By now, you have learned about how and why people do many of the different and interesting things that people do. For your final paper/presentation you need to choose one of the topics/studies/ideas from the course and dig a little deeper. For the previous two papers, I selected articles that I thought you would find interesting, and for the final presentation and paper you need to select four articles that you think you will find interesting!
The purpose of this project is to give you first hand experience finding, reading, summarizing and integrating scientific literature. This will give you practical experience that will be useful in senior thesis, and in graduate school (if you have those aspirations).
1)Find and Cite. You will start by finding four separate articles that address a similar topic. They do not need to examine precisely the same phenomena, but the better the articles fit together the easier your integration section will be to write. Create a references section that includes an APA style reference for each of your four articles.
2)Summarize. As with prior papers, for each of the three studies you need to address following. What was (were) the researchers’ question(s)? How did the researchers go about answering the question(s)?What did the researchers find? What do the results mean? How does this article clarify some of the findings discussed in class or in the book, and take us beyond what we already know? Make sure you include APA style in text citations.
3)Integrate. After you have summarized the four articles, you need to integrate them. When considered together what does each of the articles suggest about your topic? In other words what conclusions make sense when considering all Four articles together? Are the results/conclusions of the studies complementary or contradictory? What do you think are some important remaining questions? Based on the three studies how might you expand on this research; speculate on some answers to the remaining questions you identified above. Use the grading guide that is provided here, as that will be the standard by which your performance will be judged.
Truly try to put the findings into your own words. It is usually obvious when people paraphrase the abstract by replacing words in the abstract with synonyms. Avoid taking this shortcut! Also, remember that good scientific writing is clear writing, not pretty writing or poetry.
The paper (50 points): Remember your paper must be written in double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, 8½ x 11 in. paper with 1-inch margins. Papers can be a maximum of eight pages in length. There is no page minimum, but make sure to adequately address the sections of the grading guide below. Try to balance your paper, make sure you spend roughly half on summary and half on interpretation.