research paper on a myth

SPE 521 – ‘Myth Buster’ Research Paper Overview

Assignment Purpose

There have been many myths about autism in both the popular media, and even in the research literature. The purpose of this research paper is to get deeper into the research literature to explore an area of interest and concisely report the information that is out there to both support and refute one of the myths of autism.


The deliverable for this assignment is a 4-6 page research paper on a myth about autism of your choice.

Activity Details

Step 1: Select a research topic. A list of possible topics is included at the end of this document to give you some ideas about the myths you could explore. However, you can choose a topic not on this list. Please sign up for a topic in Lesson 1 on your group’s lesson discussion page to let your instructor know (and approve) your topic.

Step 2: Write your research paper. As you prepare the paper, incorporate information from multiple research literature sources, as well as your course readings and viewings (if applicable). The paper should not exceed 6 double-spaced pages (not including references) and is to be written following APA style. A helpful tutorial for research can be found at

You may complete this assignment independently or with a partner, if you are both interested in the same topic. However, your partner MUST be in your same assigned group in the class. If you choose to work with a partner, your joint paper should be 8-10 pages, and each of you will receive an identical score.

Step 3: Save and submit your Research Paper.

When you have completed the assignment, save a copy for yourself in an easily accessible place and submit a copy to your instructor using the lesson assignment link in Blackboard. Make sure you also upload a copy to your digication ePortfolio. Please include a copy of the Research Paper Scoring Grid with your assignment in order to receive feedback. The instructor will comment and provide your score via the Gradebook.

Due Dates

Due dates and expected reading assignments are specified in the Course Schedule. The due date listed is the last day to submit the assignment for full credit. Research Papers can be completed as soon as desired (in advance of the due date), but papers received after the due date will be considered late and lose points for each day they are late.

Research Paper Scoring Grid

Name: ___________________________________________________

Date Received: ____________

Please use the scoring sheet to guide the organization and content of your paper.


50 points

Very Good

45 points


40 points


35 points


34 or less

Expected Content

Your Points

Possible Points

Clearly Written Introduction:

·  Topic of paper was clearly stated (2)

·  Origin of the myth was clearly described (4)

·  Evidence supporting the myth was presented (using a minimum of two sources) (4)

·  The credibility of the source of evidence supporting the myth was clearly described (4)


Evidence against the myth clearly explained

·  The myth was refuted in a well-organized argument (5)

·  At least 5 sources were used to refute the myth (5)

·  The credibility of each of the sources used to refute the myth was clearly described (10)


Conclusions provided with recommendations

·  Provided a summary that clearly and objectively described the findings about the myth. (5)

·  A recommendation was made about the myth, and what should be stated about it in the future. (5)


Format & Mechanics:

·  Correct APA citations & references (3)

·  Correct format for direct and indirect quotes (1)

·  Clearly written and well-organized writing, with less than 2 grammatical/typographical/spelling errors. (2)




Research Paper FAQs

1.  May I resubmit a paper if I don’t receive the score I was working toward?
Unfortunately, because of the late due date giving you more time to prepare the paper, there will not be an opportunity to revise this paper before the end of the course. However, you can speak with your instructor before turning in the paper with any questions you have during the preparation process to be sure you are meeting all of the requirements of the scoring grid.

2.  What is APA and where can I find examples of format style?
APA stands for American Psychological Association. APA is the writing format used in most social science areas. You can purchase a copy of the APA manual to find in depth instruction and examples. A short cut technique is to use the examples found in articles as models. Notice how the citations are documented in the body, i.e., the author’s last name and the date. Refer to the references to look at models for the complete citation; notice the authors’ names are in alphabetical order. You can also search the Internet to look for examples of APA. A good resource for APA style can be found at

Possible Topics: Myths of Autism (This is not an exhaustive list. Please check with your instructor if you have an idea for another myth of autism.)

Autism is caused by vaccines.

Autism can be cured by eating a gluten free diet.

Individuals with autism are violent.

Facilitated communication is an effective strategy to teach non-verbal individuals with autism to speak independently.

People with autism do not want friends.

Autism can be cured.

All evidence-based interventions for autism are effective for all people with autism.

People with autism are cold and lack empathy.

All individuals with autism have savant abilities.

All individuals with autism have mental disabilities.

Autism is caused by poor parenting or “refrigerator mothers.”

People with autism cannot feel or express emotion.

Therapies for people with autism are covered by insurance.

People with autism are intellectually disabled.

Individuals with autism cannot understand the emotions of others.

All individuals with autism are good at math and memorization.

Individuals with autism will have to live at home or in a care facility all of their lives.

Police officers are trained on autism and how to protect individuals with autism in the community.

Individuals with autism cannot learn new skills

You can tell someone has autism by looking at them.

People with autism do not understand humor.

Individuals with autism no longer require support once they leave school.

You can only be diagnosed with autism as a child.

All individuals with autism require constant care.

Autism only affects males.

All children with autism receive special education services.

Stimming (repetitive behavior like flapping or rocking) is undesirable and should be stopped.

Non-verbal individuals with autism are severely intellectually impaired.

Individuals with autism prefer to spend their time alone.

Individuals with autism are purposefully defiant.

If a person has autism, they cannot have any other conditions.

Typically developing children learn bad habits from children with autism.

People with autism cannot stand to be touched.

Weighted vests can help children with autism to focus.

Chelation is a good therapy for children with autism.

Vitamin therapy may cure autism.

Camel’s milk cures autism.

Adults with autism cannot have romantic relationships.

Adults with autism cannot work in the workforce.

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