Read this entire section before you start working!
The Introduction should include background theory and research which logically leads into the research question and hypothesis of your study. This will be one of the longer sections. The APA says that before writing the introduction, consider: What is the point of the study?
How do the hypothesis and the experimental design relate to the problem? What are the theoretical implications of the study (how does this study relate to us as humans, or the study of psychology), and how does the study relate to previous work in the area? What are the theoretical hypothesis tested, and how were they derived? (APA, 1994) You must actually read the studies to be able to answer these questions! It seems like common sense but many students try to write their IA without ever having completely read the background studies! First
Start out broad. Identify the particular aspect of the discipline of psychology in which your study took place. (Example; Cognitive Psychology) Start with a brief statement about the nature of the general category of psychology that your study falls into. Include a definition if meaningful. Then briefly get more specific. (Example; The study of memory) And then even more specific. (Example; Working Memory) (APA, 1994) Second
Introduce the Theory/Experiment. What is the theory/experiment and who created or tested the theory? Take some time to develop this well, and present it here as fully but concisely as possible. If you don't talk about the theory behind the research you will lose points! Cite your references properly. Example: (Stone, 2010). Every researcher cited in your paper needs to be listed in your references. Only list researchers in your references if you cited them. Use good psychological sources, such as journal articles. DO NOT use dictionary.com, Wikipedia, Etc. Next, talk about the research that has been done in the area that you intend to study. Use three studies that are directly related to your study. Develop the background. Discuss the literature but do not include an exhaustive historical review. Assume that the reader has knowledge in the field for which you are writing and does not require a complete digest. A scholarly review of earlier work provides an appropriate history and recognizes the priority of the work of others. Citation of and specific credit to relevant earlier works is part of the author's scientific and scholarly responsibility. At the same time, cite and reference only works pertinent to the specific issue and not works of only tangential or general significance. You must cite all of your sources and list them all on the reference page. Use three studies that are directly related to your study. In addition to the study you plan to base your study on. When you summarize earlier works, avoid nonessential details; instead, emphasize pertinent findings, relevant methodological issues, and major conclusions. Refer the reader to general surveys or reviews. Make sure you discuss the theory that the researchers were testing. Be certain that you tie this earlier work to your study. Explain how these are relevant to your study. Third
Outline the precise problem that you chose to investigate and describe the way that you choose to investigate it. State "The aim of this research is to ........" If you do not do this, you may receive a 0 out of 5 points on this section! Your Aim is not to test whether or not this previous research applies to Valdosta High School students, it should be to test if the theory is true or not. Discuss the one particular study that you are replicating or partially replicating. Do not support your position or justify your research by citing established authorities out of context. State the purpose and rationale. After you have introduced the problem and developed the background material, you are in a position to tell what you did. Make this statement in the closing paragraphs of...
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