Step 1 â€“ Select an appropriate article. If you have any doubts as to whether your selection meets these requirements, ask!
Step 2 â€“ Attach a copy of your selected article when you submit your paper.
Step 3 â€“ Write a report on the article you selected, following the format described below.
- Summarize the BACKGROUND information that was available to the authors that prompted them to do the study â€“ state why the study was done. Reference the source of your information through in-text citations, using the name and date system of APA style.
- State the HYPOTHESIS or RESEARCH QUESTION of this study. A true hypothesis makes a specific prediction, and is used in experimental research. A research question might be used instead for a descriptive study.
- Describe the METHODS used. Identify the subjects, and try to identify the type of research method (case study, naturalistic or laboratory observation, correlational study, experiment?). If it is experimental research, identify the independent and dependent variables, the experimental and control groups. Explain enough about the procedures so that your instructor knows what was done. Do not include statistical methods.
- What were the most important RESULTS of the study? What information did they obtain? (Do not confuse this with the conclusions of the study.)
- What was the CONCLUSION of the study? Did it support or refute the original hypothesis? What are the implications for further research?
- What were your thoughts after reading the article. Did you find the information new or did it only confirm what you believed? Would you recommend suggestions for the authors to improve the article and or study? Requirements for the research you select to write about:
- It must be an article in a scholarly (peer reviewed) psychology journal (see below on how to find a peer-reviewed journal, (CNN, Huffington Post, Psychology Today are not peer reviewed).
- It must have a recent publication date (not before 2000).
- It must be empirical, that is, it reports on original research done by the authors. Hint: Look to see whether it has a section that is clearly labeled â€œMethodsâ€ or â€œProceduresâ€.
- It must be something that you can understand. If you feel that the article you have picked is beyond your grasp, pick another one. You will not be able to write a good report on an article you donâ€™t understand.