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Guide for Preparing an Assignment: Abstract, Evidence, and Research Hypothesis

1. Abstract / Overview of the project

1. Abstract / Overview of the project. Point out the importance of the project, why it is beingconducted, what the results are expected to show, and the significance of the findings.

2. With reference to evidence, describe the condition (e.g. OCD) and the intervention (e.g., cognitive therapy). For the condition, your description would include key criteria and seriousness/

impact of the condition on function. It may also include prevalence and co-morbidity. For intervention, your description would include key characteristics of the therapy.

3. Critically evaluate evidence. Describe and evaluate the evidence concerning the effectiveness ofthe treatment for the specified condition. The aim is to provide a critique of existing work and identify gaps in knowledge and / or methodological weaknesses in existing research. You have limited space, and so are not expected to provide a comprehensive critique, but to evaluate a small number of appropriate, recent, peer reviewed studies to demonstrate your skills in identifying and evaluating appropriate evidence.

4. Identify and justify an area that requires further research. Based on your description of thecondition and your critical review, identify and justify an area that requires further research.

5. Pose a research question or a research hypothesis. This will be closely related to the content ofyour section on further research. The principal variables or issues being examined should be identified.

6. Describe a hypothetical research study to answer the research question / test the research hypothesis. Remember, this is hypothetical. You do not have to actually be able to carry out thestudy, but you need to think about what you would need to carry out a study to answer your research question / test your hypothesis..

a. Design / Methodology. This section includes details of the research methodology to be Will this be a randomized controlled trial? A quasi-experimental design? A cross-sectional survey? A longitudinal design? A qualitative research study using focus groups? A qualitative research study using semi-structured interviews? A combination of these or something else entirely? In this section the aim is to accurately describe the characteristics of a research design / methodology that is capable of answering the research question / testing the hypothesis posed.

b. Details of participants. How many people will participate? What are their characteristics?Any inclusion / exclusion criteria? How will the sample be recruited? Identify the sampling method.

c. Description of materials / measures. This may include psychometric tests, experimentalmeasures of cognitive function, measures of brain function, such as functional magnetic

resonance imaging, the questions to be used in a semi-structured interview, or many other things. The measures need to be consistent with the methodology described at 6(a). As an example, if you say at 6(a) that symptoms of depression will be measured, at 6(c) you would say how symptoms of depression will be measured (e.g., using a self-report measure such as the Beck Depression Inventory).

d. Data Analysis. Describe the proposed analysis strategy briefly.

e. Ethical issues. This section describes the ethical issues that need to be considered in the research. For example, how you would ensure that participation is voluntary and that people who participate provide informed consent?.

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