This first part of your project proposal will consist of the following sections:
Introduction: (1-2 pages) First, you’ll be picking a topic of interest and turning it into an appropriate research question. You can pick any topic as the basis of your research, as long as it relates to psychology in some way. The first section of your proposal will explain your research question, including an argument for why this topic is relevant and deserves to be studied. You should be spending some time clearly discussing what, exactly, you’d like to learn with your research project, as well as what you already know going into it. You should also be explaining the ideas embedded in your research question–some definitions may be necessary to understand what you’re asking.
Article Reviews: (~3 pages per article) Once you have an appropriate question, you’ll then be tracking down at least 2 scholarly, empirical articles that will inform you about the topic and help you to develop a tentative answer to your question–what will ultimately become your hypothesis. For each article you’ll be summarizing the main ideas of the study.
Motivation — Explain the questions and hypotheses that the researchers were trying to evaluate. What did they know going into the study, and what did they want to learn? If they had a specific hypothesis (or hypotheses), you should be able to explain what it was, and why they made that prediction.
Methods — Discuss how they conducted the study. Who were their participants? What variables were they focusing on, and how were these variables measured (or manipulated, if it was an experiment)? The reader should have a pretty good idea what would have happened had they participated in the study.
Findings — State the results that were obtained, and then discuss them: what do they mean, and how do these findings relate to the initial ideas the researchers had–their research questions and hypotheses?