Mr. Schott’s Research Project – “Journal Summary”
Due Sunday – 11/20/22
The goal of the research assignment is to promote your understanding of psychology as an empirical
science and to familiarize you with locating, evaluating and understanding scholarly journal articles
(also known as Primary Research). You will also learn to reference your source in APA style.
1. Pick a topic in psychology.
2. Find a study in a journal with a methods section related to your topic.
3. Thoroughly summarize your study following my guidelines.
4. Save your paper in Word or PDF. Turn the paper in using the Assignments link in
blackboard. Use the Browse feature to submit the paper.
a. Browse your computer.
b. Locate the paper and click on it.
5. I’ll use your reference to find the actual article to evaluate your summary.
The following is additional information for each step……
Pick a topic in psychology
Anything that we covered in class or anything that you’re interested in related to psychology. For
Any kind of disorder or disability (depression, anxiety, addiction, schizophrenia, eating disorders,
etc.), attraction, love, discrimination, non-verbal communication, persuasion or marketing, job
burnout, jealousy etc. etc. etc.
Anything related to psychology is appropriate. Our book is a great source for ideas.
It helps to narrow down your topic…
For example, if you are interested in Depression, possible topics might be:
– The effect of exercise on depression
– How alcohol abuse is related to depression
– How eating disorders are related to depression
– Depression and stress.
Find a Study in a Journal with a Methods Section
• You need to find a relatively recent study, published no earlier than 2000.
• Your study must include a methods section which describes how the primary research was carried
out. If it doesn’t have a message section, it’s not primary research.
• The HVCC data bases are your best asset in finding an article.
PsychArticles and Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection should be used.
The following is a link that explains how to do a journal search using our HVCC data bases. You
can also access the library and learning assistance center for help.
• The above video explains how to access the data bases and perform a search for a journal article
including setting the search parameters. Look through a number of articles to find one you’re
interested in and that makes sense to you. Biggest problem for students is choosing an article that
is overly complex and hard to understand. But if you choose an article that is too complex for
you there’s no way to accurately summarize it. Pick a study that makes sense to you. A little
extra time in finding a good article can save time and headaches in the long run.
• I also listed a written instruction sheet for using the data bases. It explains how to access the
databases and perform a search.
Paper Guidelines: Thoroughly Summarize your Article.
• Your paper must include the following:
– Cover page with your name and the name of the article you are reviewing.
– A clear, fact based summary of the article (a few of pages or so is generally appropriate).
– Your summary should be double spaced with 12 point font.
– A separate reference page, citing the article you reviewed in APA style. Only 1 reference.
• Your summary should answer the following questions in a clear and concise fashion.
– What is the hypothesis or research question? What is the purpose of the research?
– Where was the study conducted and who were the subjects and how were they selected? Describe
the participants in detail.
– Summarize the methods/procedures used.
– What did the researchers find? Did they find what they expected to find?
– What do you think of the study? Thoughts and opinions should be limited and added at the end. The
majority of your summary should focus on describing the study to me.
• Use Your Own Words. Do not use quotes from the article. Put everything in your own words
demonstrating your understanding of the article. You don’t need in-text citations since this is a
journal summary with only one source.
• Make sure you cite your article at the end of your paper using correct APA style. Following are some
guidance for citing in APA style. It’s pretty clear and shouldn’t be hard to follow.
APA Style Citation Guidelines
APA style has specific procedures and if you follow my guidelines you shouldn’t have a problem with
your reference. You don’t need in-text citations for this assignment since you’re just using one study. A
correct reference page, with just your one study, is all you need.
References Page – APA
The last page of your journal article is the references page. It lists the sources the authors cited in the body
of their article. The American Psychological Association has very specific guidelines for citing your
sources. There are handouts in the Learning Assistance Center (basement of library) that explain the
APA style rules for different sources (journal, book, newspaper etc.).
To cite a Journal Article, you do the following:
Author’s Last Name, First Initial. (Year). Title. Name of Journal, volume #, page numbers.
Jones, A., Smith, M. & Goya, B. (2019). Television violence and activity level. American
Psychologist, 262, 52-61.
In the above example I listed all 3 authors by last name, first initial. The Year. The title of the article. The
name of the journal, volume number and page numbers. Notice no PhD or other credentials. Notice no
“Vol” or “Pg” for volume and page numbers.
That’s APA style reference of a journal article. Follow that and you won’t have a problem.
When employers are asked, “What is the most important skill you look for when hiring entry level
employees?” – the number 1 answer is Communication Skills. That includes the ability to present your
ideas verbally and in writing. This assignment is going to help you practice and develop those skills.
Submit your Paper
• Turn the paper in on time. Meeting deadlines is critical to success in life. I will take 10 points off
for being 1day late, then 2 points off for each additional day late. It’s a pretty straightforward
assignment. No reason with all this notice to miss the deadline.
• Submit your paper using the guidelines in the assignments link under Submit Journal Summary
Here. Don’t forget to include a link to the article you summarized.
This is a pretty simple assignment. Just take the time to read the guidelines and you’ll do fine.
Every time you turn on a light, answer a phone, drive a car or take an aspirin for a headache you are
reaping the benefits of scientific research. The science of psychology is full of fascinating people and
studies that have changed the way we live, work and think about the human experience.
It is my hope that you will find a topic that interests you. While this will be a challenging project, it is up
to you to make it meaningful, interesting and relevant.