Assignment: Research Paper
Length: 12-14 pages (NOT including title page and reference page)
Spacing: Double-spaced, 1” margins
Sources Needed: APA; objective voice (no first-person)
Use page numbers in citations whenever applicable
Do not falsify citations
5 – 10
• PLEASE READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE BEGINNING
• Select and analyze a public policy area related to Incarcerated Women in the United States, preferably
either mental health treatment or drug treatment while incarcerated.
o Would be open to another topic pertaining to incarcerated women in the United States if that would make it
easier to gather relevant data.
• Use the headers below for each section AND subsections/sub-requirements
o Bold and underline the five main headings
• The research assignment must present the following:
1. Introduction (Length: 1 page)
a. Why is the specific policy important?
b. What are you interested in examining?
c. Outline the problem/situation that your proposal addresses. If you’re trying to solve a problem or build on
an opportunity, you have to define it first. Be as specific as you can. Don’t assume that the reader knows
anything about your community or the situation. Don’t dwell on the negative; don’t portray the problem as
one that’s too overwhelming to solve. When you define a problem, define it in a way that it’s clear that you
can actually address the problem.
2. Literature Review (Length: 3 pages)
a. Select several refereed journal and book publications, and briefly examine related research on this topic
b. The literature review should flow smoothly and examine key ideas and concepts – do not separate out your
summaries article by article or book by book, but instead integrate in the ideas you want to cover in
paragraph format for the topic you chose.
3. Research Design & Hypothesis Development (Length: 2 – 3 pages)
a. Discuss how you are framing your project. Outlines the plan for showing how you met the goals as setting
for your project. This is where you state research methods, data sampling, a type of data you are going to
collect and data collection method, instruments, and how you are going to analyze it.
b. Develop appropriate hypotheses to test (null and research)
c. Identify relevant independent variables (IV) and dependent variables (DV)
d. Identify what you are going to do with the datasets (descriptive statistics; standard deviation; correlation
analysis; regression; etc.)
i. Select and conduct these to demonstrate your understanding of the research process
ii. Include identification and discussion of relationships between variables
e. Mechanisms to assure the quality of the study – validity, reliability, safe storage of data if possible
4. Analysis of Data (Length: 5 pages)
a. Conduct the analysis you outlined in your research design
i. Tell what you learned based upon the data.
b. Construct pertinent graphs(but do not copy and paste from other sources)
c. Discuss whether your hypotheses were confirmed or rejected
5. Concluding statements (Length: 1 page)
How can your analysis be expanded upon and extended?
How does this open the door for future projects?
a. A minimum of 10 sources is required
b. Legitimate government sites are acceptable.
c. Quotes are permitted in the body of the paper, but should be limited to a maximum of two sentences for
each use, and should not be used more than twice on any given page.
d. No art work should be used, and graphics should be contained only to those pertinent to the project (i.e.
statistical tables, histograms, etc.)
e. Students should have the appropriate number of graphs and/or statistical tables indicating the findings of
their data analysis.They should be scaled to about 1/3 of a page.