This checklist is designed to help you pull together everything we have learned this semester
into a coherent proposal, a capstone accomplishment for the course that shows you can apply
what you have learned. Use this checklist as you organize your ideas, as well as when you write
the proposal. It is difficult to do poorly if you adhere to the checklist.
BIG FIVE Failure to meet any of these may result in an F. Plagiarism will result in 0.
Is your study an experiment with random assignment of participants and manipulation of
the conditions of the IV?
Is it a minimal risk experiment without lasting effects on participants?
Are the conditions of your experiment well controlled?
Is it a psychology experiment?
Is your proposal written in your own words, with appropriate paraphrasing, citations for
ideas, and any use of direct quotations clearly identified and cited with page number?
Paraphrase, don’t plagiarize.
General: Review Ch 16
Are all references in text—and only references cited in the text—also cited in reference
section using complete APA style, including as appropriate for electronic sources?
Consult OWL when you are not sure: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style
Is text arranged in APA style, including title page, running head, and use of headings?
Do you put the right information in the right section and only in that section (e.g.,
describe participants in Participants and not in Procedure).
Is writing clear and concise (Remember to consult the UML Writing Center at the earliest
possible opportunity if you anticipate difficulty here).
Abstract: Review Ch. 16
Is your abstract on a separate page from the title and the body of your paper?
Does your abstract provide a brief (125 words or less) synopsis of the study you are
PSYC.2690 Proposal checklist, p. 2
Introduction—primarily written in past tense since you are talking about studies that have
already been done. Review Ch. 1-2
Do you describe the literature in past tense since these are studies already done and
conclusions already reached?
Do you use no more than one direct quotation? Remember you don’t need any at all.
Are assertions backed up with research and citations rather than broad sweeping
generalizations or opinions?
When you cite previous studies, do you say enough about what they found—their
participants, methods, and actual results—and how so that your reader can put the
conclusions into context, providing operational definitions for clarity?
Do you cite at least 4 empirical journal articles that provide a rationale for the study you
are proposing and use APA style to cite?
If you include additional citations, are they all sources appropriate for inclusion—
empirical or theoretical papers from scholarly journals or texts or authoritative, factual
websites (e.g., US Census)?
Do you tie your introduction together with the results of research that you are citing,
instead of listing study after study after study?
Does the previous research you cite lead to the research question posed by the current
study (that is, the study you are proposing) by the end of the introduction? Note that
here you begin to shift to future tense (e.g., “Therefore, the proposed study will
examine the effects of….”).
Do you end with a clear statement of the hypothesis or hypotheses for the current
study? Remember if you are proposing factorial design (limit 2×2), you need three
hypotheses, one for each main effect and one for the interaction of the two.
Methods—all in future tense since you are proposing the study to be done in the future
Participants: Review Ch. 5-6
Do you provide a target N of at least 30 per condition, and clearly identify your sampling
units if they are other than persons (e.g., animals, teams)?
Do you describe how you will recruit your participants?
Do you identify exclusionary criteria?
PSYC.2690 Proposal checklist, p. 3
Do you describe your participants will be with respect to the demographic characteristics
that matter for your study? Remember, what matters is what is relevant to the IV and
DV (e.g., participant height usually is irrelevant; factors like gender or education level are
more likely to be relevant).
If you plan to use data in ascertaining who should comprise your sample (e.g., data from
the US Census or UMass Lowell Office for Institutional Research) do you include the
Type of service: Academic paper writing
Type of assignment: Research paper
Subject: Not Defined
Number of sources: 5
Academic level: Sophomore (college 2nd year)
Paper format: APA
Line spacing: Double
Language style: US English