Midlife Stage Development

Human Development ProjectYou had your topic approved for your Human Development Project in Unit 2, began searching for resources in Unit 3, and started drafting your project in Unit 4. In Units 7 and 8, you were directed to submit your draft to Turnitin and make any necessary revisions. In this unit, you will submit your project to your instructor.For your course project, you will explore an area of lifespan development of your choosing. You might select a topic that applies to your professional goals, or one that is simply of interest to you. You have two options for the format of your project:Option A: Research-based examination of an area of human development, analysis of research findings on the topic, and how the findings are useful in a professional setting.Option B: Service-based examination of how theory and research apply to real-world settings.From the research articles you located in the library (and possibly online), try to narrow down the articles to the three that best address current research, which supports or negates the developmental theory (or theories) you have selected. You may choose to organize your project in this way:Title Page.Abstract.Introduction (1–2 paragraphs):
For both options A and B, the introduction should provide an overview of the human lifespan development area, stage of development, and the related theories you have selected.Body (3–4 pages):
Related Research:
Options A and B: Summarize each of the articles you are using for this project. Each summary should include the following:
The purpose of the research. Note: The purpose of the research will be discussed in the abstract, introduction, and discussion or conclusion sections of the articles.A description of the specific methods used by the researchers to conduct the study. Note: This information is addressed in the methods section of the articles.An explanation of the research findings and their implications. Note: This information is addressed in the discussions or conclusions of the articles.Analyzing the Research:
Option A: Describe any flaws or inconsistencies with the research. Do the authors discuss any factors that may have affected the findings?Option B: Describe any flaws in the research or inconsistencies between the research and your own experience. What factors might explain the inconsistencies?Applying the Research:
Option A:
Explain how the research findings influence personal behavior and values.Explain how the research findings can be used by a psychology professional in a professional setting.Option B:
Explain how your experience and the research findings influence personal behavior and values.Explain how your experience and the research findings can be used by a psychology professional in a professional setting.Conclusion (1–2 paragraphs):
For both options A and B, explain how the research studies (and your own experience for option B) support or negate the lifespan development theory (or theories) you selected. Consider the implications of the research studies for changing or guiding social thinking.Reference page (minimum of three scholarly resources).Be sure that you have addressed each section as completely as possible and followed APA guidelines for format and style.Additional RequirementsWritten communication: Written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall message and is consistent with expectations for members of the psychological professions.APA formatting: Resources and citations are formatted according to APA (6th Edition) style and formatting.Resources: Minimum of three scholarly or professional resources. Please note that popular resources such as Wikipedia or About.com are not considered to be appropriate.Length: 4–5 typed, double-spaced pages not including title page and reference page.

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[Note: The running head is an abbreviated title of the paper. The running head is located at the
top of pages of a manuscript or published article to identify the article for readers. The running
head should be a maximum of 50 characters, counting letters, punctuation, and spaces between
words. The words “Running head” is on the cover page but not on the rest of the document. The
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The blue, bracketed information in this paper is informational. After reading the
information, please delete it, and use the paper as a template for your own paper. Edit the
remaining black writing with your own information to keep the correct format. Save this
template in a file for future use and information.]
Your Full Title of Your Paper
Learner’s Full Name
Course Title
Assignment Title
Capella University
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Abstract [Optional, check with your instructor.
An abstract is a brief, comprehensive summary of the contents of a paper. It allows readers to
quickly review the key elements of a paper without having to read the entire document. This can
be helpful for readers who are searching for specific information and may be reviewing many
documents. The abstract may be one of the most important paragraphs in a paper because readers
often decide if they will read the document based on information in the abstract. An abstract may
not be required in some academic papers; however, it can still be an effective method of gaining
the reader’s attention. For example, an abstract will not be required for Capella’s PSYC3002. The
following sentences serve as an example of what could be composed as an abstract for this paper.
The basic elements of APA Style will be reviewed including formatting of an APA Style paper,
in-text citations, and a reference list. Additional information will address the components of an
introduction, how to write effective paragraphs using the MEAL plan, and elements of a
summary and conclusion section of a paper.]
APA Style Paper Template: A Resource for Academic Writing
[Please change the titles in this document to fit your paper.
APA (American Psychological Association) Style is most commonly used to cite sources
within the social sciences. APA Style is used when writing papers in the psychology programs
offered at Capella University. This document serves as an APA Style template for learners to use
when writing their own papers, as well as a resource containing valuable information that can be
used when writing academic papers. For more information on APA Style, learners can refer to
the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, sixth edition.
The author demonstrates in the first section of this paper, how an introduction effectively
introduces the reader to the topic of the paper. In APA style, an introduction never gets a
heading. For example, this section did not begin with a heading titled “introduction”, similar to
the following section, which is titled “writing an effective introduction”. The following section
will explain in greater detail a model that can be used to effectively write an introduction in an
academic paper. The remaining sections of the paper will continue to address APA style and
effective writing concepts including section headings, organizing information, the MEAL plan,
the conclusion, and the reference list.]
Writing an Effective Introduction
[An effective introduction often consists of four main components including: (a) the
position statement, thesis, or hypothesis, which describes the author’s main position; (b) the
purpose, which outlines the objective of the paper; (c) the background, which is general
information that is needed to understand the content of the paper; and (d) the approach, which is
the process or methodology the author uses to achieve the purpose of the paper. This information
will help readers understand what will be discussed in the paper. It can also serve as a tool to
grab the reader’s attention. Authors may choose to briefly reference sources that will be
identified later on in the paper as in this example (American Psychological Association, 2010a;
American Psychological Association, 2010b; Walker, 2008).
In an introduction, the writer will often present something of interest to capture the
reader’s attention and introduce the issue. Adding an obvious statement of purpose helps the
reader know what to expect, while helping the writer to focus and stay on task. For example, this
paper will address several components necessary to effectively write an academic paper
including (a) how to write an introduction, (b) how to write effective paragraphs using the
MEAL plan, and (c) how to properly use APA style.]
Level One Section Heading is Centered, Bold, Upper and Lowercase
[Using section headings can be an effective method of organizing an academic paper. The
section headings should not be confused with the “running head,” which is a different concept
described in the cover page of this document. Section headings are not required according to
APA style, however, they can significantly improve the quality of a paper. This is accomplished
because section headings help both the reader and the author as will soon be discussed.]
Level Two Section Heading is Flush Left, Bold, Upper and Lowercase
[The heading style recommended by APA consists of five levels (American
Psychological Association, 2010a, p. 62). This document contains two levels to demonstrate how
headings are structured according to APA Style. Immediately before the previous paragraph, a
Level 1 Section Heading was used. That section heading describes how a Level 1 Heading
should be written, which is centered, bold, and using upper and lowercase letters. For another
example, see the section heading “Writing an Effective Introduction” on page 3 of this document.
The heading is centered, bold, and uses upper and lowercase letters (compared to all uppercase in
the running head at the top of each page). If used properly, section headings can significantly
contribute to the quality of a paper by helping the reader who wants to understand the
information in the document, and the author who desires to effectively describe the information
in the document.]
Section Headings Help the Reader
[Section headings serve multiple purposes including (a) helping the reader understand
what is being addressed in each section, (b) readers may be more likely to maintain an interest in
the paper, and (c) they can help readers choose what they want to read. For example, if the reader
of this document wants to learn more about writing an effective introduction, the previous
section heading clearly states that is where information can be found. When subtopics are needed
to explain concepts in greater detail, different levels of headings are used according to APA
Section Headings Help the Author
[Section headings do not only help the reader, they help the author organize the document
during the writing process. Section headings can be used to arrange topics in a logical order, and
they can help an author manage the length of the paper. In addition to an effective introduction
and the use of section headings, each paragraph of an academic paper can be written in a manner
that helps the reader stay engaged. Capella University promotes the use of the MEAL plan to
serve this purpose.]
The MEAL Plan
[The MEAL plan is a model used by Capella University to help learners effectively
compose academic discussions and papers. Each component of the MEAL plan is critical to
writing an effective paragraph. The acronym “MEAL” is based on four components of a
paragraph (M = Main point, E = Evidence or Example, A = Analysis, and L = Link). The
following section includes a detailed description and example of each component of the MEAL
When writing the content sections of an academic paper (as opposed to the introduction
or conclusion sections), the MEAL plan can be an effective model for designing each paragraph.
A paragraph begins with a description of the main point, which is represented by the letter “M”
of the MEAL plan. For example, the first sentence of this paragraph clearly states the main point
is a discussion of the MEAL plan. Once the main point has been made, evidence and examples
can be provided.
The second component of a paragraph contains evidence or examples, which is
represented by the letter “E” in the MEAL plan. An example of this component of the MEAL
plan is actually (and ironically) this sentence, which provides an example of an example.
Evidence can be in the form of expert opinion examples from research. For example, evidence
shows that plagiarism can occur even when it is not intended if sources are not properly cited
(Marsh, Landau, & Hicks, 1997; Walker, 2008). The previous sentence provided evidence
supported why evidence is used in a paragraph.
Analysis, which is represented by the letter “A” of the MEAL plan, should be based on
the author’s interpretation of the evidence. An effective analysis might include a discussion of the
strengths and weaknesses of the arguments, as well as the author’s interpretations of the evidence
and examples. If a quote is used, the author will likely provide an analysis of the quote and the
specific point it makes for the author’s position. Without an analysis, the reader might not
understand why the author discussed the information that the reader just read. For example, the
previous sentence was an analysis by the author of why an analysis is performed when writing
paragraphs in academic papers. Even with the first three elements of the MEAL plan, it would
not be complete without the final component.
The letter “L” of the MEAL plan refers to information that “links” the current and the
subsequent paragraphs. The link helps the reader understand what will be discussed in the next
paragraph. It summarizes the author’s reasoning and shows how the paragraph fits together and
leads (or links) into the next section of the paper. For example, this sentence might explain that
once the MEAL plan has been effectively used when writing the body of an academic paper, the
final section is the summary and conclusion section.]
Summary and Conclusion
[A summary and conclusion section, which can also be the discussion section of an APA
style paper, is the final opportunity for the author to make a lasting impression on the reader. The
author can begin by restating opinions or positions, and summarizing the most important points
that have been presented in the paper. For example, this paper was written to demonstrate to
readers how to effectively use APA style when writing academic papers. Various components of
an APA style paper that were discussed or displayed in the form of examples include a running
head, title page, introduction section, levels of section headings and their use, in-text citations,
the MEAL plan, a conclusion, and the reference list.]
American Psychological Association. (2010a). Publication manual of the American
Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
American Psychological Association. (2010b). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of
conduct. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from
Marsh, R. L., Landau, J. D., & Hicks, J. L. (1997). Contributions of inadequate source
monitoring to unconscious plagiarism during idea generation. Journal of Experimental
Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 23(4), 886–897. doi: 10.1037/02787393.23.4.886
Walker, A. L. (2008). Preventing unintentional plagiarism: A method for strengthening
paraphrasing skills. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 35(4), 387–395. Retrieved from
[Always begin a reference list on a new page. Use a hanging indent after the first line of each
reference. The reference list is in alphabetical by first author’s last name. A reference list only
contains sources that are cited in the body of the paper, and all sources cited in the body of the
paper must be contained in the reference list.
The reference list above contains an example of how to cite a source when two documents are
written in the same year by the same author. The year is also displayed using this method for the
corresponding in-text citations as in the next sentence. The author of the first citation (American
Psychological Association, 2010a) is also the publisher, therefore, the word “Author” is used in
place of the publisher’s name.
When a digital object identifier (DOI) is available for a journal article, it should be placed at the
end of the citation. If a DOI is not available, a uniform resource locator (URL) should be used.
The Marsh, Landau, and Hicks (1997) reference is an example of how to cite a source using a
DOI. The Walker (2008) reference is an example of how to cite a source using a URL. Please
REMINDER: Delete all blue, bracketed notes from your paper, as well as any extra
information in black that is not needed.]

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