RESEARCH PAPER INSTRUCTIONS
Each student will write a paper on a specific DSM disorder (e.g., not anxiety disorders, but a specific aspect of a specific anxiety disorder; i.e., “Psychopharmacological treatment of OCD) that you chose. The actual focus of your paper should be on the differentiation and diagnosing of a specific psychopathological disorder, together with its treatment. It should not be on something vague such as Depression, but on a specific kind of depression (e.g., SAD, or Bipolar I, with depression as one of its phases). Topics must be approved by the course instructor no later than the second week of class, which will be granted on a first-come-first-served basis. The reason for checking your topic with is to be sure that your subject is a specific one and focuses on establishing the diagnosis and treatment of the disorder. This course is designed to teach you the process of diagnosing and the differentiating signs and symptoms of the diagnoses according to the DSM IV TR, which you will definitely need to know in order to pass the exam for your State license. Once the diagnosis has been established, then, of course, treatment will follow and would be included.
The paper must be 15–20 pages in length (not including the title page, abstract, or references). Since this is a 600 level course, the quality of papers should reflect that level of graduate work. Avoid having too many quotes and integrate your research (i.e., sources) in your paper. A good graduate paper should not be like a quilt, but a rug…not patched together, but woven together. While structure is important, I look more for content. However, writing your paper without subheadings or not correctly referencing your sources is never acceptable. For example, stating something such as, “Research has shown that …,” without documenting the source, will certainly lower your grade. Papers MUST BE written in the current APA format; check your APA writing carefully because you will be graded on the accuracy of the APA format. The APA Publication manual provides information on how to write (e.g., grammar), how to format a paper (e.g., title page, abstract, headings), how to cite references, and many other helps. Use the table of contents to help you locate things. The following must also be followed in your paper. Be sure to examine the research and topic from a biblical worldview. This should show careful critical thinking. You may also need to use word studies, commentaries, etc. to support your point of view.
Use articles published in professional peer reviewed journals (scholarly journals). Please limit your use of web-sites and general textbooks.
1. There should be a minimum of 10 references, most of which should be from scholarly (peer-reviewed journals).
2. You must include empirical research with your paper (a minimum of 30% of your references). This assignment is meant to be an exercise in critical thinking, not simply a review of the literature. Thus, each empirical study should be examined critically with respect to issues of design, methods, subjects, conclusions, and generalizability. Integration of the research and theory in the area is expected along with your general conclusions regarding the current status of the area of research. If you are unsure about how to approach this assignment please discuss it with me. Quality not quantity is the key to earning a high grade for this paper.
3. See Appendix A below for suggestions on appropriate journals.