Identify a topic area within adult development and behavior


Selection of Project Topic


This unit begins a series of assignments designed to help you complete your paper your PowerPoint presentation. In each of the project assignments, you will develop a component that will contribute to your paper, an introduction to a research topic in the area of adult development.

This first assignment sets the stage for your specialized focus on your chosen topic while allowing you to peruse research that might be useful in your proposal of a research topic. In addition, it allows you to consider some of the developmental challenges of adulthood and aging while accessing contemporary information that may lead you to greater understanding in this field.

To see how this assignment fits into your course project, refer to the course project description.


The purpose of this paper is to reflect on a general subject area of adult development in which you have an interest, then identify a specific focus or subtopic within it on which to direct your research. Think of it like a funnel into which a vast amount of information is poured. For example, if the general topic is Alzheimer's disease, to focus on a specific area of Alzheimer's for your paper, you might consider a cure for Alzheimer's, the caregiver role for an Alzheimer's patient, brain changes and nutrition, age-related concerns in an Alzheimer's community, environmental impact on Alzheimer's, or gender differences in relation to Alzheimer's. There are many different subtopics for Alzheimer's that you can review, and you can see how the general topic is just the beginning for your work.

Your job in this assignment is to narrow your focus from a general subject to a specific topic and to provide your rationale for choosing this topic:

• What is it that you hope to gain from proposing such research?

• Are you proposing to add to existing research, consider a new topic in research, or alter an existing study that might include new factors?

• What do we not yet know about this topic? Have you found any apparent gaps in knowledge: important questions that research has not yet addressed?

We typically choose topics that have a personal impact on us. Consider how your experience has helped you to develop an interest in this topic and how gaps in the research have led you to unanswered questions.


SafeAssign (linked in Resources) is a requirement for submitting assignments. When you have an assignment, you must submit it to SafeAssign as a draft. Click the SafeAssign report and review the information. Ask yourself a few questions:

• Have I cited the quotes properly in the paper? This means that you have an author, year, and page number for anything in quotation marks.

• Have I used my own words or have I taken others' words and not used quotation marks or otherwise identified that they are not mine? This means that anything that is taken from another course uses quotation marks and is not just copied to appear as your own words. This can be tricky!

• Have I reused my own work? If you have, you must cite this information as well.

The SafeAssign report will highlight all of this information for you. Look at it, click on the highlighted areas that will show you how your work is taken from another site. At this point, you should make changes and then submit it to the assignments area of the courseroom. Thus, you will need to work a day or so ahead of the deadline to be sure to meet these requirements.


1. Identify a topic area within adult development and behavior that you find interesting enough to research.

2. Consider various aspects of this topic and try to identify the aspect that interests you most right now.

3. Analyze the information that is currently available on your topic. Begin searching the Capella library for resources. Note the extent to which scholarly resources are already available on the aspects of the topic that interest you. Scan article abstracts to get a better idea of the current level of knowledge about your topic. Look for specific questions that you find important, especially those that the literature does not seem to have addressed. You can find these in the conclusions of research studies. Authors point out areas that have not been investigated and that are ripe for future research.

4. When you think you know what you want to investigate, create a draft of this assignment, including:

o A clear definition of your topic, including the primary question or questions to which you are seeking answers.
o A description of two realistic situations in which this question is likely to arise.
o An explanation of why it is important to be able to answer this question.

Introduction to a Research Topic

Choosing a topic for research involves thinking through numerous issues, not the least of which is your personal interest. In the field of behavior, what information would you like to secure that you cannot find in current research? This question implies that you have done enough reading and study to have determined what is already known-that is, what we know for certain based on previous research. While it is possible to do research for the purpose of confirming other research, the primary reason that most learners develop interest in a particular topic is that their life experiences spur a desire to learn more and discover the answers to questions that may not have been answered yet.

Your project in this course involves proposing a research topic. Just like working with a dissertation proposal, you have to identify your topic to begin the process. Then the rest of the work falls into place. This means that you will:

• Pose a question for which we do not already have an answer.

• Justify the research-show the value of answering your question by explaining or demonstrating how having that answer could make a difference.

• Clarify what we already know.

• State precisely what we need to find out.

• Design some type of research that will provide an answer to the question.

• Demonstrate that your research design will be valid-that is, that you will actually be able to conclude something from the results.

You will not need to actually conduct the research, since you will only have 10 weeks in this course. Instead, you will complete a series of assignments designed to give you practice in each of the steps listed above to produce a brief literature review similar to what you will complete in your dissertation process. In your assignment, you will pull together all of these pieces in a research proposal titled Introduction to a Research Topic, revise each aspect based on the feedback you received from your instructor and peers along the way, and create a proposal for research in PowerPoint titled Research Proposal PowerPoint Presentation that can make a difference in the research that is available and may generate valuable, new knowledge.

Format your assignment according to the following formatting requirements:

1. The answer should be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides.

2. The response also include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student's name, the course title, and the date. The cover page is not included in the required page length.

3. Also Include a reference page. The Citations and references should follow APA format. The reference page is not included in the required page length.

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