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PSY 150A1 - Structure of Mind and Behavior

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Elizabeth Kline
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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 the semester.

Step 1: Notify instructor

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

Step 2: Review PsycINFO tutorial

Step 3: 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 4: 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 save the article because you will email it to your instructor with the paper when you submit at the end.

Step 5: 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 6: Write 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:

  • research question(s) addressed or the hypothesis(es) tested
  • methods used
  • findings
  • strengths
  • 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 7: Submit your work

Please email a copy of your research paper along with a copy of the research article you summarized to your instructor. The paper is due by the last day of classes for the semester.



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