these conclusions.
Summarize the findings of your paper and discuss whether or not your views coincide with the data or information that you have presented.
Suggest areas for future research (these suggestions should be carefully thought out- not “more research needs to be done”).
Using References and Citing Sources in the Paper:
An important portion of the paper is learning how to find and appropriately cite research sources.
Spend some significant time searching for a solid set of sources and be sure to ask for help in this essential first step if you need it (check out the library tutorial- Finding Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed Articles: http://library.sjsu.edu/video/finding-scholarly-peer-reviewed-articles).
You must always cite information that is not known to either you or the general public. That is, any statement that you make as fact or information must be cited in APA format. For example, the statement, “mothers do most of the care of young children” or “most individuals choose to become parents” would need research citations in your paper.
You also should make sure your statements fit together and are not just listed (i.e., must integrate your statements and ideas).
There is a .5 point deduction for every unsupported statement and un-integrated statements made in your paper. These half points add up- so be sure to carefully cite your sources, statements, and research information.
Note: these deductions may result in you earning “0” points in that section of your paper.
General Writing Suggestions:
PROOFREAD. You will improve your paper dramatically if you proofread. Look for spelling and grammatical errors. Make sure you run the spell check program on your computer. But remember, computer programs do not know the difference between “their” and “there”. So make sure that you do! Also make sure the paper is understandable and clear. It often helps to have a friend, parent, partner, etc., read your paper to see if they understand it or can find errors.
PLAGIARISM. If you are using someone else’s words use quotations and cite the source. Using someone else’s ideas without giving them credit is also considered plagiarism, even if you put it in your own words. So remember to cite the sources where you get your ideas. In addition, if you turn in a paper or project that is similar to another student’s (i.e., in writing style and word choice) or that you have used in another class that is also considered plagiarism! You will not receive ANY points for the assignment and will be failed in the course if you plagiarize! Check your syllabus or course catalog for the definitions of academic integrity at SJSU.
Be sure to include your paper preparation, peer-edited draft and the grading protocol below with your hard copy of the final paper!
** This term paper will need to be submitted to Canvas by class on the due date
ChAD 164: Contemporary Parenting
Term Paper Requirements: