Project Component C


You will continue to frame your topic and research question and outline your research intentions. in preparation of writing your research plan paper, you will work on organizing your research by outlining your ideas.For this assignment you are expected to think about a title and the 3 sections that will become part of your paper: The Introduction, Methods, and Predicted Results/Implications. The details below explain what is expected in each of those sections. For your submission, you are expected only to make an outline of each of the sections below:

  • Title: Your title should summarize the main idea of your research question and should include the variables under investigation. The title should be fully explanatory when standing alone.
  • Introduction (Literature Review): Your introduction should describe your topic and rationale for your research question. Your objective is to convince the reader why they should care about the topic and frame how you are going to contribute to the literature. Your introduction should:
    • Include an opening statement about your main topic.
    • Describe what is known in the literature about your topic or association. (You should have at least 3 main points to discuss here)
    • Justify your research
    • Use specific examples and describe major findings.
    • Describe what is not known about your topic.
    • Summarize any gaps found in the literature and describe how your analyses contribute to filling this gap
    • Your research question
  • Methods: 
    • Name data set and at least 3 key features of the sample or way data were collected.
    • Describe your measures
      • What type of variables are you using? Explain if you are combining several measures.
  • Predicted Results/Implications
    • What do you expect that your research will reveal?
    • Why would these findings be important? Could anything actionable happen as a result of your findings?

Sample Submission:

  • Title: The Association Between Nicotine Dependence and Major Depression
  • Introduction
    • Major depression is a major risk factor of the development of nicotine dependence
    • Depression has been shown to increase risk of later smoking. This temporal ordering suggests the possibility of a causal relationship.
    • Research shows major depression increases the probability and amount of smoking
    • A substantial number of individuals reporting daily and/or heavy smoking do not meet criteria for nicotine dependence. (Kandel & Chen, 2000)
    • It is unclear whether those with major depression experience nicotine dependence beyond what would be expected by smoking exposure alone.
    • Is there a relationship between major depression and nicotine dependence? Does the relationship between nicotine dependence and major depression exists above and beyond smoking exposure?
  • Methods
    • NESARC
      • The sample from the first wave of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) represents the civilian, non-institutionalized adult population of the United States
      • The NESARC included over sampling of Blacks, Hispanics and young adults aged 18 to 24 years.
      • Face-to-face computer assisted interviews were conducted in respondents’ homes following informed consent procedures.
      • The sample included 43,093 participants.
    • Measures
      • Nicotine Dependence: Using the tobacco module, the criteria for nicotine dependence was assessed.
      • Nicotine Use: “About how often did you usually smoke in the past year?”) coded dichotomously in terms of the 3 presence or absence of daily smoking and quantity (“On the days that you smoked in the last year, about how many cigarettes did you usually smoke?”). These questions were combined together to determine approximately how many cigarettes were smoked per month.
      • Major Depression: Lifetime major depression (i.e. those experienced in the past 12 months and prior to the past 12 months) were assessed using the NIAAA, Alcohol Use Disorder and Associated Disabilities Interview Schedule – DSM-IV
  • Predicted Results/Implications
    • It is understood that nicotine use predicts nicotine dependence.
    • It is not yet clear whether major depression will predict nicotine dependence after controlling for nicotine use.
    • If individuals with major depression are more sensitive to the development of nicotine dependence, they would represent an important population subgroup for targeted smoking intervention programs.

Please also review the Model Research Plan that you should be working on extensively outside of class.