PSYC 433 – Counseling Psychology Research Paper

Subject: Psychology / General Psychology
PSYC 433

Counseling Psychology

Guidelines for Research Paper


The assignment is to write a 10-12 page typed research paper using APA style. The paper must contain at least eight (8) sources, no more than two of which can be Internet sources. If you are using an online version of a published journal, you do not have to count that as an Internet source. You may NOT use your textbook as a source for the paper. The paper should be written in MS Word (or Rich Text) format and submitted to the Assignment Box on the iLearn course page.

For those of you unfamiliar with APA style there are online tutorials that may assist you. The site: Purdue OWL, is very helpful and easy to use. This site includes links to other references to APA style and sample APA papers. There are also copies of the APA Publication Manual in the library. For those of you who are Psychology majors, it would be in your best interest to purchase the publication manual – you will be using it a lot!

A complete paper should include:

Title Page (includes header, page numbers, running head, title, author and class)

Abstract (a one-paragraph summary [150-250 words] of what your paper is about)

Body or Text (this is what I count in the 10-12 pages), use Heading as necessary

Reference Page (an alphabetized list of all the sources, properly cited you used for the paper)


Choose ONE counseling theory and then apply it to a particular population. You could also compare two approaches to determine their effectiveness in addressing a particular problem/population. Do not merely write a biographical sketch of the founder of a theory or an overview of a theory we have discussed in class. Some examples of topics that would be acceptable are:

Using Reality Therapy with Adolescent Substance Abusers

Adlerian Therapy Approaches to Helping Children of Divorce

A Comparison of Beck’s Cognitive Therapy and REBT in Treating Depression

Using a Psychodynamic-Oriented Approach to Treat PTSD

These are examples – this does not represent a total list of topics from which you can choose. Use your imagination and analytical skills, as well as your interests to develop a topic. If you are stuck and cannot seem to find something to write about, or you have a topic but do not know if it is acceptable, ask me and I will give you some help in fine-tuning your choice.


I grade these papers according to an 75%-25% ratio, that is, 75% content – 25% mechanics. IDO count off for errors of grammar, style, spelling, sentence structure, APA style, etc., so write carefully and use spell check, grammar check, as well as read your paper out loud to catch any additional errors. Twenty-five percent does not sound like much, but it is two and one-half grade points! I also know the content of many of the sources and check the sources I do not know; so do not turn in inaccurate material and expect a good grade. My grading rubric (accessed in the iLearn folder) will be attached to your graded paper, so it is in your best interest to familiarize yourself with the grading criteria I use.

General Guidelines

Some general guidelines for APA style research papers are as follow:

Paper should be typed in 12-point serif font (such as Courier, Palatino or Times New Roman)

Paper should have one-inch margins on all sides.

Each page should have a header (which is the first couple of words from your title – not your name!) placed one-half inch from the top of the page, starting at the left margin. The page number should appear in the header at the right margin.

EVERY source you use for the paper should be cited in the text and vice versa. It should be cited in parentheses and follow the format of (Author, Date). The page number will be included in the citation if it is a direct quote, for example, (Corey, 2013, p. 35). If you state an idea or provide information that is not common knowledge you MUST cite where it came from (otherwise it is plagiarism!).

Quotes of 40 or more words need to be set apart as a block quote with the left margin indented 5-7 spaces. However, use quotes sparingly! Many quotes translate as lazy writing!

Terms that are abbreviated are written out completely the first time they are used, followed by the abbreviation in parentheses, and then always abbreviated thereafter; for example, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD).

In academic writing, you do not use contractions and paragraphs should be a minimum of three sentences; there should be no one-sentence paragraphs. Every citation used in the manuscript needs to be correctly typed in the References section, you might want to check out this website to help you know how to properly do your citations:

We can do it for you