The research project gives you an opportunity to investigate a topic that interests you and is related to physical education and sport coaching studies.  Select a topic from the unit Sport as an Institution. The four categories include youth sport, interscholastic and intercollegiate sport, international sport, and the Olympic movement. Review the chapter for the topics and issues related to that specific area of sport. Identify at least 5 issues that you are going to explore in more depth. Use the internet to find recent journal articles about the topic that can be implemented into your paper. You may also include news reports, conference proceedings, legal cases, non-fiction, or textbooks to gather information.

In scientific writing, researchers interpret and draw conclusions based on the research literature from scientific articles. The advantage of this literature is that it is rather objective, unbiased, and in many cases, provides directions for practical applications. For this assignment you are asked to write a 6-8-page research paper based on the scientific literature and current events. Specifically, you will synthesize research from the scientific literature, and draw conclusions based on your research.  This assignment provides an opportunity for you to explore an area of interest in physical education and sport coaching studies in greater depth than time allows in our course. Research in the field of physical education and sport coaching studies has important implications for individuals, groups, organizations, the government, and society at large. 

You will develop and hone your empirical question, you will search the research literature, you will read and analyze the literature, and you will form conclusions regarding your research question based on the scientific articles.  During the conclusion of the paper, indicate how this material will be used by you in the future.

1) Project Topic:

You should start working on your research topic immediately. Begin by leafing through the syllabus as well as the textbook to look for topics that interest you. Then, go to the library, look up references, and sharpen your research idea.  Once you have chosen a topic, email me your choice.  I will also be glad to help you define a good topic area. 

2) Individual Paper:

I highly recommend consulting the writing center for this element of the assignment.

1. Length and elements: The paper length will be 6-8 pages maximum (do NOT go over the page limit), double spaced and typed (this does not include your title page or references page).  You must include a cover sheet with the title of your paper and your name.  After the cover page (but before the body of the paper) you must include an abstract, which is a brief, comprehensive summary of the paper, no longer than 120 words.  Finally, references should be listed on a separate page after the body of the paper.  Margins should be no wider than 1″. Please number your pages.

2. Number of references: Your paper should include a minimum of 10 references. Appropriate sources include: (a) research articles from scientific journals (b) books (non-fiction or textbooks), and (c) internet sources. I want you to use sources that have strong scientific support.  You must be able to cite your source according to APA 7th edition. 

3. Appearance: All final papers should be in a word document (or Google docs) all font should be the same with and using 12-pt lettering.

4. Format: Your paper should follow APA.  I have included examples of the APA format in this handout.  For further information, consult the style manual or visit the following Lib Guide webpage on the graduate school website.

5. Guidelines: Follow the guidelines for your paper as described at the end of this handout.   

Your final paper should follow this template:

Cover page (single page)

Abstract (120 words, single page)

Introduction and Thesis (approximately 1 page)

Current issues and topics identified, explained, compared, analyzed, synthesized (approximately 5-6 pages)

Conclusion (approximately half a page)

Reference page (single page, depending on how many references you use)



1. Introduction:

a. Purpose: The purpose, problem, or question to be considered is stated clearly.

b. Interest: The author convinces the reader that the paper is worth reading in an interesting fashion.

c. Preview: The author presents a preview of how the problem will be handled.

2. Body:

a. Analysis: It is clear that an analysis of the literature has been used to support the statements made, and that the assumptions are logical.

b.  Presentation of evidence

Integration: If sources contradict one another they are dealt with adequately. Multiple sources are compared if available. A simple listing of information is avoided.

The points are internally consistent, (i.e. one point follows from another), plausible and well supported.

References are recent, high quality, and appropriate to the paper topic (research articles and edited books).

c. Suitability of focus: The problem chosen is focused enough to be adequately covered in the space of the paper, but not too narrow.

d. Organization: Presentation is easy to follow and well organized.

3.  Conclusion:

a. The author summarizes the findings adequately, and draws appropriate conclusions.

b. Applications of the findings are discussed.


a. Correct spelling.

b. Grammar and use of words correct (not awkward or inappropriate)

c. Paragraph form: Topic sentences are used to introduce transitions, and the order of transitions is appropriate.

d. Borrowed ideas and statements are given credit (citations used frequently and listed in reference section).

e. The paper is in APA, MLA, or Turabian format.


One possible format for your paper is the American Psychological Association (APA) format. There are specific formats for citing references in the text of your paper, and for listing your references in the reference section. Follow the examples exactly as shown. For further details, please consult the APA manual or the library website. 


  • 1 inch margins all around
  • Double space entire document
  • Use 12 point font and left justify all text.  Use a professional font (Arial, Times New Roman, Courier).
  • Be sure to transition between paragraphs


  • Header is on all pages starting with title page
  • Header is the first 2-3 words of title, five blank spaces and then the page number.
  • Title is centered on the page (in both dimensions).
  • Capitalize important words of title only.
  • Name and affiliation go under title, centered.   
  • Double space the title page. Do not put extra spaces between the title, name, and affiliation. 


  • The abstract is a brief, comprehensive summary of the paper.
  • Should cover:  the problem under study, the findings, and the conclusions/implications of the study.
  • Start abstract on page 2.
  • Center the word “Abstract”at the top of the page.
  • Abstract should be 100-120 words
  • No paragraphs or indentations in the abstract (block style).
  • No citations


  • Start on page 3
  • Title of paper goes at the top of the page, centered
  • Start broad – general statement of the problem, then “build your case” (using references not intuitions). Discuss relevant theories
  • At the end it is helpful to offer suggestions for future research. 
  • Close with a general statement of what this all means – what is the take home message you want to leave readers with? 
  • The format of the end of the paper is the opposite of the intro – you want to start specific and end general.


  • You must give credit to the people who have written the articles you use in the body of the paper.  To do so, use reference citations in the text of the paper. 
  • When you refer to someone else’s work, don’t simply quote them.  For example, under most circumstances the following sentence wouldn’t be acceptable:

Retinitis pigmentosa “refers to a group of hereditary degenerative diseases of the retina” (Heckenlively, 1988).

      In this case you would be better off paraphrasing Heckenlively (the author) and then citing him.

  • When a work has one or two authors, cite their names and the date of publication whenever you refer to their work in the text.  (Exception: Within a given paragraph, do not include the date after the initial citation unless you are citing other publications elsewhere in your paper by the same author(s)). Join two co-authors in the text with the word “and”, but within parentheses use an ampersand (&):
  • According to Smith and Jones (1990), individuals prefer to affiliate with similar others.
  • Previous research has indicated that individuals prefer to affiliate with similar others (Smith & Jones, 1990).
  • If authors have the same surname, always include their initials in each citation.
  • When citing co-author groups of three to five authors, cite all names and the date in the initial citation, but only the first author followed by et al. and the date in subsequent citations.
  • For co-author groups of six or more authors, cite in the text only the surname of the first author followed by et al. and the date. If two or more six-author groups shorten to the same surname, cite the surnames of as many subsequent authors as needed to distinguish references.
  • If you cite a work in your text, you must have it listed in your references section.

Some citation examples are as follows:

Citation appearing as part of a sentence:

Jaeger, Anthony, and Rosnow (1980) planted a rumor among college students.

Citation entirely in parentheses:

Lithium carbonate increases the anorectic’s intake of fatty foods and thus produces weight gain (Gross, Evert, Goldberg, Nee, & Kaye, 1980).

Multiple citations in parentheses (names are in alphabetical order): Use multiple citations if several articles come to the same conclusions and/or have the same findings. They must be in alphabetical order, beginning with the first citation:

Research has also indicated that a clinician’s assessment of a particular person is generally not improved by the use of projective assessment techniques (Golden, 1964; Soskin & Anders, 1959).


  • Start the reference section on a new page. 
  • Center the word References at the top of the page.
  • List all references alphabetically by first author’s last name.  If there is more than one study by the same author, list them in date order (oldest to newest).   Use hanging indent for each reference.
  • Only cite materials that were discussed/referenced in your paper.   All materials that were cited in your paper must appear in the reference section.

Some examples are as follows (all examples are single spaced to save space):

A journal article with three authors:

            Rogers, C. R., Wakefield, F. E., & Monroe, W. S. (1964). Toward a modern approach to values. Journal of             Abnormal and Social Psychology, 68, 160-167.

Here is an example of a journal article with two authors:

Hood, D. C. & Birch, D. G. (1996).  Beta wave of the scotopic (rod) electroretinogram as a measure of the activity of human on-bipolar cells.  Journal of the Optical Society of America, 13, 623-633. 

A journal article with two or more authors:

Feather, N. T., Johnson, R., & Barber, J. G. (1983). Depressive reactions and unemployment. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 92, 185-195.

A popular article:

Bettleheim, B. (1982, March 1). Reflections: Freud and the soul. New Yorker, pp. 52-93.

A book:

Coles, R. (1986). The moral life of children. Boston: Atlantic Monthly Press.

An article or chapter in an edited book:

Rohlen, T. P. (1978). The promise of adulthood in Japan. In E. H. Erikson (Ed.), Adulthood (pp. 129-140). New York: Norton.

On-line journal articles: See the following website, and follow their instructions–   http://www.apastyle.org/elecref.html

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