The University of Arizona

PSY 150A1 - Structure of Mind and Behavior (Fall 2016)

This guide will help you complete the research paper, which is option two of the Introductory Psychology Research Requirement.

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Elizabeth Kline
Contact:
Main Library A209
(520) 621-4869

Research paper requirements

You are required to find and read a research article from a scholarly journal in psychology and complete a paper (3-5 pages in length) summarizing the research. Additionally, you will need to submit the article you plan to summarize by the third exam to get approval to do the paper. The paper is due by the last day of classes for that semester.

Step one - notify instructor

Notify your instructor via email before the first class exam of your intent to pursue the paper option.

Step two - review PsycINFO tutorial

Step three - getting started

Now that you know how to find empirical articles, you need a psychology topic to research. If you need help finding a topic, review some topics from the American Psychological Association (APA).

Unfamiliar with scholarly journals in psychology? Review the following list from APA.

If you are still unsure about scholarly journals in psychology or need help with a topic, consult with your instructor. 

Step four - find an empirical article

With your research topic at hand, use the following database to help you find an empirical article.

Select an article, read it, and take notes to begin forming your outline. Remember to print the article to attach to your paper when you submit.

Step five - send your instructor a copy of the empirical article.

At this point, be sure to email the instructor a copy of the article you plan to summarize (before the third exam). You are not approved to do the paper until this step is complete, and the instructor has responded.

Step six - writing your paper

You are expected to clearly demonstrate that you read and understood the research article. Complete a paper (3-5 pages in length) that contains a synthesis of each of these elements:

  • the research question(s) addressed or the hypothesis(es) tested,
  • methods used,
  • findings,
  • strengths, and  
  • limitations (if any) to the study.

Things to avoid

  • Don’t select an article that is too technical or advanced for your skills/understanding
  • Do not select a literature review for this assignment. While they are good for summarizing research that has been previously published on a topic, they are not in itself research, and you cannot receive credit for this assignment by summarizing a literature review.
  • Popular or non-scholarly articles are not appropriate for this assignment.

Step seven - submitting your work

Provide a hard copy of your research paper along with a copy of the research article you summarized to the front desk in Room 312 Psychology Building. Be sure to clearly indicate your name, course and section number, student ID#, and professor's name on your paper. The paper is due by the last day of classes for that semester.