Length: 5 pages (not including title and references page)
Format: Correct APA format throughout. Please use the files below to learn more about APA format.
Title: Include an informative, interesting, provocative and/or creative title – but nothing too crazy! Format the title page in APA (see Purdue OWL).
Body of the Paper:
A. Summarize the psychological concepts, terms, and theories you have learned through your research this semester. What are some of the practical implications of these findings? (~ 1 page) (Cite your sources!)
B. Identify at least FIVE PEER-REVIEWED RESEARCH ARTICLES that apply to your research (these can be from your article summaries).
a. You MUST identify these articles through the library databases, such as PsychInfo or Academic Search Complete. You may NOT use a google, yahoo, or any other general internet search.
b. You MUST use research articles (i.e., articles that present the results of a research study). You may NOT use general opinion articles, theoretical articles, or any other type of articles. You may NOT use newspaper, magazine, blog, or any other type of non-peer-reviewed article.
C. Using the 5 research articles, you will:
a. Describe the research studies (What was the research question? Summarize the sample, methods, and findings). (2-3 pages)
b. In this section, you must discuss the relevance of your topic and research findings to a personal or social issue. For example, you can address how better understanding the needs of nontraditional students can help low-income or other disadvantaged students to achieve their goals and increase their economic worth. The point of this requirement is for you to demonstrate that you can apply research findings to real-life individual or social issues. Re-read your work to make sure you are meeting this goal. (~ 1 page)
References and In-text Citations: An APA style reference page, with all of the sources referred to in your paper, must be included at the end of your essay. Do not use quotes! In your presentation and analysis of sources, do not use direct quotes; excessive quoting can turn your literature review into a cacophony of different voices that frustrates the reader’s ability to find cohesion between the distinct ideas. You are better off paraphrasing or summarizing, which you must do carefully to avoid plagiarism. Make sure to cite ALL of your sources.
Style and Tone: In tone, consider that you are writing for a body of professionals. They want to see that you are reasonably objective. Betraying a strong emotional investment may cast doubt on your credibility. Thus, your tone and style should emphasize that you are interested in furthering understanding rather than establishing that you are right or winning an argument. Moreover, the focus in this essay is not on you; it is on the texts and topic you are analyzing and synthesizing. Therefore, do not use the first person (I, me, my, mine). Nor should you find occasion to use the second person (you, your, you’re), for example, to address the reader directly as in, “Having considered the many facets of this problem, you may wonder how it can possibly be solved.” Such language is overly informal for this kind of academic writing and shifts the focus to the reader and away from the topic of your essay. A possible revision could be: “A consideration of the many facets of this problem clearly indicates that solving it will be difficult.”
Paragraph form: Each of your body paragraphs should have a topic sentence. Pay attention to the transitions between and within paragraphs. Paragraphs in academic writing are (usually) between 1/3 – 3/4 of a page long. If they are shorter than that, you may not be adequately developing your ideas. If the ideas or information don’t deserve to be developed further, then you might consider combining the content of the short paragraph with another paragraph; in such a case, you would need to revise the topic sentence so that it covers the combined materials. If a paragraph is much longer than 3/4 of a page, you risk losing the attention of your reader as well as losing focus in your paragraph itself. Of course, there are exceptions to the 1/3-3/4 page guideline.
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