Psychology

The Dissertation Title Appears in Title Case and is Centered Comment by GCU: American Psychological Association (APA) Style is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences. This resource, revised according to the 6th edition, second printing of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, offers examples for the general format of APA research papers, in-text citations, footnotes, and the reference page. For specifics, consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition, second printing. For additional information on APA Style, consult the APA website: http://apastyle.org/learn/index.aspxNOTE: All notes and comments are keyed to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition, second printing.GENERAL FORMAT RULES:Dissertations must be 12 –point Times New Roman typeface, double-spaced on quality standard-sized paper (8.5″ x 11″) with 1-in. margins on the top, bottom, and right side. For binding purposes, the left margin is 1.5 in. [8.03]. To set this in Word, go to:Page Layout > Page Setup>Margins > Custom Margins> Top: 1” Bottom: 1” Left: 1.5” Right: 1” Click “Okay”Page Layout>Orientation>Portrait>NOTE: All text lines are double-spaced. This includes the title, headings, formal block quotes, references, footnotes, and figure captions. Single-spacing is only used within tables and figures [8.03]. The first line of each paragraph is indented 0.5 in. Use the tab key which should be set at five to seven spaces [8.03]. If a white tab appears in the comment box, click on the tab to read additional information included in the comment box. Comment by GCU: Formatting note: The effect of the page being centered with a 1.5″ left margin is accomplished by the use of the first line indent here. However, it would be correct to not use the first line indent, and set the actual indent for these title pages at 1.5″. Comment by GCU: If the title is longer than one line, double-space it. As a rule, the title should be approximately 12 words. Titles should be descriptive and concise with no abbreviations, jargon, or obscure technical terms. The title should be typed in uppercase and lowercase letters [2.01].

Submitted by

Insert Your Full Legal Name (No Titles, Degrees, or Academic Credentials) Comment by GCU: For example: Jane Elizabeth Smith

Equal Spacing

~2.0” – 2.5”

A Dissertation Presented in Partial Fulfillment

of the Requirements for the Degree

Doctorate of Education

Equal Spacing~2.0” – 2.5” Comment by GCU: Delete yellow highlighted “Helps” as project develops.

Grand Canyon University

Phoenix, Arizona

iii

December 31, 2015 Comment by GCU: Date of Dean’s signature. Until then, use the current date to fill this space. This page is counted, not numbered, and should not appear in the Table of Contents.

© by Your Full Legal Name (No Titles, Degrees, or Academic Credentials), 2015 Comment by GCU: NOTE: This is an optional page. If copyright is not desired, delete this page. The copyright page is included in the final dissertation and not part of the proposal. Comment by GCU: For example: © by Jane Elizabeth Smith, 2012This page is centered. This page is counted, not numbered and should not appear in the Table of Contents.

All rights reserved.

GRAND CANYON UNIVERSITY Comment by GCU: The Signature Page is only included in the final dissertation and not part of the proposal.

The Dissertation Title Appears in Title Case and is Centered Comment by GCU: If the title is longer than one line, double-space it. The title should be typed in upper and lowercase letters.

by

Insert Your Full Legal Name (No Titles, Degrees, or Academic Credentials) Comment by GCU: For example: Jane Elizabeth Smith

Approved

December 31, 2015 Comment by GCU: Date of Dean’s signature. Until then, use the current date to fill this space. Upon final submission, this date should match the date on the title page.

DISSERTATION COMMITTEE:

Full Legal Name, Ed.D., DBA, or Ph.D., Dissertation Chair

Full Legal Name, Ed.D., DBA, or Ph.D., Committee Member

Full Legal Name, Ed.D., DBA, or Ph.D., Committee Member

ACCEPTED AND SIGNED:

________________________________________

Michael R. Berger, Ed.D.

Dean, College of Doctoral Studies

_________________________________________

Date

GRAND CANYON UNIVERSITY Comment by GCU: This page is only included in the final dissertation and not part of the proposal. However the learner is responsible for ensuring the proposal and dissertation are original research, that all scholarly sources are accurately reported, cited, and referenced, and the study protocol was executed and complies with the IRB approval granted by GCU.

The Dissertation Title Appears in Title Case and is Centered

I verify that my dissertation represents original research, is not falsified or plagiarized,

and that I have accurately reported, cited, and referenced all sources within this manuscript in strict compliance with APA and Grand Canyon University (GCU) guidelines. I also verify my dissertation complies with the approval(s) granted for this research investigation by GCU Institutional Review Board (IRB).

_____________________________________________ ______________________

[Type Doctoral Learner Name Beneath Signature] Date Comment by Windows User: The learner needs to sign and date this page and insert a copy into the dissertation manuscript as an image or PDF text box. This page must be signed and dated to be eligible for AQR and dissertation committee review.

Abstract Comment by GCU: On the first line of the page, center the word “Abstract” (boldface)Beginning with the next line, write the abstract. Abstract text is one paragraph with no indentation and is double-spaced. This page is counted, not numbered, and does not appear in the Table of Contents. Abstracts do not include references or citations.The abstract should be between 150-250 words (or one page).The abstract is only included in the final dissertation and not part of the proposal.

The abstract is required for the dissertation manuscript only. It is not a required page for the proposal. The abstract, typically read first by other researchers, is intended as an accurate, nonevaluative, concise summary or synopsis of the research study. It is usually the last item completed when writing the dissertation. The purpose of the abstract is to assist future researchers in accessing the research material and other vital information contained in the dissertation. Although few people typically read the full dissertation after publication, the abstract will be read by many scholars and researchers. Consequently, great care must be taken in writing this page of the dissertation. The content of the abstract covers the purpose of the study, problem statement, theoretical foundation, research questions stated in narrative format, sample, location, methodology, design, data analysis, results, and a valid conclusion of the research. The most important finding(s) should be stated with actual data/numbers (quantitative) or themes (qualitative) to support the conclusion(s). The abstract does not appear in the table of contents and has no page number. The abstract is double-spaced, fully justified with no indentations or citations, and no longer than one page. Refer to the APA Publication Manual, 6th Edition, for additional guidelines for the development of the dissertation abstract. Make sure to add the keywords at the bottom of the abstract to assist future researchers.

Keywords: Abstract, assist future researchers, 150 to 250 words, vital information Comment by GCU: Librarians and researchers use the abstract to catalogue and locate vital research material.

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score

Chair Score

Methodologist Score

Content Expert Score

ABSTRACT

(Dissertation Only—Not Required for the Proposal)

The abstract is typically read first by other researchers and is an accurate, non-evaluative, concise summary or synopsis of the research study. The abstract provides a succinct summary of the study and MUST include the purpose of the study, theoretical foundation, research questions (stated in narrative format), sample, location, methodology, design, data analysis, and results, as well as, a valid conclusion of the research. Abstracts must be double-spaced, fully justified with no indentions. (one page)

The abstract provides a succinct summary of the study and MUST include: the purpose of the study, theoretical foundation, research questions stated in narrative format, sample, location, methodology, design, data analysis, results, and a valid conclusion of the research. Note: The most important finding(s) should be stated with actual data/numbers (quantitative) ~or~ themes (qualitative) to support the conclusion(s).

The abstract is written in APA format, one paragraph fully justified with no indentations, double spaced with no citations, and includes key search words. Keywords are on a new line and indented.

The abstract is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format.

*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Dedication

An optional dedication may be included here. While a dissertation is an objective, scientific document, this is the place to use the first person and to be subjective. The dedication page is numbered with a Roman numeral, but the page number does not appear in the table of contents. It is only included in the final dissertation and is not part of the proposal. If this page is not to be included, delete the heading, the body text, and the page break below. If you cannot see the page break, click on the ¶Show/Hide button (go to the Home tab and then to the Paragraph toolbar).

Acknowledgments Comment by GCU: See formatting note for Dedication

An optional acknowledgements page can be included here. This is another place to use the first person. If applicable, acknowledge and identify grants and other means of financial support. Also acknowledge supportive colleagues who rendered assistance. The acknowledgments page is numbered with a Roman numeral, but the page number does not appear in the table of contents. This page provides a formal opportunity to thank family, friends, and faculty members who have been helpful and supportive. The acknowledgements page is only included in the final dissertation and is not part of the proposal. If this page is not to be included, delete the heading, the body text, and the page break below. If you cannot see the page break, click on the ¶Show/Hide button (go to the Home tab and then to the Paragraph toolbar).

Table of Contents List of Tables ix List of Figures x Chapter 1: Introduction to the Study 1 Introduction 1 Background of the Study 5 Problem Statement 5 Purpose of the Study 7 Research Question(s) and Hypotheses 8 Advancing Scientific Knowledge 11 Significance of the Study 12 Rationale for Methodology 13 Nature of the Research Design for the Study 15 Definition of Terms 16 Assumptions, Limitations, Delimitations 18 Summary and Organization of the Remainder of the Study 20 Chapter 2: Literature Review 22 Introduction to the Chapter and Background to the Problem 22 Theoretical Foundations and/or Conceptual Framework 24 Review of the Literature 25 Summary 32 Chapter 3: Methodology 35 Introduction 35 Statement of the Problem 36 Research Question(s) or Hypotheses 36 Research Methodology 38 Research Design 39 Population and Sample Selection 41 Instrumentation OR Sources of Data 43 Validity 45 Reliability 47 Data Collection and Management 48 Data Analysis Procedures 49 Ethical Considerations 51 Limitations and Delimitations 53 Summary 54 Chapter 4: Data Analysis and Results 56 Introduction 56 Descriptive Data 57 Data Analysis Procedures 60 Results 62 Summary 69 Chapter 5: Summary, Conclusions, and Recommendations 72 Introduction 72 Summary of the Study 73 Summary of Findings and Conclusion 74 Implications 76 Theoretical implications. 77 Practical implications 77 Future implications 77 Recommendations 79 Recommendations for future research 79 Recommendations for future practice. 80 References 82 Appendix A The Parts of a Dissertation 85 Appendix B IRB Approval Letter 88 Appendix C Informed Consent 89 Appendix D Copy of Instruments and Permissions Letters to Use the Instruments 90

(Note: once you automatically update the TOC, you will need to manually add a period after the Appendix letter (e.g., “Appendix A. xxx) per the example above.

List of Tables Comment by GCU: This is an example of a List of Tables “boiler plate.” Freely edit and adapt this to fit the particular dissertation. In Word, “overtype” edits and adaptations.The List of Tables follow the Table of Contents. The List of Tables is included in the Table of Contents and shows a Roman numeral page number at the top right. The page number is right justified with a 1 in. margin on each page. Dot leaders must be used. The title is bolded.On the List of Tables, single-space table titles, double-spaced between entries. See 5.01-5.19 for details and specifics on Tables and Data Display.All tables are numbered with Arabic numerals in the order in which they are first mentioned. [5.05]
Table 1. Correct Formatting for a Multiple Line Table Title is Single Spacing and Should Look Like this Example 59

Table 2. t Test for Equality of Emotional Intelligence Mean Scores by Gender 63

Table 3. The Servant Leader 66

Note: single space multiple-line table titles; double space between entries per example above. The List of Tables and List of Figures have been formatted as such in this template. You can update the List of Tables [Right click Update Field Update Entire Table] the table title and subtitle show up with the in-text formatting.

After you update your List of Tables, you will need to manually remove the italics from each of your table titles and also manually add a period after the table number (e.g., “Table 1. xxx), per the example above.

List of Figures Comment by GCU: This is an example of a List of Figures “boiler plate.” Freely edit and adapt this to fit the particular dissertation. In Word, “overtype” edits and adaptations.The List of Figures follows the List of Tables.The List of Figures is included in the Table of Contents and shows a Roman numeral page number at the top right. The page number is justified with a 1 in. margin on each page. The title is bolded.Figures include graphs, charts, maps, drawings, cartoons, and photographs [5.21]. In the List of Figures, single-space figure titles and double-space between entries. See 5.20-5.30 for details and specifics on Figures and Data Display.All figures are numbered with Arabic numerals in the order in which they are first mentioned. [5.05] The figure title included in the Table of Contents should match the title found in the text.
Figure 1. Correlation for SAT composite score and time spent on Facebook. 67

Note: single-space multiple line figure titles; double-space between entries per example in List of Tables on previous page. After you update your List of Figures, you will need to manually remove the italics per the example above.

41

Chapter 1: Introduction to the Study Comment by GCU: This heading is tagged with APA Style Level 1 heading [3.03]. Comment by GCU: Word has a tool called “Styles.” What it does is format the way something is supposed to look (such as a level 1 heading, or “Heading 1”). When you use the style tool, you highlight that text that should be, for example, Heading 1, and click on that style. Easy. Here is a link that is set for Word 2013, it will also work for Word 2010 and probably for Word 2007: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word-help/using-styles-in-word-RZ104244834.aspx?CTT=1&client=1. The GCU proposal and dissertation templates are set up with the correct styles. These are required for all proposals and dissertations. When the headings have been “styled” correctly, the TOC (and the List of Tables and List of Figures) can be automatically generated so that the text exactly matches the headings. The page numbers will also automatically be updated.
Introduction
This section describes the conceptual basis for what the researcher will investigate, including the research questions, hypotheses, and basic research design. The introduction develops the significance of the study by describing how the study is new or different from other studies, how it addresses something that is not already known or has not been studied before, or how it extends prior research on the topic in some way. This section should also briefly describe the basic nature of the study and provide an overview of the contents of Chapter 1.

Keep in mind that you will write Chapters 1 through 3 as your dissertation proposal. However, there are changes that typically need to be made in these chapters to enrich the content or to improve the readability as you write the final dissertation manuscript. Often, after data analysis is complete, the first three chapters will need revisions to reflect a more in-depth understanding of the topic and to ensure consistency. Comment by GCU: Include one space after each period in the dissertation.

To ensure the quality of both your proposal and your final dissertation and reduce the time for AQR reviews, your writing needs to reflect doctoral level, scholarly writing standards from your very first draft. Each section within the proposal or dissertation should be well organized and easy for the reader to follow. Each paragraph should be short, clear, and focused. A paragraph should (1) be three to eight sentences in length, (2) focus on one point, topic, or argument, (3) include a topic sentence the defines the focus for the paragraph, and (4) include a transition sentence to the next paragraph. Include one space after each period. There should be no grammatical, punctuation, sentence structure, or APA formatting errors. Verb tense is an important consideration for Chapters 1 through 3. For the proposal, the researcher uses future tense (e.g. “The purpose of this study is to…”), whereas in the dissertation, the chapters are revised to reflect past tense (e.g. “The purpose of this study was to…”). Taking the time to ensure high quality, scholarly writing for each draft will save you time in all the steps of the development and review phases of the dissertation process so make sure to do it right the first time!

As a doctoral researcher, it is your responsibility to ensure the clarity, quality, and correctness of your writing and APA formatting. The DC Network provides various resources to help you improve your writing. Grand Canyon University also offers writing tutoring services through the Center for Learning Advancement on writing basics, however the writing tutors do not provide any level of dissertation editing. Your chair and your committee members are not obligated to edit your documents, nor will the AQR reviewers edit your proposal or dissertation. If you do not have outstanding writing skills, you may need to identify a writing coach, editor and/or other resource to help you with writing and editing. Poorly written proposals and dissertations will be immediately suspended in the various levels of review if submitted with grammatical, structural, and/or form and formatting errors.

The quality of a dissertation is not only evaluated on the quality of writing. It is also evaluated based on the criteria that GCU has established for each section of the dissertation. The criteria describe what must be addressed in each section within each chapter. As you develop a section, first read the section description. Then review each criterion contained in the table below the description. Use both the overall description and criteria as you write each section. It is important that each listed criterion is addressed in a way that it is clear to your chair and committee members. You should be able to point out where each criterion is met in each section.

Prior to submitting a draft of your proposal or dissertation or a single chapter to your chair or committee members, please assess yourself on the degree to which each criterion has been met. Use the criteria table at the end of each section to complete this self-assessment. The following scores reflect the readiness of the document:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions Are Required. Comment by GCU: Format with style “List Bullet.” Numbered or bulleted lists are indented .25 inch from the left margin. Subsequent lines are indented further with a hanging indent of .25” per the example in the text. Each number or bullet ends with a period. Bullet lists use “List Bullet” Style. Numbered lists use “List Number” Style.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions Required.

You need to continuously and objectively self-evaluate the quality of your writing and content for each section within the proposal or dissertation. You will score yourself using the learner column in the criteria tables as evidence that you have critically evaluated your own work. When you have completed a comprehensive self-evaluation of your work, then you may submit your document to your chair for review. Your chair will also review and score each section of the proposal and dissertation and will determine when it is ready for full committee review. Keep in mind the committee review process will likely require several editorial/revisions rounds, so plan for multiple revision cycles as you develop your dissertation completion plan and project timeline. You will notice in the tables that certain columns have an X in the scoring box. As mentioned above, your chair will score all five chapters, the abstract and the reference list; your methodologist is only required to score Chapters 1, 3, and 4 and the abstract; your content expert is only required to score Chapters 1, 2, and 5 and the abstract. Your chair and committee members will assess each criterion in their required chapters when they return the document with feedback.

Once the document has been fully scored and approved by your chair and committee, and is approved for Level 2 or 5 review, your chair will submit one copy of the proposal or dissertation document with the fully scored assessment tables and one copy of the document with the assessment tables removed for AQR review.

Refer to the Dissertation Milestone Guide for descriptions of levels of review and submission process.

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score

Chair Score

Methodologist Score

Content Expert Score

Introduction

This section provides a brief overview of the research focus or problem, explains why this study is worth conducting, and discusses how this study will be completed. (Minimum three to four paragraphs or approximately one page)

Dissertation topic is introduced and value of conducting the study is discussed.

Discussion provides an overview of what is contained in the chapter.

Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format.

*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Background of the Study Comment by GCU: This heading is tagged with APA Style Level 2 heading [3.03].
The background section of Chapter 1 explains both the history of and the present state of the problem and research focus. It provides a summary of results from the prior empirical research on the topic and identifies a gap, based on prior research which the current study will address. This section summarizes the Background section from Chapter 2.

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score

Chair Score

Methodologist Score

Content Expert Score

Background of the Study

The background section explains both the history of and the present state of the problem and research focus. It identifies the “gap” or “need” based on a summary of the current literature and discusses how the study will address that “gap” or “need.” (Minimum two to three paragraphs or approximately one page)

Provides a summary of results from the prior empirical research on the topic and identifies the need as defined by the prior research which this current study will address.

Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format.

*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

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