The Checklist for Proposal Paper

Checklist for submitting your papers to your mentors and to journals

Overall (the bullet points are a substitute for the check mark)

__ I checked the manuscript guidelines in the journal in which I plan to send my study

__ I read a 2-3 papers published in the journal in which plan to submit my manuscript. This process gave me a sense of formatting and structure


  • __ I removed all unnecessary words and phrases in my manuscript/thesis

__Once I finished writing my paper, I put it away for 1-2 days before rereading it for errors. I also read it for clarity and before sending it to my collaborators/mentor.

  • __ I carefully re-read the manuscript 2-3 times, looking for typos and errors
  • __ I played “Devil’s Advocate” looking for any errors, possible confounds and gaps in my manuscript. I tried to explain any issues and back my decisions up.
  • __ I looked for transitions in the manuscript
  • __ I checked that all sentences were no longer than two lines (especially for non-native speakers)
  • __ I kept terms in my paper as consistent as possible (I avoided writing that babies saw an object, babies saw the puppet, babies saw the stimulus, babies saw it)
  • __I avoided acronyms when possible. This helped the paper flow.

__ I read the paper aloud 2-3 times. This helped me to hear how the paper flowed (especially for non-native speakers)!

  • __ I had a couple of non-experts read the paper and they understood it
  • ___ I had at least two native speakers of the language I’m writing in read the paper
  • __ I removed all unnecessary clauses and words in my manuscript.
  • __ I checked my manuscript for unnecessary phrases such as “in other words”
  • __ I used an active tense and parallel sentence structure
  • __ I did not use the word “prove” or “believe” “feel that” in my manuscript

__ I had 2-3 colleagues/peers in the lab review my paper. I integrated many of their comments

Title Page

  • __ I made sure that the title of my paper reflected the question and findings of the study
  • __ I made the title as interesting sounding as possible

__ I checked with all co-authors about their correct affiliations

__I acknowledged funding for the study according to grant guidelines (if a grant supported the study)

  • __ I checked that all sentences in my manuscript are direct and concise


  • __ I addressed, “What’s the question, why is the study important what’s new, and what’s important?
  • __Someone could find/circle “what’s the question” section of my paper
  • __Someone could find/circle “why is it important” section of my paper
  • __Someone could find/circle “what is new” section of my paper


  • __ I highlighted limitations in the discussion of the paper


  • __ I checked that references in the manuscript listed are in the reference section
  • __ I checked that all references in the reference section are listed in the manuscript

__ I checked that numbers of references corresponded to the correct reference number (if journal you are submitting to uses that structure)


__ I included clear figure captions

__ I included on my figures and graphs

__ I properly labeled the X and Y axis on my graph

___The labels for the X and Y axis correspond to the figure captions

__ I included standard error bars (if required)

__ I checked that my graphs and figures corresponded with the data that I presented in the result section of the manuscript

__ I made graphs that were clear and easy to read and the formatting of my graphs is consistent through the paper
__ I used figures and images to help the reader through the manuscript


My Research Proposal

My Topic:Social Support Affect on Intrinsic Motivation in Children

How does social support affect children’s intrinsic motivation to do an activity?

What’s the question? My study investigates the effects of social support on intrinsic motivation in children.

Why is the question important? This study is important because it shows what role the parents play when a child discovers their hobby and personal interest. It allows the parent to direct the child to choose a hobby that won’t negatively affect their community and society as a whole.

What is new about the research? The new thing about my study is that I studied two different age groups. Compared to other studies, the researchers either conducted a longitudinal or studied one age group in particular.

What are the limitations and possible future studies? One limitation of my study would be the perceived social support that the parents said they have towards the child. A possible future study is seeing the difference between the age groups but using a different task or seeing the difference in different cultures and styles of social support on motivation.

SD pic


Finding places to get children for research


My partners and I found the Anna Belen store as an attractive place to recruit female children for a study.

The second picture shows the white puppies in the store window of a puppy shop. This puppy shop could also be another good place to get children to participate in a study because children tend to love puppies.

I worked with Sabira and Stephanie.

My trip to the park

The assignment was to go to the park and observe the amount of times a child would smile based on the definition of smile that we have. We were also supposed to record the amount of times they smiled in a given time.

My definition of smile: The curving of the lips upwards and may or may not show teeth.

I observed a little girl interacting with her nanny or caregiver at the time playing on the swings. I observed the child for three minutes and in that time frame I recorded that she smiled 14 times according to my definition of a smile.

There could be some error in my recording because while she playing on the swing, her nanny was playing a game which consisted of her throwing gold-fish cracker in the child’s mouth. During that time I probably might have mistaken a smile for simply her trying to catch a gold-fish by opening her mouth. Sometimes she opened it widely, which was obvious that it was not a smile and other times she was just showing her teeth in anticipation of catching the cracker.

In the end, I realized that defining variables in your study is very important because people can have different ideas of what a smile is if it is not clearly stated as an operational definition in your study.

Image result for children smilingImage result for children smiling

Young children’s understanding of ownership rights for newly made objects

What question are the researchers asking?

The question that they investigated was whether young children would react to violation of ownership rights in reference to new objects.

Why is it an important question?

This question is important because it addresses the concept of ownership and how it affects people’s thoughts and behaviors.

What is new about the question or study?

The new thing about this study is that they were interested in observing whether children would show ownership respect for newly created objects. Another thing that is new about this study is that they used a (spontaneous) protest paradigm that is usually used for assessing awareness of norms and used it for assessing awareness of ownership rights.

What are the limitations and possible future studies from this paper?

One limitation to this study was that the participants of this study were all female children, therefore the results of this study cannot be directed to all children between the ages of 2-3 years old. A possible future study can be to test differences between collectivist and individualist cultures on the understanding of ownership rights in young children.

The rational adolescent: Strategic information processing during decision making revealed by eye tracking

What question are the researchers asking?

This study investigated the age group differences of how young adults and adolescents, when faces with complex, multi-outcome economic gambles, sought to resolve the issue.

Why is it an important question?

This is an important question because the researchers show how young people go about to handle difficult economic issues. In the end we would be able to know if there is a need for helping young people develop good economic or financial decisions.

What is new about the question or study?

The new thing about this study is that they combine choice response and behaviors (eye-tracking) to be able to see the patterns of information processing that leads to making decisions.

What are the limitations and possible future studies from this paper?

One limitation to this study is that the participants were all males, their results are based on male performance and cannot be used to correspond with the general population of young adults or adolescents. A possible future study could be done to test gender differences in making economic decision in both age groups (young adults and adolescents).