4) a discussion of how the psychological topics being covered in the empirical article and media piece relate to your own life.
Paper Requirements & Guidelines
There is one paper assignment required for this course, worth 15% of the final course grade. For this
paper, you will choose ONE empirical article from the provided list and write a 5-page, double-spaced
response. Your response must include: 1) a summary of the empirical article, 2) an evaluation of the
findings (i.e., whether you are/are not convinced by the findings of the paper, and why), 3) a connection
between the article and a real-world topic in the media (e.g., news/current events, pop culture, etc.), and
4) a discussion of how the psychological topics being covered in the empirical article and media piece
relate to your own life. The paper should be submitted online through the Canvas website by 12pm on
the day that it is due (July 19th).
Goals for The Paper
1. To expose you to peer-reviewed, empirical articles in the study of psychology. 2. To help you learn how to assess the validity of empirical articles, as something being published
does not mean it is fact.
3. To get you to start thinking about how the media we interact with every day is related to the psychological concepts you are learning about.
4. To get you to think about and develop connections between the course material and your everyday life.
Specific Paper Content
In the first portion of your paper, you will:
Summarize IN YOUR OWN WORDS the article you chose. A good summary will be at least ½-1 page,
and will include the research question/hypothesis, a description of the participants, the methodology used
(i.e., how did they test their research question? what did they make their participants do?), and a
summary of the findings. Statistical values should be omitted from your summary—what we are looking
for here is for you to determine whether their findings supported or refuted their hypothesis.
In the second portion of your paper, you will:
Evaluate the validity of the study. That is, you should state whether or not you agree with the findings of
the study and explain why. The best papers will link their evaluations with the content discussed in the
lecture and NOBA modules on research methods in psychology, and will be 1-1½ pages.
In the third portion of your paper, you will:
Relate the article to a real-world application in popular media or current events. Examples of such
connections include, but are not limited to:
• A discussion of popular media reporting on this psychological phenomenon (e.g., in the news, on Buzzfeed, etc.).
• A description of when you saw the psychological concept discussed in your article depicted in popular media (e.g., television, books, music, etc.).
• Etc. This section should be 1-1.5 pages long.
In the final portion of your paper, you will:
Relate the article to something in your life. Examples of such connections include, but are not limited to:
• A description of when something similar happened in your life (i.e., you experienced the phenomenon they were interested in studying).
• A description of how something in your life seems to contradict the findings of the paper.
• Etc. This section should be 1-1.5 pages long.
Cite the article you chose in APA format (see “How to Cite Journal Articles in APA Format” instructions
on Canvas). The reference page DOES NOT count toward the 5-page requirement.
The paper will be graded out of 30 points, on a mostly completion basis. That is, as long as you complete
the requirements of the paper and DO NOT plagiarize, you will receive full credit.
The 30 points will be awarded for the following:
1. 6 pts: A summary of the empirical article without plagiarism (cite all sources in APA format). 2. 6 pts: An evaluation of the findings and discussion of applicable research methods concepts
discussed in lecture/the NOBA modules.
3. 6 pts: A convincing discussion of a connection between the article and a real-world media piece. 4. 6 pts: A convincing discussion of a connection between the article, media piece, and your
5. 6pts: Correctly formatting the paper (double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, 1-inch margins all around, reference page in APA format) and meeting the 4.5-5 page length
The paper will be due by 12pm on July 19th, and should be submitted on Canvas. Any papers turned in
after 12pm will be considered late and will be subject to penalty (1 letter grade off per each day it is late).
If you need assistance with APA format, Desiree and I are here to help! Please see us in office hours or
set up an appointment if you find you are struggling with APA formatting or any other aspect of the
paper. There are also resources on how to cite in APA format uploaded to the Resources folder on
Canvas, so please reference these as needed.