The Interdisciplinary Research Paper Assignment demonstrates your ability to analyze a problem from multiple disciplinary perspectives. You will use the interdisciplinary research process to define the problem, justify using an interdisciplinary approach, identify relevant disciplines, and evaluate insights from multiple disciplines.
Your paper must include at least six references from two or three different disciplines related to your research problem. At least four of the sources should be peer-reviewed articles published in the past 10 years. Remaining sources may be appropriate government, trade, web, or other publications published in the past 10 years. You may use the sources from your literature search, and you may add new sources.
Your assignment should conform to the following requirements:
- Formal, academic tone with proper grammar, syntax, and punctuation
- APA-formatted running head, page numbers, and reference page
- The draft should be based on your research rather than your own ideas and opinions about the problem, and all outside information must be appropriately paraphrased, summarized, or quoted with APA in-text citations
- Microsoft Word or compatible format
- One-inch margins
- One of the following 12-point fonts: Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri
- Double-spaced text
- No more than 12 double-spaced pages (exclusive of title page and reference page)
Final Research Paper Instructions
The Final Research Paper should be divided into the following sections:
1. Title Page
Include an APA-formatted title page opens in new window opens in new window with running head, page numbers, your name, assignment name, and institution.
Provide a 150 to 250-word summary of your research problem, primary findings, and paper purpose. The abstract should appear on page 2.
3. Paper Body
The body of your paper should be divided into the following components with each step title as the heading for each section. The paper body should begin on page 3.
A. Introduction (approximately 200 words)
Briefly describe the content of the paper, including the general topic and overview of what the reader can expect to learn from your assignment.
B. Step 1: Define the Problem (approximately 50 to 100 words)
State, define the scope, and explain the significance of the problem. Include properly cited information from your references to support your decision. Refer to pages 259-268 of Chapter 10 in the Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies text for examples of research problem statements.
C. Step 2: Justification for Using an Interdisciplinary Approach (approximately 100 words)
Explain why the problem is complex, related to more than one discipline, cannot be solved by only one discipline, and is an unresolved and important issue. Include properly cited information from the textbook to support your explanation. Refer to pages 268-275 the Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies text.
D. Step 3: Identify Relevant Disciplines (approximately 200 – 300 words)
Select at least two, and no more than three, disciplines closely related to the research problem. Describe and explain why the disciplines selected are most relevant. Include properly cited information from the textbook and your references to support your choices. Refer to Chapter 11 (pages 281-293) in the Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies text.
E. Step 5: Critically Analyze the Disciplines’ Insights Into the Problem (3 pages per discipline)
- Present Disciplinary Insights
Explain each relevant discipline’s overall approach to the problem (3 pages per discipline) based on your research (discuss one discipline at a time). You must support your writing with evidence from all of your sources related to that specific discipline. Your analysis should be based on the insights produced in each of the sources from your literature search.
- Identify Conflict and Agreement Between Disciplinary Insights
After presenting each discipline’s perspective on, and important insights into, the problem, summarize conflict and/or agreement between insights (approximately 200 – 300 words). Sources must be incorporated and appropriately paraphrased and cited. Refer to Chapter 12 pages 309-322 in the Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies text for descriptions and examples of this step.
Remember to revise this section of the final paper based on the feedback you received from your instructor on your Step 5 Draft assignment.
F. Conclusion: (approximately 200 – 300 words)
Restate the problem and the significance of the problem. Restate the relevant disciplines that have insight into the problem. Summarize the most relevant findings from your research.
4. Reference Page
Include an APA-formatted reference page of all sources used in your paper. Remember that four sources must be peer-reviewed sources and the remaining two (or more) sources should be trade, government, book, or other appropriate sources. All sources should be current and published within the past 10 years.